Have you noticed a few ants wandering around your bathroom floor? Although you probably don’t have an ant infestation yet, these lone ants may lead to a more serious ant problem. Ants that wander places alone are scout ants that are looking for a new home for their colony. Once these few ants find a safe harbor in your home, the entire ant colony will soon follow.
Fortunately, the more you can learn about what is attracting ants to your home, the more you can prevent an ant infestation.
Here are a few things that may be attracting ants to your home.
If you have excess moisture around your home, you may be attracting ants. Bathrooms are a common area for ants to nest because of the readily accessible water. For instance, carpenter ants tend to build nests under bathroom sinks or tiles; these areas usually hold more moisture than others. If you notice ants in your bathroom, look near sinks, toilets, and tubs for dripping or leaking water.
In addition, you should thoroughly clean your bathroom to remove any pools of water. Scrub floors and inside drawers with a disinfectant cleaner.
Along with the bathroom, the kitchen sink may also provide ants with needed water. Try to keep the area around the kitchen sink free of standing water.
Ants may also choose to nest in your home if you have a lot of accessible food. In fact, homeowners who don’t clean food spills or messes will likely attract ants. If you want to deter ants from your home, clean your kitchen regularly and thoroughly. Make sure to clean areas that have sugar and grease residue. Ants are particularly attracted to the scent of sugar and grease.
Be proactive and diligent by quickly cleaning any spills. Take care of spills after preparing meals, and use soap or vinegar with water to clean away food. If you only clean with water, you may not entirely eliminate the food scents that attract ants. Also, keep your countertops clear of crumbs, as these substances could also attract ants.
A part of cleaning your kitchen should include securely storing food. Ants will likely smell food unless it’s stored in a container or in the refrigerator. In particular, use tightly sealed plastic containers to store sweet foods, such as syrup, sugar, and honey. If you get any sticky residue on the outsides of these containers, wipe away the residue immediately.
You may also want to keep ants out of dry-good containers, like flour, by putting a bay leaf in the containers.
Another common food source for ants is the garbage can. Never leave food in the garbage can for longer than a day. When food sits out for days, it will often emit a strong odor. Instead, try to take the garbage to an outside trash can each day.
Also, keep your outside trash cans away from the entrances of your home. Place any perishable food in a bag before throwing the items in the garbage can.
One of the best ways to prevent an ant infestation is to stop ants from initially entering your home through small cracks or holes in the walls. After you have eliminated food and water sources for ants, make sure the ants can’t easily enter your home. Seal windows and doors with weather stripping to prevent ants from entering your home.
If ants do enter your home, they often use walls as a safe, secluded shelter for the colony. Seal cracks and holes in walls and floors to prevent ants from entering the walls of your home. Seal these openings with silicone caulk.
Along with preventative measures, you may need professional pest control services to avoid infestations. Some ant species are particularly hard to remove from homes, such as carpenter ants. In extreme cases, contact Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management to remove an ant infestation from your home.