Year after year, ants seem to find their way back into homes, so what is the best ant control measure? How can you stop them from returning? Why do they keep coming back? These are common questions asked when there is an established ant problem.
To learn ant behaviors, it's important to know what kind of ants are most commonly found in your home. One of the worst ants to have around is the carpenter ant. They get their name because they work and live in wood. They do not eat the wood but excavate it to make a safe nest or colony. Carpenter ants are brown or black and are generally larger than most ant species.
Dark Rover Ants, sometimes called sugar ants, have large colonies. They can make nests in your homes, usually in kitchens and bathrooms. They are primarily attracted to sweet liquids but will not turn down other sweets. These ants are small with dark brown bodies and one node. Nodes on an ant are bumps found on the petiole, the segment that joins an ant’s thorax to its abdomen. Ants have one or two nodes to help identify the kind of ant.
Fire ants are red ants often featuring dark brown or black abdomens and they have two nodes. These ants prefer warm areas with plenty of moisture and will often make nests near tubs or hot water heaters.
Crazy ants are another common kind of ant, and they get their name from a sort of jerky, erratic kind of motion. These ants generally do not prefer moist or dry areas. When they invade your home, they usually seek out carpets, indoor plants or build nests between walls. Crazy ants are very dark in color and have longer legs than many other ant species.
Ant Control for Your Home
Food is the biggest element that attracts ants to your home. Any food item, like flour, sugar, cookies, and chips, left in open containers can draw ants. It’s best to store these in airtight containers. Dry goods containers will still draw ants, but one method of repulsion is to add a bay leaf to these containers. The strong smell will help keep them away. Overripe fruits and vegetables left on counters also attract ants or other critters.
Be sure you keep your home clean, especially in areas where you eat and cook. Clean up grease and drink spills immediately. Clean under and around stoves, refrigerators, and other appliances to remove food debris that can draw ants. Empty food containers should be rinsed out to remove remnants. Remove uneaten pet food, especially moist food, and rinse the pet bowls out often.
Ants are also drawn to moisture from a water source, just like other bugs, so keep high moisture areas clean and dry. Check for any leaks in the home and repair them to limit moisture and standing water. Plants are also a common draw for ants because the plant and moist soil provide a food and water source.
Repair cracks and holes in your walls or near windows to prevent entry for ants and other unwanted critters. Also, keep plants around your home trimmed to prevent a bridge for insects to get into your home.
If you have an ant problem and your methods of ant control are not working, contact us at Magic City Pest Control so we can help you eliminate your unwanted guests.