Unfortunately, the ants foraging inside your house are just a tiny percentage of the colony- which usually consists of thousands of ants! What does that mean for you? Many natural products and DIY solutions only treat the small percentage of ants that actually make it into your house. It may seem like the problem is better for a little while, but if you don’t eliminate the colony, they’ll be back. The best way to get rid of ants forever is to get to the colony.
Why are there ants in my house?
Ants are social insects that depend on each other for survival. Each one has their own purpose or job in the colony. The ants outside the nest gather food and return to the nest to feed larvae that digest it for them and feed it back to the adults and the queen. Though the colony is outside, foraging ants will enter structures searching for food or water- and sometimes to nest. Products that only kill the ants you see in your house aren’t effective, because the colony will continue to send more ants.
How can I get rid of them?
- Inspect the area surrounding the structure.
- Any trees, grass, or items like garbage cans and barbeques touching the building can provide a pathway. Garbage cans and pet food/water dishes can attract the ants, too.
- Look for ant trails around the building. Here are a few examples of good places to look:
- the top and bottom of fences
- sidewalk edges
- hoses and raised roots
- trees and shrubs touching the building
- electrical and gas lines entering the structure
- Once they make it inside, ants can quickly establish satellite nests indoors. They often settle in wall voids, behind electrical outlets and cupboards, or in window casings. Tracking ant trails helps determine where they are coming from.
- Eliminate Food and Water Sources.
- Ants are attracted to kitchen scraps and bathroom water sources. They only need a tiny crack or hole to enter.
- If possible, remove the water source or food that is attracting the ants. For baits to work, the ants must have a need for the protein or carbs contained in it. That means that any food sources the ant finds will compete with the bait you want them to take and make it less effective.
- Repair any areas with moisture damage, such as around windows or under sinks. Even a small amount of condensation will attract them.
- Create An Effective Treatment Plan.
- Know your products. Pest control product labels will tell you how to use them safely, and how to apply them.
- Knowing when and where to use baits and sprays will determine how effective they are. Using baits in combination with a spray may be ineffective, because the baits can absorb nearby odors and end up repelling ant instead of attracting them.
- Treatments for ants can be a slow process. It doesn’t work overnight or with one spray or bait treatment. If, however, you aren’t seeing any results after a few weeks, it may be time to call in a professional. Pest Management Professionals are experts in troubleshooting treatment plans and finding the best product combinations to eliminate your unique infestation!
It is extremely important to follow all directions on the label of any product you purchase. These products have been researched and tested for safe usage to protect your pets and your surroundings. If you are enlisting the help of a professional, you should not use any additional products to theirs.
Our Home Pest Control Services page explains how we perform our pest inspections and what we look for while we are at your home. This page also includes information on Integrated Pest Management, how it is used, and why it is helpful for eliminating pests. There is also information on what to expect and how you can prepare for an inspection.