Living with an ant colony nearby?
That may not sound like a big deal until you realize ant colonies can contain thousands of ants. And they’re all looking for food.
Sometimes, that food is your food.
If you’ve seen ants in or around your house, read this ant pest control guide and find out how to keep those ants out of your house.
How Do Ants Get Inside My House?
You may think the ants in your house are coming through your doors or windows, but that may not be true.
Ants can fit through minuscule cracks in the walls as well. These cracks can usually be found along the window frames or door frames, but it allows ants to come and go from your house even if the windows are closed.
Most ants will come inside during the warm months, but if your house is heated during the winter, they could become an all-year problem.
What If I Only See One Ant?
Seeing one ant doesn’t mean you don’t have an ant problem, it just means you don’t have an ant problem yet.
A single ant crawling over your kitchen counter is probably a scout. If the ant finds food, even if its just tiny crumbs, they’ll leave a scent trail that attracts the rest of the ant colony.
That is why you usually see ants in trails or groups.
If you see any ants in your house, even if it’s only one, you should wash down the area they’ve been with an equal-part mixture of water and vinegar. This will get rid of the scent trail so other ants can’t follow it inside.
What to Do About Ants
This all depends on the kids of ants you have, how many you have, and where you have them.
In the worst cases, you may need professional ant pest control services to clear out your property. If you only have a mild ant problem, you can probably stop the ants on your own.
But the first step to any ant problem is prevention.
To keep ants from coming inside, you have to make it so they won’t want to. Here are a few easy ant prevention ideas.
1. Keep Your Kitchen and Pantries Clean
Cleaning your kitchen after every meal is a quick job you probably already do anyway. Make sure you wipe crumbs off the counter and clean up sticky spills, like honey, juice, or grease spills.
Keep all the food in your pantry sealed. If there are any crumbs on the shelves, brush them into the trash. If you don’t leave any food for ants to find, they won’t want to search for any.
2. Recaulk the Window and Door Frames
This is a good way to seal any cracks around the windows and doors you don’t notice.
This is especially a good idea if you live in an older house. Caulk is inexpensive and simple to use, and you can easily store it in a drawer and keep it around in case you notice any other cracks.
Ant Pest Control Methods
If you already have ants in your house, your focus should shift to ant pest control. There are multiple ways you can combat the ants in your house, some of which work better for fewer ants and some that work better for large groups.
Again, if you have over one hundred ants in your house, you should call an exterminator right away. You may want to call an exterminator before that if you have young children or babies living in the house.
For small ant problems, there are several things you can do on your own to clear your house of ants.
3. Flour, Cinnamon, and Citrus
Ants dislike flour and cinnamon, and they won’t walk through them. If you’ve seen ants crawling over your counters, sprinkling flour or cinnamon over the surface should keep them away.
You can also put flour and cinnamon on your pantry shelves. This method could get messy, and it may not be ideal for people with pets and children.
But it will keep the ants away from your food.
Ants don’t like citrus either. Cup some lemons in half and leave them around your doors, windows, and pantry. It should stop the ants from entering the house, and it will make your house smell good too.
If they can’t get to your food, they should lose interest after a while.
4. Set Ant Baits
Ant baits are full of sugary bait that, once eaten, kills ants. The ants can also track the bait back into the colony, which will kill larva and help control the ant population.
Because the bait is sugary and sweet, the ants are attracted to it.
All you have to do is put the baits anywhere you see a lot of ants. The ants will eat the bait instead of your food and start to die off.
There are several different kinds of ant baits, so if you aren’t seeing the effect you want from the kind you are using, try a different brand.
5. Create a Food Source Outside
It isn’t bad to have ants outside, so long as you can keep them there. One way to do it is to stop spraying your yard for aphids.
Aphids are small insects that create honeydew, something ants are attracted to and love to eat. So long as ants have something to eat outside, they shouldn’t bother trying to find other food sources.
Know When to Call for Help
Remember, the most effective way to deal with ants is to call in professional ant pest control help. Ants are covered in bacteria, and they can be a health hazard. It’s not worth risking the safety of your family or the quality of your food.
If there is a large number of ants in your house, don’t try to deal with them on your own.
Need help getting ants out of your house?
Give us a call and we’ll get your house back how it should be.