Determine How Ants Are Getting Inside and Prevent Them From Coming Back
Ants are a common pest to find scurrying around your home. Unfortunately, they aren’t only to be found outside marching across your nicely laid-out picnic blanket. You’ve probably seen them making their way across your countertops or floors, inside cupboards, or even in your bagged food items. Ants are tiny magicians. They appear out of nowhere and then disappear again. Ants cost you plenty in contaminated food, damage, traps, and sprays. They also rob you of your peace of mind. Read our article on ant prevention and learn how ants get into your home in the first place.
How Are Ants Getting Into My House?
How are ants getting into your house? To determine how ants are getting inside examine your home closely to find their nest or trail. Check the following common entry points for clues.
Ant Colonies Are Often Found Outside
To know how ants are getting into your home, go outside. Examine your yard, mulch, landscape timbers, and firewood for nests or colonies. As soon as ants emerge from their hiding places, they are on the hunt for necessities found in your home: food, shelter, and water. Once a nest or hiding place is located, look for lines of ants that will reveal their paths of entry. Search for cracks or gaps in the seams of your home that may serve as entryways.
Look for Ants in the Attached Areas of Home
Inspect the basement, crawl spaces, and garage. Using a flashlight, look around dripping water heaters, leaky pipes, washing machines, or other damp areas. Ants are attracted to warm, moist places. Once you find ants, see if you can detect some leaving your home to determine how they are entering.
Where Ants Are Typically Found Indoors
Now transition your search indoors. Focus on rooms that contain either water or food sources. These include kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, and laundry areas. Look for cracks along with window seals and openings around screens, pipes, and electrical boxes. Examine tiny holes created by utility lines for any signs of ant activity.
Ant Trails Can be Found on Your Floors
Floors don’t just serve as highways for many species of ants. They also provide homes. Ants can establish pathways through carpets, hardwood, and tile flooring to the subflooring below. There they find plenty of space for ants to nest and congregate. Take time to search each of your main floors and baseboards for any telltale signs.
Don't Forget to Check Your Doors for Ants
Doors serve as entrances not only for guests and family members but also for ants. Inspect your doors for gaps and cracks in seals and frames. Doors with little human movement provide the perfect entries, because deteriorating seals may go unnoticed by everyone except these intruders.
How to Prevent Ants From Entering Your Home
How do you keep these pests from entering your sanctuary?
Seal All Cracks
Ants can easily enter your home through any crack or crevice that they find. This includes under doorways or windows, or even cracks in the foundation. It is best to seal any area that you feel may be a possible entryway for ants, as you will find that a colony of ants will rapidly increase.
Keep Your Home Clean
Keeping a clean home means that you are less likely to experience an ant infestation. Wash any dishes in the sink. Make sure that your countertops are wiped down and free of crumbs. Check your cupboards also to ensure that they are crumb-free. Wipe down any surfaces with spills or sticky substances. Be sure to sweep and vacuum regularly, especially in rooms where there are traces of food.
Store Food Properly
As ants are attracted to any source of food they can find, it is important to be sure that all food is properly stored. Make sure that all dry food items are stored in sealed containers. Don’t leave food or wrappers exposed. Pet food should also not be left out for too long. Without access to a food source, the ants do not have much reason to stay in your home.
Deter With Smells
Ants are also attracted to smells. But it is possible to detract them with smells as well. Use spices and herbs such as black pepper, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, mint or garlic in the house. Lemon juice and vinegar can be used to wipe down surfaces. Pour coffee grounds around the outside of your home. All of these scents deter ants, naturally!
Spray an Ant Barrier Around Your Home
The best way to protect yourself from ant infestation is to spray a barrier around your home. It is wise to leave this task to a pest control professional as they will know how to best treat the problem depending on the type of species of ant. Contact Alvin Pest Control to address your pest issues!