Winning The Battle With The Ants In Your Home

Posted on: 23 March 2015

Ants live in large colonies and are always looking for new sources of food. They don't discriminate between your house or a rotted tree stump when on their search. Understanding a little about ant behavior will let you stop them from making your house another stop in their food rounds.

What Attracts These Pests?

Ants are drawn to sweet items, greasy foods, and dry food crumbs. The colony sends out scouts to comb the neighborhood and return with directions to new food sources. They can get into your house through the smallest of cracks and holes. When they find potential food, they return to the colony, leaving a trail of pheromones, like a breadcrumb trail for the others to follow. Dozens of worker ants then follow the trail into your house to bring the food back to the colony. If you see a couple of ants investigating cracker crumbs on your kitchen counter, you may soon see a trail of ants returning to retrieve their find.

To stop ants from invading your home, you need to track them back to their colony and get rid of their trails.

Remove the Trail and the Colony

The best time to look for ants in the house is after dark. When you spot a trail of ants, use a flashlight to follow the trail back to where they are entering the house. Most colonies will live outside of your house but, occasionally, you'll find them inside in rotting wood, such as floor joists. If you can't find the colony, call on a pest control company to look for you. They can find where the ants are located in or near your house.

Once you've identified their trail, place ant bait stations on the path at several locations. The bait is sweet and the workers will take it back to their colony where it is fatal. To be completely effective, the bait must kill the queen, at which point the colony will disperse. After a few days, you should see fewer ants coming into the house, a sign that the colony is dying. Now you can clean up all trails and seal up your house so they can't get in:

  • Wipe down all countertops where you saw ants with a chlorine bleach disinfectant solution, to remove the pheromone trail.
  • Wipe down window sills and around door frames.
  • Mop tile and vinyl floors with the chlorine bleach solution.
  • Seal up cracks in walls and around doors and windows where the ants came in.
  • Spray an insecticide that is effective on ants around the foundation of your home.

When It's Time for Professional Help

If you don't see a decrease in ants after putting out ant traps, it's time to call in a pest control service to remove the colony. The colony could be spread out over a large area in your yard. The service will find all of the entryways into the colony and use an insecticide against it.

Finding the ant colony is half of the battle. Removing the colony by killing the queen is necessary to stop the activity in your house. If your initial attempts to find the colony and remove it fail, don't hesitate to get a pest service involved so you'll win your battle with the ants. Contact a professional like The Bug Man for more information.

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