Surprise parties may be fun when it’s between humans but not when ants are the party guests! Ants show up uninvited in your home because they are tiny enough to sneak inside unnoticed, that is, until you see a whole mess of them in your kitchen, bathroom or dining room floor. But we can help you prevent an ant invasion.
As frustrating as ant marching into your home may be, they are there for a reason, and no that reason is not to annoy you. Ants make their way into homes simply because they are hunting for food or water and your home just happens to be a place for them to check out.
Your home is a target usually because there was something laying around that attracted them. And because it’s so easy for them to get into your home, they just barge on in with a whole army of ants behind the leader, following the trail.
This doesn’t mean you have to just sit there and let it happen, though. There are things you can do to prevent a home ant invasion and keep the little pests out before they crawl all over your food, overrun your kitchen, or even worse, bite you or your children!
You need to make it harder for ants to get into your home and discourage them from scoping out your home to begin with. Read on to see what the pros do and suggest to homeowners to keep ants from sneaking their way indoors.
Keep a Watchful Eye of Scout Ants
Do you see what looks like a single stray ant wandering about in your home? It may not be just an ant that’s lost his way or someone who travels solo. This is usually what is known as a scout ant. The mission of the scout ant is to leave the nest and go searching far and wide for food and water sources, which includes your home.
When they find a sufficient source, that’s when they will alert the colony with a signal usually in the form of laying out a pheromone trail that worker ants in the colony will follow to get to their next meal. If you notice one of these ants crawling about in your kitchen or other areas of the home, be very concerned as it is a sign that more ants are on the way.
Tidy Up and Eliminate Food Sources
What are ants coming into your home to begin with? Duh, to eat! While we all need food to survive, that doesn’t mean you need to leave evidence of your meals around the house in the form of crumbs, because that is exactly what makes your home a hot spot for ant grocery shopping. The most important thing you can do to prevent ants from coming into your home is to keeping your home clean and tidying up regularly. When there’s no food to be found in your home, ants won’t want to stick around. Here’s a few things you should focus on.
- Wash those dirty dishes: After enjoying a delicious mean, who wants to get right up and do the dishes? No one, but it is a must to do if you don’t want to deal with ants! Leftover food and dirty dishes piling up in the sink are like a magnet for ants to march over and get some food. If you don’t want an ant party, keep those dishes spotless.
- Break out the Broom and Vacuum: Ant love crumbs and will show up in large numbers to take these little morsels of food back to their nest. If you are dropping food and crumbs and not sweeping and vacuuming your home routinely, those scout ants will see jackpot after jackpot of food sources to grab and will alert the colony workers to come on over. Keep those scout ants disappointed by keeping your floors and carpets clean and eliminating those food sources.
- Keep surfaces clean and dry: You already know ants love crumbs, but they also are big fans of grease, sugars and sticky sweets that have been spilled. By wiping down your countertops and other surfaces, you take these less visible food sources away. However it’s also smart to keep those surfaces nice and dry too after cleaning. Make sure there’s no water in or around your sink and it’s completely dry too because moisture loving ants will arrive even if there is just a mere few drops of water.
- Store Food In Tightly Sealed Containers: Have you opened up a box of cereal or some other stored food product. If you really want no chance of ant issues, don’t leave them in their original container, but opt to place them in tightly sealed tupperware. The great thing about this is that it won’t just keep away ants, but dozens of other insects that like to invade pantries.
Address and Fix Moisture Issues
Just as much as ants love any of the food we leave out, they love water and moisture too. No matter how little water is out standing, ants may come if they are thirsty enough, especially in times during the summer where it isn’t raining much outdoors. If you find ants in your bathroom or around your plumbing, you may have a leak somewhere that needs to be repaired. Keeping the home completely dry is vital to keeping ants out as much as keeping the place free of food.
Take Away Points Of Entry With Caulk
Once food and moisture sources have been taken away, the next step of serious ant prevention is cutting off any possible entry points around your home. Ants are tiny and they use it to their advantage by crawling their way under doors and cracks and squeezing their way through the tiniest of gaps and crevices.
Arm yourself with a caulking gun and then do a careful search around the perimeter of your home, scanning for cracks and gaps that you can seal up. The best places to apply caulk would be around doors and windows and your home’s foundation. You may not be able to find all the points of entry but just carrying out this step reduces a lot of ways for ants to sneak in and makes their life a little bit more difficult.
Remove Ant Trails
As we noted earlier, scout ants will produce a pheromone not only as a signal to the nest ants to come out, but every step they take, the pheromone makes a trail that the worker ants can carefully follow to get to the food source. Luckily, you can easily wipe this pheromone ant trail away with some cleaning product. Observe the pathway of ants in your home and after eliminating them, wipe out the scent trail literally with a cleaning wipe or a water/vinegar mixture.
Locate the Ant Colony
If you’re finding ants in your home, then the colony or ant nest may be close by. Take a look around the outside of your home and in your yard so any sign of an ant mound. Some ant nests can be apparent, others may be more hidden and tucked away. By finding the ant nest and using an effective insecticide product, you can eliminate all the workers residing inside and hopefully the queen and put a stop to the ever-growing population.
When All Else Fails, Use Our Insecticides
Sometimes, even by putting in place the best possible efforts to keep ants out, ants will find a way in. This is when it may be best to break out the big guns and use the insecticides we carry. These insecticides are easy to use and safe to apply.
Indoors, we suggest starting with placing out an insecticide bait. These baits don’t immediately kill the ants, but are a slow killing bait that will potentially kill the entire colony as they bring the bait back to the nest and share the bait amongst one another.
Aside from this, we would also recommend spraying a powerful insecticide as a barrier treatment around the perimeter of your home. This is an extra added layer of protection to the other suggestions we have given above as it will totally discourage ants from attempting to go near your home to explore.
Are you ready to make your home ant-free and keep it that way? Follow these tips and ants will not be a problem for you any longer.