Are you dealing with ants? How did you first notice them? Did you open a cabinet and find hundreds of ants crawling on a food package? Did you enter the kitchen and find a line of ants going from the pet food dish to a hidden location under the fridge? Did you go outside one morning and find thousands of flying ants on the outside of your home? There are lots of ways an ant infestation can rear its ugly head. Sometimes it is subtle. Sometimes, it is a large black ant appearing every once in a while, or tiny ants crawling along a wall. But, no matter how ants appear, it is important to understand that they can be more than just a nuisance.
Ants can spread harmful bacteria in a home. These insects are as at home in a trash can as they are in your pantry foods. This can lead to food poisoning.
When carpenter ants get into a home, they can be destructive. They eat the inside of timbers and cause structural issues. If left, untreated, they can cause a lot of damage and leave you with frustrating repairs to deal with. But, as a general rule, they don't make themselves a kitchen pest. Carpenter ants can usually find more food options outside.
3 Steps To Keep Ants Out Of Your Kitchen
Step 1: Make your kitchen less interesting to ants.
Keep counters and floors clean of spills and food debris.
Keep trash in a sealed container and keep your trash can as clean as possible.
Keep dishes in a sink full of soapy water rather than sitting in a dry stack next to the sink.
Vacuum rugs routinely.
Store foods in sealed plastic containers as much as possible. Do this for dry pet food as well.
If you throw meat into your trash, consider putting it in a smaller bag first, such as a plastic grocery bag.
Address any leaks that would give ants a water source or dampen wood and make it more attractive to carpenter ants.
Put pet food down only during meal times.
Step 2: Make it harder for ants to get into your home.
Do a detailed inspection of your foundation walls and repair any chipped mortar.
Repair any damaged window or door frames.
Repair damaged screens.
Inspect for gaps, holes, or cracks and fill them in.
Cover vents with screen material to prevent pest entry.
Fix or install door sweeps where necessary.
Inspect weather stripping on sliding glass doors and make sure it is in good working condition.
Step 3: Reduce ant populations near your home.
Fix leaky spigots and hoses to reduce moisture.
Clean gutters and fix any damage. This will help to prevent puddles from forming near your home.
Trim tree branches to prevent ants from using them as a bridge and to allow sunlight to dry the soil around your home.
Make sure your exterior trash is in well maintained and sealed receptacles.
If you have lots of plants on your property, consider invest in routine treatments for your landscaping and perimeter; plants are a powerful attractant for ants and the insects they feed on.
DIY Ant Prevention
When ants become a problem, it is unwise to turn to DIY ant control products. Not only are these products generally ineffective when applied by an untrained individual, but they can create a hazard for the occupants of the home. It can also make a problem worse. Some ant species are prone to budding which is when an ant colony divides into more than one colony. And budding can sometimes occur in response to a perceived threat, such as ant sprays and other DIY ant control products.
When Is It Time To Call A Pro?
Right now. Whether you're dealing with a current ant infestation or you're looking to prevent one, routine pest control service is the way to go. Ants are only one of many pests that can damage your property and make you sick. When you have residential pest control services, you have the best protection for all of the many threats pests can pose.
Ants are mostly considered a nuisance pest problem but they can damage your home and make you sick if you have the wrong kind of ants in the wrong places. If you live in Missouri, take a look at how the Signature Pest Protection program from Rottler works to manage pest threats. Give us a call to learn more!
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