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Have ants taken over a certain area of your home? This is a common problem that impacts houses across the nation. Ants are an insect that can become a real nuisance if not taken care of properly.
When you have an ant infestation, it's difficult to get rid of. The more information you have about ants, the more equipped you will be to handle them when they enter your home. Here are a few things you should know when you want to get of ants.
One of the best ways to easily eliminate an infestation from your home is with the help of a pro. Contact a pest control contractor today for quotes from pros in your area.
Getting Rid Of Ants In The House
Ants are a nuisance and the last thing you want to find lurking anywhere in your home. While some species can be dangerous to your home, such as carpenter ants that can make nests in weak wood, other times, they can be found in the kitchen possibly contaminating your food. “While there are a few species of ants that do live within the walls of our homes, most ants are ground dwelling and only forage for food and water in our homes,” Bill Hastings, branch manager of Rose Pest Control Solutions, said.
Most homeowners want to get rid of ants as soon as possible. Here are a few places to start:
- Eliminate any sources of food they can get to. It’s likely the reason they're in your home.
- Keep an eye out for signs of an infestation so you can contact a pro to help you before it gets worse.
- Prevention methods will help to eliminate future infestations.
- Use eco-friendly treatments and repellents when eliminating ants.
Why Are Ants In My House?
Like any pest, ants enter the home for two reasons: food and security. You’ll likely find ants in your home at certain times of the year, depending on your climate. In warmer climates, you can expect for ants to be active year-round. For climates that see all four seasons, you’ll want to keep an eye out during the late spring through early fall.
While many assume that ants come looking for food in the homes, it’s often not in the way you’d expect. “An interesting fact that most people don’t know is that ants do not have the mouthparts required to chew so they need to take all of their nutrition in liquid form,” Hastings said. “The process in which they feed is called Trophallaxis. Basically, it's the exchange of liquids from the larvae to the adults. The larvae are the only ones in the colony that have the mouthparts to chew solid food. This will be an important fact to remember when trying to get rid of a colony later.”
Signs Of Ants In House
Unlike termites, which can sometimes be easily confused with ants, you’ll likely see the infestation itself. However, carpenter ants are the ones to watch for, as they live in damaged wood and can cause further damage to the home.
“Most people think that carpenter ants eat wood and this is untrue,” Hastings said. “Homeowners will see piles of sawdust where carpenter ants are cleaning out their galleries during normal house cleaning and construction of new areas within their wooden home.”
How To Keep Ants Out Of Your House
The best way to get rid of ants is by preventing them from entering in the first place. It starts with cleaning up and specifically in the kitchen. Cleaning up dishes right away, sanitizing spills and sticky areas and storing your food in sealed containers can be extremely helpful in keeping ants out.
However you may try to deter them, ants cant still find a way inside your home. At the first sight of them, you’ll want to take action to prevent more from following. “Finding where the ants are entering the home is the first thing to do, while this can be very time consuming, it's an essential part of pest control,” Hastings said. “You have to follow the ants back to where they are coming from. Ants follow pheromone trails, which are literally ant highways…follow them back to the hole they are coming from and seal it up.”
Hastings also suggests chemical perimeter treatments for those who are looking for a very effective preventative measure. However, this is best left to a professional as the improper application can be hazardous to the environment and against the law.
How To Get Rid Of Ants In The House
If you discover you have an ant infestation, don’t panic. You have plenty of options. Many homeowners opt to try a DIY ant pest control method first. Hastings said bating is the most popular method and can be
“Most of the time, ants find solid foods to bring back to the larvae and since the larvae chews the food and feed all the other ants, granular ant baits have been the most effective treatment from my experience," Hastings said. “This takes a period of time but usually only about a week or two. After
Of course, if you’ve tried DIY methods and ants continue to return, you’ll want to call a professional who can target the infestation and remove them from your home. Costs to remove ants may vary depending on the type of infestation you have. An infestation of carpenter ants may be the most expensive, costing some homeowners up to $1,000, while other types and size colonies could be as little as $250 to exterminate.
As a homeowner, it’s likely you’ll encounter ants at a certain point, even if you have a great cleaning routine. “In all
By utilizing a few of these techniques you can do your best to keep ants out of your home and know exactly what to do if you find ants have become an unwelcomed guest.
Looking for more ways to prevent pests from entering the home? Read DIY Pest Control Solutions For Your Home.