Where Do Ants Hide in My Home?
Most ants are perfectly happy living outside and enjoying your yard, but when they find an easy food source indoors, it can be hard to pass up the opportunity to head into your home. While some of these ants are harmless, there are several ant specifies that will build nests in your walls and feed on the wood and insulation. That makes it important to determine what kind of ants you are dealing with and where exactly they are coming from. If you have noticed an invasion of ants in your bathroom, kitchen or other rooms, it is time to take a closer look and get to the root of the problem.
Why Do Ants Enter the Home?
Ants will head indoors to find easy access to food, water and protection. This is especially true during the summer months. The problem is that once you see a few ants, you can bet that there are more. Colonies can consist of thousands of ants and once they have forged a path into your home, more are sure to follow the trail.
Ants that Commonly Enter the Home
There are several types of ants that are native to North Carolina and the southern United States and are known to build nests inside homes.
Argentine Ants: This smaller species of ants have more of a brown color and will head indoors whenever the weather becomes unpleasant. Their size makes it easy for them to pass through cracks and find their way into homes. Once inside, they tend to head to the bathroom and set up shop under tiles and around drains although they will build nests behind walls.
Acrobat Ants: These ants also seem to like moisture and will build nests in door and window frames that have been damaged. They earned the name acrobat by being able to hold their abdomen above their body and emit a foul odor when they feel threatened. These distinctive feature makes it easy to identify Acrobat ants.
Carpenter Ants: When most people think about ants, they are picturing a Carpenter ant. These ants can grow up to a half-inch long and often have a dark black color. While most ants are relatively harmless, this species has the potential to do some real damage to your home. They love to build nests in walls and eat away at wood and insulation. Their appetite can ruin the structural integrity of your home and damage wood furniture and insulation.
How to Prevent a Home Ant Problem
Prevention is always going to be your first and most powerful weapon against an ant infestation. If you have had problems in the past, it is important to take the time to treat your home and make it less inviting to ants. The easiest thing you can do is make sure that you aren’t leaving food out on the counters and that all surfaces and sinks are free from food debris. This includes cleaning up after your pet and cleaning their bowls on a regular basis. Removing obvious food sources can help make your home less of a target for ants.
Next, you want to close off any entry points for ants. Seal any cracks around the house, replace ripped screens and weather stripping, secure loose boards and bricks and make sure that plants and tree branches are cut back from the house.
Finally, consider hiring a professional pest management company to spray a preventative insecticide around the perimeter of your home. This type of treatment can rid your yard of ants and discourage them from heading for your home.
How to Treat an Ant Infestation
The most important aspect of treating a home ant infestation is getting to the root of the problem and locating the colony. Depending on the species of ant, there might be additional satellite colonies that also have to be treated. Most store bought ant treatments work by providing insecticide bait that ants will take back to the colony. As the bait is shared among members of the colony, it kills the ants and eventually eradicates the entire colony.
DIY home ant treatments can be effective, but your best best is to call a professional. A trained exterminator will be able to quickly identify the species of ant, locate the source and provide a targeted treatment plan.
The truth is that ants can hide practically anywhere in your home although they are most likely to appear in bathrooms and kitchens and build nests in the voids in your walls. If you have noticed these pests in your home, don’t wait to take action. You may just be looking at the tip of the iceberg. Call PMI to get expert help with your ant problem.