Jun 18, 2019
An ant infestation can be a serious problem any time of the year, but during the hot summer months, these pesky intruders can cause even more problems in your home. However, as long as you know the kinds of ants you may encounter and how to keep them out — you don't need to worry.
What are the most common types of ants?
Different species of ants wander inside for different reasons. These are the four most common types of house ants, as well as some of the reasons they may visit your property:
Odorous House Ants
Small brown or black odorous house ants are the most common variety of ants found in homes. These tiny pests are the ones you're most likely to see crawling on your kitchen countertops or floorboards, searching for crumbs of food or a dry place on rainy days. They're attracted by food smells.
Read more: Know Your Pest! The Odorous House Ant
Another type of ant that's occasionally driven indoors by food smells, pavement ants usually live under concrete or rocks. Sometimes, though, they'll venture into your house for sugar, greasy foods, and meat. Spring and summer are their favorite seasons to wander inside.
These large black or brown ants nest in decaying wood in your home. They may not appear in your pantry or cause visible damage, but their presence in decaying wood can cause serious damage to your home’s structure over time.
How to Prevent an Ant Infestation
You can prevent ants from entering your home by taking some of the following preventative measures:
Seal off entry points.
Track where ants are entering your home by following them to the spot where they come inside, typically a door or window frame. Once you’ve spotted their entryway, seal it off using putty, glue, silicone caulk, or, for a temporary solution, petroleum jelly.
Store food carefully.
One of the biggest culprits behind ant infestations is food that has been improperly stored. Ants have great senses of smell, so they can detect food smells even through boxes or bags. To prevent ants from smelling their way inside your home, store all leftover food in sealed, airtight containers, and store as much in the refrigerator as possible (as opposed to a pantry or cupboard, especially on or near the floor).
Create a tape barrier.
Use double-sided tape to stop ants from making it far when they do enter your home: if ants try to enter, they'll stick to the tape, preventing their movement inside. Be sure to line your floors, walls, and counters for a temporary solution.
Treatments for an Ant Infestation
If your ant problem is minimal, consider starting with a DIY ant treatment. Many common household items can provide surprisingly good pest control.
Read more: How to Get Rid of Ants
Did you know that ants are actually repelled by flour? If ants are making their way into your kitchen cupboards or pantry, scatter a row of flour at the entryway — ants won’t cross it. The downside of this method? While it’s a cheap and relatively effective way to keep ants out, it can be messy.
For another natural solution to ant infestations, try using citrus fruit juice, like orange or lemon juice, around affected areas of your home. Squeeze these juices around your door thresholds and windowsills to keep ants out. You can also blend orange peels with water and pour the mixture into anthills around your property to keep these critters at bay.
Spraying baseboards, gaps and cracks, and countertops (especially around sinks and plumbing fixtures) with vinegar is a natural solution that can help get rid of ants. Ants are drawn back into your home because they leave a trail back to their anthills for other ants to follow — but a vinegar solution will destroy their trail.
Unfortunately, DIY solutions aren’t usually enough fight off a serious infestation. If your ant problem continues to grow, consider using chemical bait traps, which are available at most hardware stores and online. Be mindful of where you place these traps around your home — you’ll want to make sure they’re out of reach of children and pets.
Don’t let ants ruin your picnic!
By taking the right precautions, ants don’t have to be a problem in your house. That being said, ants are persistent little pests. If you have a more severe ant infestation on your hands, it’s best to hire a professional to handle your ant removal.
The pest control experts at CroppMetcalfe can help you determine the type of ant infestation you’re dealing with, remove the intruders, and prevent them from returning in the future. Call our 5-Star Technicians at 703-372-9359 or contact us online to schedule a service appointment today.