Ants often enter your home because they are looking for food or seeking shelter from the storm. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink, food deposits on counter tops, crumbs on the floor, and common household trash provide food sources for ants (and other insects as well). What starts with a few scavengers entering a home can become a major problem if ants establish colonies in walls, lawns, or under home foundations.
Here are a few ant prevention tips to get you started:
Your first step to battling an ant invasion is to identify the species that’s giving you trouble. Different species have different habits and needs. As a result, they may require specific methods to control and treat them. If you’re not sure which species is plaguing you, review our handy dandy Ants of Fredericksburg identification guide.
Because ants are so small, they’ve become experts at locating the smallest cracks and crevices in walls, windows and foundations in their quest for food. Seal any potential points of entry you can find using caulk and other appropriate materials. Keep in mind that this is a prevention tip. Just because you don’t see the ants entering the home doesn’t mean they aren’t or haven’t already.
After sealing the entry points, you should clean around them as well. Ants leave an invisible trail containing pheromones so other ants can follow it to the food source they’ve discovered. Scrub around ant entrances with soap and water to wash away these trails.
Sugar, grease and leftover food residue are a big reason why ants enter your home. Keep kitchens clean, floors swept, and spills wiped. Also, take out trash regularly to prevent the smell from drawing ants in as the garbage breaks down.
Ants need moisture to survive, so you’ll want to minimize their access to it. Fix any leaks you may have around pipes and other water areas. Also, check your gutters and spouts to make sure they’re draining away from the house.
Inside the home, inspect along the carpet edges, doors, windows, and all areas of the kitchen. The easiest way to find a trail to the nest is to watch where ants go after reaching the food source.
The Last Word ...
Ants are a social insect that live in colonies. The most successful treatment plans include killing the entire colony. Just spraying an ant with an over the counter ant spray will only kill a few ants at best; potentially scattering the colony as a result. Do-It-Yourself ant control solutions and home remedies may give the impression they are working (especially in the short term), but they are often ineffective.
Sigma Pest Control Can Help!
Sigma Pest Control staff are trained to help manage ants and similar pests. Keeping ants out of homes and buildings is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. That’s why we recommend Sigma’s Quarterly Pest Control Service (QPCS) as the best solution for ant prevention and infestation.
Call (540) 94-SIGMA for a free inspection.