Where Do Ants Hide?Missy Henriksen
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Commonly Infested Areas in the Home
If you’ve ever found ants crawling across the kitchen
counter or noticed a trail of little black ants on the bathroom
floor, you’re probably not alone. Ants often enter homes during the
warmer months in search of water and food, making them the
#1 nuisance pest in America. With the summer season upon us,
now is the perfect time to learn about the most common ant-infested
areas in a home and how to prevent an unwanted infestation.
recent survey of pest professionals across the country,
conducted by the National Pest Management Association, found
kitchens (96%) and bathrooms (89%) to be particularly vulnerable to
It’s probably not a surprise the kitchen is considered a
favorite ant hangout. In addition to food access, the sink provides
a water source that ants need to survive. If you’re lax about
immediately cleaning up crumbs and spills, you may be inviting ants
in. Here are a few tips to keep ants out of the kitchen:
- Store sweet staples like sugar, syrup and honey in plastic
containers that snap shut, and wipe them down to remove any sticky
residue. You can also place a bay leaf inside canisters of dry
goods like flour to keep the ants out. The herb’s pungent scent
repels ants and other common pantry pests.
- Clean up grease spills from countertops and floors as soon as
- Any empty juice or soda containers should be rinsed out before
recycling or throwing away. And, make sure to take the trash out
- Check the fruit bowl – any over ripe fruit will attract
- Keep an eye out for water buildup in the sink and leaks around
- If you have pets, be sure to pick up any leftover food and wash
the bowls regularly.
Areas around the house with excess moisture are known to attract
ants, so bathrooms are highly susceptible to an infestation.
Carpenter ants, for example, often build nests in damp areas like
behind bathroom tiles or under sinks. To prevent an infestation in
the bathroom, homeowners should:
- Occasionally, inspect sinks, toilets and tubs for any leaks or
- Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning by scrubbing the floors
with disinfectant cleaner, and wiping down the inside of drawers
with warm soapy water.
- Check to ensure shampoo, lotion and soap bottles are secured
and no contents have spilled out of their containers.
Ants can easily find a way indoors through even the tiniest
cracks, so other areas of the home are also common hideouts. The
NPMA survey revealed ants are also found in the following
- Inside walls (73%)
- Bedrooms (61%)
- Living rooms (60%)
- Basements (54%)
- Air conditioning and heating units (37%)
To keep ants from finding a way inside, homeowners should
pest-proof around the outside of the home. Experts recommend
sealing any cracks with silicone caulk, repairing holes in window
and door screens, replacing weather-stripping, fixing loose mortar
around the basement foundation and windows, and keeping tree
branches trimmed back and away from the house.
Ants are considered one of the most difficult pests to control,
along with bed bugs,
because colonies often contain upwards of thousands of members. If
you notice ants inside the home, it’s important to contact a licensed pest
professional to inspect and treat the problem. For more
information, watch this video on
areas in the home that ants typically infest.