During the spring as the weather gets warmer, ants begin looking for a new home to grow their colony. Unfortunately, this is what makes our homes the perfect target. Due to being tiny scavengers, they are able to get into any and all creaks and crevices easily access your home at any time. Often times when entering your home, ants are looking for a source of food. If they find food in your home they will lead a trail so other ants can continue going back to get more food. This can cause an ant infestation which can be difficult to deal with on your own.
Common Types of Ants found in Homes
- Carpenter Ant – These ants can be very destructive as they destroy structures of homes and businesses which can be very costly to repair. They are about ¼ to ½ inch in size, are black with hints of red, and enjoying nesting in wooded areas. These ants usually gain access to your home through foundation walls, along cable wires, fallen tree branches, and firewood bundles used in the home.
- Pharaoh Ant – Similar to Citronella Ants, Pharaoh Ants are a yellow color. Citronella Ants, on the other hand, are comparatively smaller than Pharaoh Ants. Pharaoh Ants can be just as harmful by nesting in walls, cabinets, areas of insulation, storage, bed sheets, or other enclosed dark areas.
Tracking Ant Nests
In order to take control of your ant infestation you are first going to track if they have invaded the inside, outside, or both areas of your home. After tracking them down, look for areas where you see large numbers of ants and find out where they are coming from. If outside, these ants may also seem camouflaged but can usually be found in dirt or other normal nesting areas.
Signs of Ant Infestation
- Live Ants – If large numbers of live ants are spotted inside your home, then you may well have a problem. If you find them in your kitchen or in areas where you prepare food, then you will need to follow the directions below to rid of the ants and prevent them from coming back.
- Wood Shavings – If you notice random wood shavings near your attic or areas similar to, this could be a sign that carpenter ants are around. Carpenter ants create nests by burrowing into wood, and an infestation can also be detected by faint rustling noises inside walls.
- Swarmers – By seeing swarmers in your house, this is another clue that ants are nearby. One primary reason why ants swarm is to collect food for the colony. Beware, if you find an indoor ant swarm it is a sign of an established indoor colony as ants rarely move indoors from outside colonies without having an indoor colony.
Getting Rid of Ants
Maintaining tidiness in your home can make a big impact when preventing ants from invading. Be sure to clean any spills and store all food properly, wipe off countertops, and wash dishes consistently. Practicing good sanitation is one of the best ways to make your home less attractive to ants.
- Natural Ant Bait – Mix one cup warm water with ½ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons borax. Soak it up with cotton balls and place them in shallow dishes near the place where you suspect ants are entering your home.
- Vinegar Spray – Spray vinegar near baseboards, in cracks and on countertops where they may be traveling. Allow the vinegar to dry or you can wipe with a clean cloth after you spray. This will eliminate the ant’s chemical trail and deter the stragglers.
- Draw the line – Draw a line around entry points to your home using chalk. Chalk is made up of calcium carbonate which is made up of ground-up and compressed shells from marine animals which is a natural ant repellant.
Other Ways To Prevent Ants
- Seal cracks in walls and ensure they are closed off
- Make sure weather stripping and other screens are in good shape
- Check pipes, outlets, and other HVAC units
- Properly store all food in containers or other areas out of sight
- Be sure the attic and basements are clean and clutterless
If you are still experiencing an ant problem, you may need to contact a local pest control company. Pest management professions. They will be able to identify the ant species, determine likely points of entry and determine an effective course of treatment.
Call us at 925-240-5100 to schedule your pest control consult today.