Ants are a very common (and very unwanted) household pest. With about 1,000 species of ants in the United States, most homeowners will run into an ant problem in or around their home.
For the best ways to prevent and treat ant infestations, keep reading! We have all the tips and tricks you’ll need to keep pests out.
What Attracts Ants?
One of the reasons ants are everywhere is that they can eat virtually anything and live almost anywhere. If you want to get rid of ants, it’s important to figure out what’s attracting them to your home in the first place.
Three common attractions for ants are:
Food. This may be obvious, but ants will eat anything you do. While they’ll consume any leftover food scraps or crumbs, they’re especially attracted to sweets. Sticky sweet residue left behind like honey, jelly or candy are all sources of nutrients for ants. Once an ant finds the source of sweetness, they’ll leave behind a scent trail to attract the rest of the colony.
Moisture. Just like us, ants need food and water to survive. However, unlike most creatures, ants don’t drink water on an “as needed” basis. They take water back to the colony to store it for future consumption. When they find a sustainable water source, they’ll leave a scent trail to alert the rest of the colony. As such, broken pipes, potted plants, accumulated condensation in bathrooms, and water bowls for pets can all attract nearby ants.
Shelter. While ants are small enough to find shelter virtually anywhere, they like to build a colony inside a warm, cozy space if they can. If ants can find an access point to your home (a crack in the foundation or broken window seals, for example), they will make themselves permanent residents.
How To Keep Ants Out of Your Home
The best way to deal with an ant infestation is to prevent it in the first place. These simple tips will help dissuade ants from entering your home:
- Clean up all food messes promptly.
- Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator and other foods (like sugar, crackers, and other non-perishables) in airtight containers.
- Check under sinks and other appliances for leaks and fix them immediately.
- Clean pet bowls often and wipe up any spilled food or water promptly.
- Inspect indoor potted plants for insect activity often.
- Keep brush, shrubs, mulch, and other organic materials at least three feet away from your home’s foundation.
- Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris. This eliminates standing water that may attract ants.
- Clean the inside of your toaster or toaster oven, and wipe and empty the crumb tray after each use.
- Use can liners in your indoor trash cans. Keep the lids tightly closed and clean both the inside and outside of the can with bleach regularly.
- Rake mulch and landscaping materials back to at least 6” from your home’s foundation.
- Store outdoor trash bins at least 10 feet from the house and wash them monthly with an ammonia solution.
The Best Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Home
If you’re looking for conventional ways to get rid of ants, these five are the most common chemical ant repellents.
Ant baits are small, covered pods that you place in areas the ants have been trafficking. The pods contain concealed poison, which the ants access and carry back to their colony. When ants in the colony consume the poison, it kills the community.
Ant traps work similarly to baits, except they trap ants and do not allow them to leave. These traps may also contain poison, which kills ants rapidly.
Ant spray is available for both indoor and outdoor use. It kills ants on contact and can get rid of an ant problem quickly.
For Ant Problems Outside the Home
Barrier sprays. Outdoor barrier sprays can be applied along the foundation of your home. These sprays kill ants on contact and provide long-acting ant prevention. You can purchase them at your local home and garden store or hire a pest management company to provide professional-grade sprays.
* Important Note * Barrier ant sprays are toxic, not safe for kids, pets, or other animals, and may kill beneficial insects.
Ant granules work like deconstructed bait stations. The granules are placed around your home’s exteriors, where ants consume them and die on contact.
* Important Note * Ant granules are toxic, dangerous for kids and pets.
Professional Treatments for Pest Control
- Thorough inspection of the garage and exterior perimeter around your home.
- Inspection of the interior of your home including the kitchen and bathroom areas.
- Application of a granule around the foundation of your home as well as a liquid treatment around doors, windows and eaves to minimize/prevent pests from entering.
- Application of baits, if needed, in concealed areas of your home.
- Crack and Crevice treatment using an odorless insecticide. Application of dust to available wall voids as needed.
- Both interior and exterior are treated on each visit.
- Removal of cobwebs that are accessible and within reach.
- Comprehensive Report provided after each service indicating what was found, what was done and preventative tips.
It is always best to contact a professional pest control company near you when you have noticed an infestation of any kind in your home or around your property. While DIY methods can work sometimes, some can be tricky to apply yourself, and many chemical treatments (while effective) can be dangerous or toxic to you and your family.
With Brock Pest Control’s revolutionary “Inside & Out” Program, your property will never be better protected from crawling pests or rodents, all with fewer visits and less materials! Using innovative baiting techniques and Crack & Crevice injection systems with non-repellent insecticides, which are undetectable to pests, we take pest control to a new level of environmental friendliness, effectiveness, and convenience to target the resident’s specific needs. Brock Lawn and Pest Control will provide the protection your home needs and the peace of mind in knowing that insects will not infest your living area.
Take your home and lawn back with Brock Lawn & Pest Control! As a locally owned and operated lawn and pest control company, we proudly serve Florida’s Gulf Coast and northern counties with offices in Panama City, Fort Walton and Panama City Beach.
Have a pest emergency? We provide same day services! Contact our team today.