Ants are one of the fascinating creatures on planet earth and exist in high numbers. They are resilient, as demonstrated by invasive ant species that quickly adapt and thrive in areas outside of their natural habitat. Ants also play an essential role in the natural process of decomposition by eating decaying organic matter, dead animals, and dead insects. Though they can be pests at times, they are vital to the health of the environment.
As long as ants reside in nature, they are hardly even noticed but let them invade your yard, garden, or home, and they can quickly become a nuisance. Ants are no respecter of personal space, and depending on the ant species, they will enter your house in search of food, water, and a new nesting area. Taking the time to learn about what makes ants tick and how to eliminate them from your property will better equip you for protecting your family and home from a potential ant infestation.
Why Do Ants Trespass In and Around Your Home?
Ants are one of the most adaptable creatures on the planet, and this is on display pretty much year-round in neighborhoods, rural homesteads, farms, and even big cities. Ants can cover great distances in search of food, water, and shelter but tend to move closer to more reliable sources. These sources can include your house, garden, hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other suitable place that provides what ants need to survive.
The typical reason for ants to enter your property or home is to search for food, water, and shelter. Some ant species won’t nest inside of a structure, but they are few and far between as most will move right on in. One of the most common causes of ants inside your home is unsanitary conditions. Food crumbs, improperly stored foods, and trash or clutter are some of the more enticing reasons for ants to enter your dwelling or place of business.
Water is another cause for ants to move in or forage. Like us, they need water to survive, and if you have moisture issues or leaky faucets, this is sure to draw them in. Carpenter ants, one of the most destructive species of ants, are attracted to moisture that is associated with damp or rotting wood. The unfortunate experience of battling against a carpenter ant infestation is likely the cause of water damage to your home. Being vigilant at all times and ensuring that your home is clean and clear of moisture problems can help you avoid the unpleasant house guests known as ants.
How To Keep Ants Away
There are many ways to keep ants away, but you must put in the necessary time and effort. Ants are foragers and will search far and wide for food, water, and shelter. If your home offers easy access to food or water, ants will either establish a colony inside or on your property to be closer to what they need. With a little research, you can find plenty of information regarding ants and how to manage them. However, in some instances, an ant invasion can only be handled by a professional pest control agency.
Steps you can take to ensure ants don’t become a bother to you are numerous, but some are easy to perform and maintain. You will want to be sure to keep your house clean and sanitary. Be sure to clean up after your family and yourself. Keep food crumbs, trash, and debris cleaned up. In the kitchen, this will include wiping down all food preparation areas such as your counters, stovetop, islands, sink, and tables. You will also need to keep the floor swept to ensure there are no food crumbs left that could draw ants into your kitchen.
Properly storing foods in sealed containers will also help keep ants from being enticed to enter your kitchen. This same methodology applies to the rest of the house as well. So if you have a movie night in the living area of the house with popcorn, keep in mind the crumbs you leave behind. If you like to have breakfast in bed or you enjoy lunch on the outdoor patio, you will need to clean up behind yourself as a precautionary measure.
A few more strategies that can help you manage an ant invasion are as follows:
- Identification of the ant species:
- Determining what kind of ant you are dealing with and how their colony works can significantly increase the effectiveness of your efforts to get rid of them permanently.
- Track the ants to their entry point or nesting area:
- Ants use scent-marked foraging trails that lead from their nest to food and water sources. They then use these trails to find their way quickly between the two locations.
- You can track them by watching these trails and follow them back to their entry points or their nest.
- Using ant baits:
- Ant baits are specifically designed for different types of ants, so be sure to choose the correct type of bait.
- Place the ant bait in areas where ant trails have been observed.
- Use a slow-acting bait to ensure that the foraging ants introduce the bait to the entire colony.
- Using liquid ant killers or sprays:
- You will typically not want to spray ants inside your home since you are only killing the foraging ants that are in view.
- When you have tracked the ants to an outdoor nesting area, using an insecticide spray or liquid may be the right call. When using an insecticide, you will need to follow all of the provided instructions.
- Sealing off your home:
- Using proper sealants to seal off cracks around windows, doors, and the foundation of your home can be one of the most effective methods of keeping ants out.
Though ants may be necessary for the earth’s ecosystem, they can be a significant threat to your family and home. Utilizing what you have learned to keep ants away will better equip you for ensuring the safety of your family and home. Remember that if you have an ant invasion that you can’t seem to get rid of, Bulwark Exterminating is here to help.