We cannot tell you how many service calls we receive about ants. Warmer weather makes ants a number one pest concern people. By the time ants are visible to you, the ant invasion has already occurred.
In Northern California, the most common species of ants are the Argentine ants. Here are facts about them that you will need to know in order to rid of them
- Ants in general are attracted to moisture and food. Because they are excellent foragers, they will forage in large trails and leave pheromones for others to follow
- They prefer sweets but will feed on proteins during peak reproductive periods.
- Argentine ants often have 15 queens for every 1000 ants. This makes for very aggressive reproduction
- They are capable of forming supercolonies that can reach over 1 million in population
- Ants commonly nest close to water or food source. When they next outdoors, they are found under boards, beneath plants, or next to sidewalks.
- Generally, ants will begin to invade interiors when conditions outdoors are extreme such as too cold, wet, dry, or hot. After they invade indoors, they will begin to take shelter in areas that are close to moisture like water pipes, potted plants, and sinks.
- Ants will coexist with aphids as they will feed on the sugary “honeydew” the aphids secrete.
Here are Some Prevention Tips to Avoid Ant Infestation
The preventative actions listed below will not only help you prevent ants but will also help with commonly found pests. It’s always a good idea to declutter your home or office space to prevent pests.
- Wipe up food or drink spills immediately keeping shelves, countertops, and floors free of crumbs or leftover food.
- Keep kitchen sinks free of dirty dishes ensuring catch pans and drain strainers free of food and grease
- Ensure nightly that pet food and water is put away
- Trim back any tree limbs that may be touching your home.
- Ant baits will work best in controlling ants as it allows for the worker ants to bring the material back to the colony and feed the larvae. This method takes a little bit of time but if you’re looking for a DIY method to eradicate ants, this is a good method to eliminate the entire colony and not just the ants that you see on the surface
- Clean your indoor house plants. Excretion from aphids is called honeydew and is an ant attractor. This secretion leaves a white residue on leaves, so wiping the leaves often will eliminate this ant food source.
DIY Tips to Get Rid of Ants
Here are a few home remedies that may help you eliminate your ant problems without calling a professional.
- Chalk it! Chalk contains carbonate, which is useful in keeping ants away. Sprinkle crushed chalk around possible entryways.
- Try lemons. Ants are appalled by sour scents, so spraying lemon juice, lemon essential oils, or even lemon peel shavings can be a natural and safe way to repel ants.
- Spice it up. Ants despise spices like pepper, red cayenne, or ground chili. Sprinkle them around points of entry to prevent ants from entering your home.
- Clean with vinegar. Using vinegar is a standard chemical-free cleaning product, but we bet you didn’t know that it can be used as an ant repellent. In a spray bottle, add one part water and one part white vinegar. If ants are currently invading your home, use it as a spray to eliminate ants. The vinegar residue will prevent ants from returning.
- If all fails, give us a call. Our trained pest management technicians can assess your home and provide you with the best pest management strategies to ensure your home does not become a haven for ants.
AANTEX Pest Control offers a variety of free inspections and services to the entire Bay Area. 1-800-471-5555