Jun 27, 2017
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.
Ant Species and Environments
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.
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.
Especially in the South, biting fire ants are a big problem. They're attracted by food smells that linger in your kitchen or pantry.
Preventing 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, 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 Ant Problems
If your ant problem is minimal, consider starting with a natural ant treatment. Common household items can provide surprisingly good pest control.
Ants are repelled by common household flour. If ants are getting onto your kitchen cupboards or pantry, scatter a row of flour at the entryway — ants won’t cross it.
For another natural solution to ant infestations, try using citrus fruit juice, like orange or lemon juice, around infected areas. 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.
Spray baseboards, cracks, and countertops with a vinegar solution to get rid of ants. Ants return to your home because they leave a trail back to their anthills for other ants to follow — but a vinegar solution will destroy their trail.
By taking the right precautions, ants don’t have to be a problem in your house. For more severe ant infestations, you might need to hire a professional to handle your ant removal. CroppMetcalfe will visit your home to determine the type of ant infestation, remove intruders, and prevent them from returning.
If you've tried everything and want to rid your home of ants once and for all, CroppMetcalfe will devise a solution that will free you of your ant problem.