We think it’s safe to say that we’re all fascinated by wildlife… right up until it’s crawling all over our brand-new packet of Waitrose chocolate chip cookies. Yes, when it comes to ant infestations in our home, it’s hard not to feel outraged and more than a little violated!
While we share this planet with billions of other species, we must accept the fact that we’re not always going to get along, and something has to give. As pest control professionals, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure.
So, let’s start at the beginning and find out what brought Mr Ant and his thousands of cousins to your kitchen in the first place.
What Attracts Ants To Your House?
As with any living creature, our basic needs are shelter, food and water, and ants are no different.
It can be incredibly difficult to make sure that your home doesn’t have cracks or other entry points for ants to get through in the first place, as these resourceful little creatures can appear and disappear into the smallest of holes.
The presence of water is another drawcard for a homeless colony, and they will happily set up camp beneath bathroom tiles, or in cupboards underneath a leaking basin.
Of course, food is the deciding factor here. Ant infestations are almost guaranteed if they have access to sugar and grease residue, and once they’re in your kitchen, well, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet for them.
Our homes may be clean, but what about our garbage disposal? Food debris in easy-to-access bags outside our home will attract ants and a host of other vermin.
How Do I Get Rid of Ants in My Home?
It makes sense to make your home less desirable as a five-star ant hotel and knowing what drew the ants in the first instance provides you with a starting point for getting rid of them.
You will need to:
- Eliminate food sources
- Eliminate sources of water or moisture
- Block up access from outside
Eliminate Food Sources
Have you ever wondered how ants have this uncanny ability to make a beeline for your choc chip cookies?
It’s all down to pheromones. Ants, and many other social creatures, lay down a pheromone trail when they discover a food source to lead other colony members to your delicious snack. This is why you will see them in single file following an invisible pathway to and from the food items. A couple of scouts no doubt went exploring and came across your cookies and they trotted back to tell the others.
Just because your kitchen counters are clean, it doesn’t mean you are now free of the pheromone trails. To be sure, wipe down your surfaces with a warm soapy solution or a mix of water and apple cider vinegar.
Make sure that your food is stored in airtight containers, especially sugary items. A box or packet with a clip on it is no match for these mini Houdinis.
Eliminate Water Sources
Leaking taps or pools of standing water provide our unwelcome household guests with the essential water source that they need.
If we’re using disinfectants regularly in our bathroom, this should be enough of a deterrent. In the kitchen, however, ensure that there are no leakages and keep the area around the sink clean and dry.
Older homes can be a bit of a nightmare to seal up, as they may have wooden floorboards or window frames which allow entry to ants and other insects.
As far as possible, make sure that your home is sealed with a caulk sealer which is long-lasting and flexible.
How To Deal With Ant Infestations Permanently
Ants are incredibly smart and resilient creatures and certainly serve a vital purpose in our world.
However, they don’t serve a purpose in our kitchen, and dealing with an ant infestation can feel like a full-time job.
If the deterrents mentioned above don’t do the trick, then you may have a bigger problem than you first anticipated. Ant colonies can easily contain a few million worker ants, some with thousands of queens and all interconnected by a secret underground network of tunnels and passages stretched over a few acres.
Phew! Sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it?
Perhaps it’s time to call in the professionals.
You’ll be happy to know that we understand exactly how to deal with these formidable little critters – we’ve been doing so for a couple of decades and we know how to deal with ant infestations for good! Please give Warren and his friendly team a call.