No matter the season of the year, an ant infestation is never a welcome sight. Unfortunately for most homeowners, an ant infestation is something you can’t avoid. While it can be hard to seal off your home completely from these tiny insects, knowing why they are entering your home can be a good starting point to keep ant invasions to a minimum. Below, the experts at EnviroCon discuss 5 reasons why you’re having ant problems in your home and the best ways to prevent it!
1. You’re Leaving Out Food
- Why it’s bad: Just like any other living species, ants need food and water to survive. They are often looking for easy food sources, which is why infestations are extremely common in kitchens and places where leftover food resides. This is one of the main causes of ant infestations, but luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to remedy!
- What you can do: To avoid ant infestations, regularly clean up kitchen spills, store food in airtight containers, and keep fruits in the fridge when possible. You can also place bay leaves -- which have a smell that is repelling to most ants -- in dry goods containers to keep these hungry pests from seeking out food in your pantry.
2. You Have Greasy Surfaces
- Why it’s bad: Another less obvious food source in your kitchen that you may not realize is left-behind grease or food-residue. Often hiding on your stove top or on the sides of food storage containers, these subtle leftover food particles are easily attracting ants.
- What you can do: Be sure to wipe off honey bottles, syrup containers, jam jars, and anything else that could leave a sticky residue. Make sure to also regularly wipe down your stove top after cooking, especially when making foods that easily splatter, like bacon and sauces. This will help eliminate another possible food source that could be drawing ants into your home!
3. You Have Sticky Garbage
- Why it’s bad: It’s easy to forget to rinse out your garbage bins regularly, and even soda bottles or canned food jars before tossing them in the garbage. Unfortunately, ants have no problem dumpster diving to get to your leftover food scraps -- and they are especially drawn to things that contain sugar!
- What you can do: Try to remember to regularly clean out your garbage bins, particularly the ones in your kitchen. Be sure to also rinse out food storage waste before you toss it in the trash. Even Ziploc baggies used to hold snacks in your child’s lunchbox are better sealed up before you throw them away to keep your trash from becoming an ant’s buffet.
Your Pipes and Faucets are Leaking
- Why it’s bad: In addition to food, some species of ants also need a reliable water source to survive, so it’s important to make sure water and moisture aren't lingering in common moist areas of your home -- particularly your kitchen and bathrooms.
- What you can do: Inspect your toilets and sinks for leaks, make sure windows are well-sealed and closed during wet weather, and seek out other sources of moisture in your home to make sure that pharaoh ants and other water-loving species aren't mooching off of your water bill.
You Have Decaying Wood Around Your Home
- Why it’s bad: Leaky pipes or a good rainstorm can moisten the wood in and around your home just enough to make it the perfect hideout for a colony of carpenter ants, a species that make their nests in moist or decaying wood.
- What you can do: Replace rotting wood in your home’s structure, and clear out tree stumps and fallen branches from your yard. This can not only help eliminate possible nesting grounds for carpenter ants but for termites as well. It’s also a good idea to store fire food at least 20 feet away from your home!
If Ants Persist, Let the Pros Help!
Pest-proofing your home can be a good starting point to get an infestation under control, but if ants persist you may need to call in the professionals! If you need some help ridding your home of ants for good, EnviroCon can help. We offer fast and effective pest-control services to the Houston area that can get ant infestations under control for good.