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Blog How Are Ants Getting in My House?
Unfortunately, it’s easy for ants to find a way into your home. They can get into your space through cracks in walls, gaps in the foundation, through spaces underneath your flooring, and more. Sometimes, ants simply crawl into your home through windows and doors in search of food and water. Knowing where your ant problem is coming from is key in getting rid of an ant infestation and preventing one in the future.
It may seem like ant infestations are inevitable when every spring tons of these bothersome bugs make their way into your space. You see them crawling across countertops and suddenly you have an ant infested kitchen. But… How did they get there in the first place?
How are Ants Getting in My House?
The first step to keeping ants out of your space this spring: find the root of the problem. A few ways that ants make their way into your home include:
1. Through Cracks in Walls
In most homes, there are gaps large enough for ants to crawl through around your windows, doors, and vents. Look for these cracks where the wall meets the floor and ceiling, around window and door frames, and near outlets, pipes, and electrical lines.
2. Through Gaps in the Foundation
3. Through Flooring
Sometimes ants travel inside your flooring. They can establish routes underneath carpet, tile, and hardwood floors.
4. Through Doors and Windows
Do you ever leave your windows open to get a little fresh air in the house? Do you ever leave your doors open while you’re running in and out on a nice day? This gives ants the perfect opportunity to sneak into your home. Plus, window frames often collect moisture and rot over time—this rot can provide a home for several types of ants, like carpenter ants and yellow ants, for example.
5. They are Accidentally Carried Inside
There’s a chance that you accidentally brought ants inside with you. Ants can hitch rides on houseplants, toys, used furniture, and storage tubs, for example.
How Do I Get Rid of Ants in My House?
Believe it or not, it is possible to rid your home of an ant infestation. But it’s important to act quickly. Here’s what you should do if these pests invade your space:
Follow the Trail
Your first response to seeing ants in your home may be to sweep them up right away. Before you do this, however, see what it is that’s attracting the ants. Clean up whatever’s drawing them into your home. It’s possible that this is enough to make the ants leave.
Spray Infested Areas
Spray anywhere that you’ve seen ants with one-part vinegar and three parts water.
Spray Entrance Points
Ants hate peppermint and lavender. So, combine the two oils and spray the mixture on entry points like window sills and door frames.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Team
If you want to be 100% confident that ants (and other pests) are out of your space, the most surefire way is to hire a professional pest control company like Plunkett’s.
How Do I Prevent Ants from Coming Back?
Once you’ve done all the hard work to get rid of your ant infestation, make sure you’re taking precautionary measures to keep them out. You don’t want those awful ants coming back to wreak havoc on your home. Keep ants out by following these tips:
- Clean up food spills right away
- Store fruit in airtight containers
- Regularly clean out your trash cans
- If you have pets, clean up any spills around the food bowls regularly
- Ants love to nest under mulch—Use stone or rock around your house instead
- Fix leaking water pipes right when they happen
- Seal cracks and crevices around your house with caulk
Get and Keep Ants Out with Professional Pest Control
If you’ve tried our tips and tricks from above and you can’t seem to keep ants out of your home, get in touch with the professionals at Plunkett’s Pest Control. Our expert team can rid your space of pesky pests and take measures to ensure they stay out.
5 Reasons You Keep Having Ant Problems In Your Home
No matter the season of the year, an ant infestation is never a welcome sight. Unfortunately for most homeowners, an ant infestation is something you can’t avoid. While it can be hard to seal off your home completely from the many different species of ants, knowing why they are entering your home can be a good starting point to keep ant invasions to a minimum. Below, the experts at EnviroCon discuss 5 reasons why you’re having ant problems in your home and the best ways to prevent it!
1. You’re Leaving Out Food
- Why it’s bad: Just like any other living species, ants need food and water to survive. They are often looking for easy food sources, which is why infestations are extremely common in kitchens and places where leftover food resides. This is one of the main causes of ant infestations, but luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to remedy!
- What you can do: To avoid ant infestations, regularly clean up kitchen spills, store food in airtight containers, and keep fruits in the fridge when possible. You can also place bay leaves — which have a smell that is repelling to most ants — in dry goods containers to keep these hungry pests from seeking out food in your pantry.
2. You Have Greasy Surfaces
- Why it’s bad: Another less obvious food source in your kitchen that you may not realize is left-behind grease or food-residue. Often hiding on your stove top or on the sides of food storage containers, these subtle leftover food particles are easily attracting ants.
- What you can do: Be sure to wipe off honey bottles, syrup containers, jam jars, and anything else that could leave a sticky residue. Make sure to also regularly wipe down your stove top after cooking, especially when making foods that easily splatter, like bacon and sauces. This will help eliminate another possible food source that could be drawing ants into your home!
