In the Bay Area, ants can be a year-round problem. Some ants species build their nests outdoors, then find their way inside seeking food or water. Other ants will enter the interior of the building, either through holes, cracks or piping, and make their home on the interior of your home. Either type of ant can be an incredible annoyance and challenging to control. In general, ants you see are on a hunt for food or water. That means you can expect to find them near food sources, behind window frames, beneath the floor. Even more, ants enjoy the same foods and liquids we do – meaning, you can expect them to be anywhere people are living. That being said, there are prevention and control activities that can be implemented to keep ants outside of your home and living spaces.
Correctly Identify The Ants In Your Home
It is important to remember that not all ants are the same. There are more than 12,00 species of ants known to man and 700 of them have been found in the U.S. Some of the most common ants found in the Bay Area are listed below:
- Argentine ant – These are worker ants between 1.6-2.8mm and can squeeze through cracks and holes as small as 1mm
- 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, is 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.
Different ant species may have different behaviors, habits, and habitats. A pest management company will be helpful to identify the types of ants invading your home and help you determine the best steps to take to eliminate the problem.
Remove and Minimize Moisture
Remove and minimize sitting water because ants must have water to survive. Take the time to fix water leaks or leaky pipes around the foundation and roof of your home. Keeping your gutters clean and the downspout directed away from the house also will direct ants away, as well.
Move Debris Away From Your House
Keep ants away from your house by removing places where they like to hide and build nests. Mulch, landscape timber, and lush groundcover are all enticing to ants. Move them far away from your home and keep ground cover near your home sparse. Also, rock piles and extra boards are inviting to ants. They keep the ground moist underneath, which is very appealing. If you have rocks that are part of the landscaping, inspect them regularly to ensure a colony does not make their home there.
Implement Exclusion Techniques
Exclusion techniques are those that hinder ants from getting into your home. By simply sealing holes, cracks and gaps to the exterior in your home, you are making it more difficult for ants to find their way inside. Sealing locations where wires, conduit or pipes enter the house also will create a barrier to ants.
Another simple strategy for eliminating ants in, and around, your home is to ensure that food is always appropriately cleaned up and stored. Remove food particles in the kitchen, clean cabinets and sweep floors. The less there is to attract, and tempt, ants – the less likely you will find them invading your home.
Call Your Local Pest Management Company
Ants are common and with many preventative steps, you can reduce or eliminate them yourselves. However, when your ant problem becomes overwhelming or more than you can handle, reach out to the experts at Aantex. A locally owned company, they understand the best ways to handle pest infestation in our area. Call 925-240-5100 to schedule your free consultation today.
AANTEX Pest Control offers a variety of free inspections and services the entire Bay Area. 1-800-471-5555