May292015

"Why Do These Ants Keep Coming Back?"

If you've used over the counter baits and sprays, and kept your kitchen clean, but you still find that those ants just keep coming back. Then it's probably never crossed your mind that you need to treat outside as well. For every outside colony you take care of by baiting them on the inside, there will be numerous other colonies to take their place at some point, whether it is within days, weeks or even months later. There are some ant species that will be living in your walls that need a specialty bait to get rid of them and spraying for them actually causes the colony to bud into several new colonies making the problem worse.

Here are a few tips to keep ants out of your home.

Kitchen:

  • Store sweet staples like sugar, syrup and honey in plastic containers that snap shut, and wipe them down to remove any sticky residue. You can also place a bay leaf inside canisters of dry goods like flour to keep the ants out. The herb’s pungent scent repels ants and other common pantry pests.

  • Clean up grease spills from countertops and floors as soon as they happen.

  • Any empty juice or soda containers should be rinsed out before recycling or throwing away. And, make sure to take the trash out regularly.

  • Check the fruit bowl – any over ripe fruit will attract ants.

  • Keep an eye out for water buildup in the sink and leaks around the faucet.

  • If you have pets, be sure to pick up any leftover food and wash the bowls regularly.

Bathroom:

Areas around the house with excess moisture are known to attract ants, so bathrooms are highly susceptible to an infestation. Carpenter ants, for example, often build nests in damp areas like behind bathroom tiles or under sinks. To prevent an infestation in the bathroom, homeowners should:

  • Occasionally, inspect sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks or drips.

  • Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors with disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down the inside of drawers with warm soapy water.

  • Check to ensure shampoo, lotion and soap bottles are secured and no contents have spilled out of their containers.

Other Common Hideouts:

Ants can easily find a way indoors through even the tiniest cracks, so other areas of the home are also common hideouts:

  • Inside walls

  • Bedrooms

  • Living rooms

  • Basements

  • Air conditioning and heating units

To keep ants from finding a way inside, homeowners should pest-proof around the outside of the home. Experts recommend sealing any cracks with silicone caulk, repairing holes in window and door screens, replacing weather-stripping, fixing loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows, and keeping tree branches trimmed back and away from the house.

The most effective way to get your ant problem under control is to identify the ant species and know it's feeding and nesting habits.

Ants are attracted to food. It doesn't matter if it's from a spill on the counter, the floor, or even the garbage can. They are going to find a way into your home.

Most often the battle can only be won by contacting your local pest control company. Usually after the first treatment you'll notice a major decrease in the indoor ant population and find that the ongoing program that you signed up for is also taking care of other annoying household pests that were invading your home.