Six Steps to an Ant Free HomeMissy Henriksen
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Simple prevention tips you can do today
If you have never encountered ants in your house, office or
school, count yourself among the lucky few. But if you’re like most
people, you’ve fought your fair share of battles against this
annoying pest – whether it’s a nest of pavement ants in your garage or a parade
house ants marching across your kitchen counter.
Ants are the number one nuisance pest in the United States. With
more than 700 species occurring in the country and more than 20
types known to infest homes and other structures, it’s not
surprising that so many people report having
issues with this pest.
However, there are some simple steps that homeowners can take to
reduce your chances of unintentionally inviting ants into your
1. Know the popular hangouts
It’s probably not surprising to hear that ants most
frequently infest kitchens. After all, kitchens are full of
food and water, everything ants (as well as all other pests) need
to survive. Bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, basements, inside
walls, and in/around air conditioning and heating units are also
known to attract ants.
2. Eliminate water sources
Reducing moisture and standing water around your home can go a
long way to help prevent ants. Repair leaky pipes, and routinely
check under sinks for areas of moisture. Consider using a
dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside,
ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that
water flows away from the home’s foundation.
3. Eliminate food sources
Keeping your kitchen tidy will help to discourage ants from
coming indoors. Wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly to
eliminate crumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed
pest-proof containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator.
Wipe down sticky jars, especially any containing honey, syrup, soda
or other sweets. Finally, use a lid on trashcans and dispose of
4. Don’t discount your pets
Cats, dogs and other pets can inadvertently invite ants into
your home. Their food and water bowls are an attractant for pests,
so be sure to keep pet bowls clean and clean up any spilled food or
water promptly. Opt to store dry pet food in a sealed plastic
container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can
be easily accessed by ants and other pests. Inspect dog/cat doors
to ensure that pests cannot get through. Remember that ants can fit
through even the tiniest openings.
5. Block off or eliminate access points
Take time to inspect the outside of your home for easy access
points. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the home, as
branches can provide highways indoors for ants. Seal any cracks and
crevices on the outside of the home with silicone caulk, paying
special attention to areas where utility pipes enter.
6. Don’t go it alone
Without the proper training and tools, battling ants can be an
uphill battle. What’s worse, an infestation can continue to grow if
it is not properly treated. Some species of ants can cause serious
property damage (like carpenter ants) and
others (like fire ants) can pose health
threats to your family. Even species that are considered nuisance
pests (like odorous house ants) can contaminate food.
So if you do find ants in your home, contact a licensed pest
professional right away. They will be able to identify the ant
species, spot likely entry points, and determine an effective
course of treatment.