Having an ant infestation is a nuisance to any homeowner, as it can be difficult to control them once they’ve found their way inside. These pests tend to infest areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, searching for a place to nest and a food source. Ants are sneaky pests, often finding their way inside our homes without us even knowing. Check out the top 3 ways you attract ants inside and how you can prevent them in the future.
Gaps & Holes
Ants are very small, making it easy for these pests to get through the smallest hole or gap. Your home’s doors, foundation, windows, and even utility lines can have holes or gaps, creating a way inside for ants. Foundation gaps that aren’t solid concrete blocks can lead to spaces for ants to enter. Likewise, ants will enter through doors or windows that aren’t sealed properly. Take some time and inspect the home’s interior and exterior for these openings.
Inside the Floor
Did you know ants can travel inside your floors? These pests often establish routes underneath carpets, tiles, and hardwood, making it difficult to spot them entering! Ants will often utilize subfloors, which are made up of pieces of plywood that provide enough space for ants to get inside. Often, these pests will enter through the floors when they’ve spotted a food source, such as leftover crumbs on the floor.
Toys & Houseplants
Many times we can bring these pests inside our homes by mistake! Ants can gain access inside by homeowners bringing in a toy or yard item that was left outside long enough for an ant colony to establish inside it. Plants can also carry ants inside when we bring them into our homes for the winter. Other items ants have hitchhiked on include used furniture or appliances, storage boxes, hoses, and even groceries!
There are many opportunities for ants to get inside the home, but with some DIY preventative measures in place, you can help prevent a major infestation. Here are some easy tips on preventing ants:
- Trim your tree branches and shrubs away from your house
- If you have holes or gaps, utilize weatherstripping or caulk to seal them
- Thoroughly clean countertops, pantries, cabinets, and other kitchen surfaces
- After a meal, wipe up any crumbs or spills immediately
If you notice an ant problem bigger than you can handle, contact your local pest control company, where they can identify entry points and recommend a treatment and prevention plan.
The kitchen is one of the most common rooms in your home to have ants, closely followed by the bathroom. The most common ants found indoors are odorous house ants, also known as nuisance ants. While these ants don’t cause structural damage and aren’t considered dangerous to humans or pets, they can contaminate your food and become quite a nuisance to deal with. Carpenter ants are larger black ants that can also get into your home. These ants do cause structural damage by boring through the wood components of your house.
The ants you find in your home don’t actually live there; they build colonies outdoors and come in looking for food and water to take back. These elements are necessary for the colony to live and grow. Scout ants who find these sources leave a pheromone trail for the rest of the colony to follow which is why you will often see ants traveling in a single line. Because they can scale walls and travel between stories in your home, they can spread quickly and be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Ants are attracted by a number of things found in your home. They use crumbs, spills, loosely sealed food packages, dirty dishes, and even pet food bowls to find food. They use leaky pipes, pet water bowls, and standing water for hydration.
What can you do to keep ants from taking over your kitchen? Prevent ants by:
- Sweeping and mopping floors regularly.
- Cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Wiping down counters and stovetops daily.
- Not leaving dirty dishes out overnight.
- Emptying trash regularly.
- Using trashcans with lids.
- Throwing away uneaten pet food or putting it in a sealed container overnight.
- Storing pet food in sealed containers versus non-sealing bags.
- Cleaning around your pet’s food and water bowls often.
- Dumping and replacing pet water frequently from their bowls.
- Storing pantry food in sealed containers versus boxes and bags when possible (e.g. cereal, grains, sweets). This also helps prevent other common pantry pests.
- Getting rid of overripe food stored on counters.
- Repairing leaky pipes.
- Eliminating standing water.
- Repairing cracks and gaps in foundations.
- Not storing firewood next to your home.
Killing just the ants you find in your home won’t eliminate the entire infestation. You must eradicate them at the source – at their colonies. These ants can be difficult to eliminate because individual colonies can number in the thousands and they can be spread out all over your property. For assistance in dealing with ants or any other pests you may find in your home, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
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