Do you know that most ants don't live inside your home? They visit your home a few ants at a time. And a few ants aren't much of a problem because ants are tiny. You're probably not concerned about them until one of those tiny little ants finds a food source and rallies the troops. This can bring hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of ants into your New Castle home. The secret to keeping them out is understanding why and how they come in. Here's what you should know.
How An Ant Infestation Works
When an ant finds a food source, it will take a piece of it and carry it back to its nest. As it travels, it will release a pheromone scent. This scent let's other worker ants know that there is food to collect. As each worker ant finds the source, takes a piece, and carries it back, it will leave more of a scent. The stronger the scent, the more attractive the trail will become. Within a short time, there will be a line going from the food source all the way back to the ant nest. This nest is most likely to be on the outside of your home. But a nest could be inside, depending on the species of ant. Some ants may create nests in the voids of a home, and carpenter ants create nests inside the wood of a home, which is very destructive.
How To Prevent An Infestation
Now that you know why an ant infestation happens, the following prevention tips will make sense. The secret is to make sure the worker ants that explore your home don't find what they're looking for.
- Clean spills up as soon as they happen.
- Keep surfaces clean of crumbs and other food debris.
- Consider eating food only in the kitchen.
- If you eat food while watching television, be sure to clean your furniture as well as your carpets or hardwood floors.
- Put pet food down only during mealtimes.
- Fix leaky faucets or weeping pipes. (Ants need to drink, too.)
Make It Harder For Ants To Get In
Along with good sanitation, it is important to seal entry points that ants use to get into your home. While it is impossible to seal your exterior enough to keep 100% of the ants out, fewer entry points will result in fewer scout ants exploring your home.
- Closely inspect your window and door frames, and use a caulking gun to seal gaps, cracks or holes.
- Examine your foundation walls and seal any cracks.
- If you have pipes that pass through a foundation wall, make sure there is no gap around those pipes.
- Install door sweeps that are missing or fix door sweeps that are damaged
- Make sure your weatherstripping makes a complete seal around your exterior doors.
What Doesn't Work To Stop Ants
If ants mobilize and enter your home in large numbers, you may be tempted to spray them. Not only can this be toxic, but it can make your problem worse. Some ant species have multiple queens. If a queen senses that there is a threat to her colony, the colony can split into two or more colonies. This can multiply your ant problems.
The Best Way To Prevent Ant Infestations
Indoor ant control and outdoor ant control go hand in hand. If you have lots of ant mounds in your yard or near your foundation walls, you'll have a higher risk of an infestation inside your home. More ants outside always results in more ants getting inside. The best way to control ants around your home (and also inside your home) is to reach out to Green Pest Management. Request a free, no-obligation pest control inspection and we'll have one of our licensed service team members take a look at your ant problem. Reach out to us today for prompt assistance.