Everyone loves a parade. But no one wants a parade of pesky ants marching into their house. It’s the time of year when armies of these tiny creatures show up in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. Get ahead of the parade. Find out how to prevent ants from marching into your home.
Who Invited Them Anyway?
As the weather warms, ants enter homes in search of food, water, and a place to nest. Unfortunately, one or two ants are not usually alone, or at least not for long. Ants are social creatures that travel in large numbers. Scouts arrive ahead of the colony to see if it’s a worthwhile location, then leave a scented trail for the colony to follow.
Although some species bite, and others, like carpenter ants, can cause structural damage, the majority of ant species are benign. Hundreds of harmless ants parading through your kitchen, however, is a huge nuisance, especially when they get into your food and contaminate it.
Tips to Prevent Ants
It’s a lot easier to prevent ants from entering your home than to get rid of them once they are inside. Follow these tips to keep these miniscule pests from becoming unwanted guests.
Seal off any points of entry. Ants are so tiny that they fit through the smallest cracks and crevices. Use caulk to seal up cracks around windows or in walls, and check weatherstripping on doors and windows. Repair holes or tears in window screens. As a bonus benefit, you’ll keep other pests out as well, plus conserve energy.
Eliminate their food and water sources. Clean up crumbs and put away leftovers in tightly sealed containers. Ants are not only attracted to sugary foods, but also go for greasy foods and proteins. They aren’t picky, so don’t leave anything out on the counters. Even the pet food isn’t safe! Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, and keep garbage bins securely covered. Also, fix any leaky pipes to remove water sources.
Build barriers. Use natural materials like talc powder and chalk to line doorways and window sills. These materials prevent ants from crossing. Other natural deterrents include peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. If there’s a particular point of entry previously used, make a barrier with tape. Face the sticky side up to stop ants in their tracks.
Keep it clean, inside and out. A clean and clutter-free home is less likely to attract any pests. Scrub counters and other surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and water. Not only does vinegar remove traces of ant scent trails, but ants dislike its smell. Outside, keep branches and shrubs from touching the exterior of your home. Garbage and recycling bins should be tightly lidded.
Despite the best proactive efforts to prevent ants, some homes won’t be able to avoid an invasion by these persistent pests. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] if you encounter any pest problems or wish to prevent them.