There are two primary reasons ant infestations start. The first is relatively simple. If ants can get into your home, you can have an infestation. The second is a little less straightforward. It has to do with attractants both inside and outside of your home. If you're attracting ants to the exterior of your home, there is a higher probability that they'll get inside.
If they get inside and find attractants, they'll tell other ants in their colony and you'll soon have a massive number of ants appearing in your home. Worse than this, an interior attractant can lead ants to create an interior nest. That's bad news for sure. Let's take a closer look at how these two principles function.
Ants crawl around on rocks and climb into the cracks of rocks, so it only makes sense that they could climb into a crack in your foundation wall. Ants climb on tree bark and get into the cracks of trees, so it only makes sense that they would climb on your siding and look for gaps in the wood of your home. If you want fewer problems with ants, you need to consider these access points.
- Use a foundation repair kit to seal foundation cracks.
- Fill in gaps around pipes and other foundation penetrations. Expanding foam or caulking can get this job done.
- Replace rotting wood or fill in gaps. A caulking gun can help with temporary fixes.
- Apply a seal around your exterior door and window frames.
- Replace old door sweeps or weatherstripping on exterior doors.
It is a lot of work to seal entry points and make repairs. Fortunately, this isn't the only way to stop ants from getting into your home. If you invest in year-round pest control in the Sacramento Region, you'll get routine treatments to repel and knockdown ants before they get inside. This can give you some protection if you don't have time to seal entry points. It can bolster your defenses if you have taken the time to seal your exterior and if ant pressures are high enough to allow ants to still get in once in a while.
Let's talk about ant pressures. If ants like living in your yard or living near your home, it is going to increase your chances of having ants get inside. The constant pressure of ants coming near your home and exploring your exterior will inevitably lead to unwanted entry. For this reason, it is important to take steps to reduce these attractants. Here are a few helpful ant control tips from our experts to help you keep ants out:
- Make sure your garbage is bagged and placed in covered trash receptacles. Remove your trash from your property weekly to avoid having organic matter rot and stink. If trash sits too long, your receptacles can acquire an odor. Disinfect them when this happens.
- If you have trees in your yard that produce nuts, and raking those nuts up is part of your yard clean-up, be sure not to put bags of nuts near your home. Ants are drawn to these.
- Ants love an exterior that has lots of leaf piles and leaf litter. Blow leaves away from your home and blow them out from underneath exterior structures.
- Many ants are drawn to honeydew. This substance is produced by aphids and other plant-damaging insects. The best way to resist aphids is to maintain healthy plants and to wash aphids away as soon as you detect them. This, in turn, will reduce ant activity in your landscape vegetation.
- Address any conditions that create standing water. Clogged gutters are a good example of this.
You can have a big impact on ant populations around your home by removing food and water resources. This may be all you need to do. But it takes effort, and sometimes conditions are too difficult to correct. If ant colonies need to be targeted and eliminated, it is best to contact a licensed pest professional. The ant species need to be properly identified in order to select the correct products for treatment, and the products must be applied correctly to prevent bait aversion, budding, and other unwanted results.
When ants get into your home and find food or water resources, some species will decide to stay. But, even if they don't, they can continue to invade your home from an exterior nest. Either way, it is best to not let ants find these resources.
- Keep your home, and especially your kitchen and pantry, clean of organic debris.
- Maintain a clean kitchen trash receptacle.
- Put pet food down only during mealtimes.
- Put dirty dishes in soapy water to avoid putting out a buffet for ants.
- Address leaky faucets and other plumbing issues.
Keep in mind that if you have a professional ant control plan in place, you won't have to worry as much about whether or not your home is clean enough to prevent ant infestations.
If you live in the Sacramento Region, contact HomeShield Pest Control today to discuss your options. We're here to help you with all of your pest control needs.