3. You Have Sticky Garbage
- Why it’s bad: It’s easy to forget to rinse out your garbage bins regularly, and even soda bottles or canned food jars before tossing them in the garbage. Unfortunately, ants have no problem dumpster diving to get to your leftover food scraps — and they are especially drawn to things that contain sugar!
- What you can do: Try to remember to regularly clean out your garbage bins, particularly the ones in your kitchen. Be sure to also rinse out food storage waste before you toss it in the trash. Even Ziploc baggies used to hold snacks in your child’s lunchbox are better sealed up before you throw them away to keep your trash from becoming an ant’s buffet.
Your Pipes and Faucets are Leaking
- Why it’s bad: In addition to food, some species of ants also need a reliable water source to survive, so it’s important to make sure water and moisture aren’t lingering in common moist areas of your home — particularly your kitchen and bathrooms.
- What you can do: Inspect your toilets and sinks for leaks, make sure windows are well-sealed and closed during wet weather, and seek out other sources of moisture in your home to make sure that pharaoh ants and other water-loving species aren’t mooching off of your water bill.
You Have Decaying Wood Around Your Home
- Why it’s bad: Leaky pipes or a good rainstorm can moisten the wood in and around your home just enough to make it the perfect hideout for a colony of carpenter ants, a species that make their nests in moist or decaying wood.
- What you can do: Replace rotting wood in your home’s structure, and clear out tree stumps and fallen branches from your yard. This can not only help eliminate possible nesting grounds for carpenter ants but for termites as well. It’s also a good idea to store fire food at least 20 feet away from your home!
If Ants Persist, Let the Pros Help!
Pest-proofing your home can be a good starting point to get an infestation under control, but if ants persist you may need to call in the professionals! If you need some help ridding your home of ants for good, EnviroCon can help. We offer fast and effective pest control services to the Houston area that can get ant infestations under control for good.
Where Do Ants Hide?
If you’ve ever found ants crawling across the kitchen counter or noticed a trail of little black ants on the bathroom floor, you’re probably not alone. Ants often enter homes during the warmer months in search of water and food, making them the #1 nuisance pest in America. With the summer season upon us, now is the perfect time to learn about the most common ant-infested areas in a home and how to prevent an unwanted infestation.
A recent survey of pest professionals across the country, conducted by the National Pest Management Association, found kitchens (96%) and bathrooms (89%) to be particularly vulnerable to ants.
It’s probably not a surprise the kitchen is considered a favorite ant hangout. In addition to food access, the sink provides a water source that ants need to survive. If you’re lax about immediately cleaning up crumbs and spills, you may be inviting ants in. Here are a few tips to keep ants out of the kitchen:
- Store sweet staples like sugar, syrup and honey in plastic containers that snap shut, and wipe them down to remove any sticky residue. You can also place a bay leaf inside canisters of dry goods like flour to keep the ants out. The herb’s pungent scent repels ants and other common pantry pests.
- Clean up grease spills from countertops and floors as soon as they happen.
- Any empty juice or soda containers should be rinsed out before recycling or throwing away. And, make sure to take the trash out regularly.
- Check the fruit bowl – any over ripe fruit will attract ants.
- Keep an eye out for water buildup in the sink and leaks around the faucet.
- If you have pets, be sure to pick up any leftover food and wash the bowls regularly.
Areas around the house with excess moisture are known to attract ants, so bathrooms are highly susceptible to an infestation. Carpenter ants, for example, often build nests in damp areas like behind bathroom tiles or under sinks. To prevent an infestation in the bathroom, homeowners should:
- Occasionally, inspect sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks or drips.
- Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors with disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down the inside of drawers with warm soapy water.
- Check to ensure shampoo, lotion and soap bottles are secured and no contents have spilled out of their containers.
Other Common Hideouts
Ants can easily find a way indoors through even the tiniest cracks, so other areas of the home are also common hideouts. The NPMA survey revealed ants are also found in the following areas:
- Inside walls (73%)
- Bedrooms (61%)
- Living rooms (60%)
- Basements (54%)
- Air conditioning and heating units (37%)
To keep ants from finding a way inside, homeowners should pest-proof around the outside of the home. Experts recommend sealing any cracks with silicone caulk, repairing holes in window and door screens, replacing weather-stripping, fixing loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows, and keeping tree branches trimmed back and away from the house.
Ants are considered one of the most difficult pests to control, along with bed bugs, because colonies often contain upwards of thousands of members. If you notice ants inside the home, it’s important to contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem. For more information, watch this video on areas in the home that ants typically infest.
NPMA’s Spring/Summer Bug Barometer®
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Check out NPMA’s TickTalk.org for information about this pest, including the various species and health threats they pose.
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