How To Prevent Ants from Infesting Your Home
Ants may not do much damage to your home when they enter, but they can be a nuisance when an infestation occurs. But let’s face it, preventing ants from entering your home is pretty much impossible. No matter how many ways you try to ant-proof your home, there will always be a way for ants to find their way in and infest your home. However, there are preventative steps you can take to greatly reduce the probability of ants entering your home, and you don’t need to break the bank on home repairs to do so.
The key to preventing ants from entering your home is to know what draws them inside in the first place. Once you treat the causes of why ants enter, they will be less inclined to do so. Another key aspect of preventing an ant infestation is to treat the problem areas where they may enter your home. Although you cannot treat every crack and hole in your home, there are key problem areas that you can address to reduce the probability that ants will find a way into your home. Following are some key tips on how to prevent ants from entering your home before an infestation occurs.
Treat Entry Ways
A great way to keep ants out of your home is to seal the problems areas where they typically enter. In order to locate these entry points, follow the ants traveling to and from your home. They will give you a clear line of where they are entering into your home and help you spot the problem area. Once located, seal these cracks and holes to make it harder for them to enter.
Store and Cover Food
The primary reason an ant will enter your home is in search of food. The more food you have out, the more likely ants will be Trapsdrawn inside. Even if you treat every possible entry way that you think an ant may enter through, if there is a viable food source inside, they will find a way in. Make sure you store and cover all food in your home when it is not being used. After you cook a meal, thoroughly clean the cooking area where food might have spilled over. Also be sure to remove your trash on a regular basis if you throw away your food in it.
Place Bait Traps
Bait traps are a great way to handle a few roaming ants before an infestation occurs. Place these traps in areas where ants frequent your home. These areas include in your kitchen, bathroom, dining room, and near entry points of your home. Try and avoid traps that use chemicals as they can affect your family and pets. Instead, try eco-friendly versions of bait traps to keep ants out.
Keep Your Home Clean
Ants are great at sneaking through the debris in your home to go undetected to the food source. By sweeping and mopping areas of your home where food is often present, you can help reveal the sneaky ants and be better prepared to deal with them. Finding a few ants and disposing of the promptly is much easier than dealing with an ant infestation in your home. Also, since ants lead their colony to food sources by leaving a small trail of pheromones to follow, your mopping and sweeping will help erase this trail and make it harder for the ants to find their way.
Protect Pet Food
Even if you have successfully stored and covered every piece of food in your home, if you have a pet, there is still a reason for an ant to enter your home. Pet food is usually targeted by ants because it is often over spilled and easy to access. Make sure to clean spilled pet food on a regular basis to detract ants from finding it. Another great way to keeps ants away from pet food is to put a moat around the food dish. There are specially designed food bowls on the market that create a small moat of water around the food; however, you can also make one yourself. Use a pie tin and fill it with a little water. Then place the pet’s food dish in the pie tin to create a barrier between ants and your pet’s food.
Erase Their Trails
A colony of ants locates food sources by sending out rogue ants to search the areas around their nest. If you spot a lone ant crawling through your house, it is probably on a mission to find food source and notify its colony. Once a food source is found by the ant, it goes back to its nest leaving behind a trail of pheromones. The rest of the colony then follows this trail back to the food source. In order to keep ants out of your home, you must erase these trails. If you see a lone ant walking, spray and wipe away its trail with environmentally friendly cleaner. This will reduce the probability that more ants will come into your home in search of the found food source.
Although keeping all ants from your home is a nearly impossible task, using these prevention techniques can greatly reduce the probability of an infestation. Key things to remember are storing all food, treating problem areas of entry, and wiping down the trail of a lone ant crawling through your home. If you notice an infestation has occurred in your home and no treatments seem to deal with the problem, contact a professional pest management company for a safe and effective removal of the ants.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.