It can be unnerving to find that thousands of ants have decided to enter your kitchen, pantry, or living room. What makes them do that? You may have an answer to this question. But we would be willing to bet that you don't have the complete answer. It is important that you do. Why? Because knowing what makes them do that can help you keep them from doing it.

ants on a plate
ants in hallway

Food

When you find ants all over your kitchen trash bin, or covering the couch in your living room, you probably don't have to guess why. They've found food. But how did they know to come into your home to get food out of your trash or out from under the cushions of your couch? All it takes is one little ant. When a worker finds food, it lays down a trail on its way back to its nest by excreting a pheromone. The pheromone chemical has a scent that tells the other ants, "This is where the food is." One by one, other workers follow the trail. If you catch them leaving the scene of the crime, you may notice them walking lock-step as they follow this trail. If you catch them at the scene, you'll probably see them spread out and covering every inch. Ants follow some amazing behavior patterns to locate and acquire food. When you find ants in your home, the first thing you should be aware of is that those ants followed a trail.

Simple Tip #1 - Sanitation

A clean home is an ant-resistant home. Not only can it stop ants from coming into your home in large numbers, it can prevent certain species from creating nests in your home.

  • Do routine cleanings.

  • Clean spills up immediately.

  • Clean under your toaster and around your oven.

  • Put dirty dishes in soapy water until you're ready to clean them.

  • Consider only eating in your kitchen and dining room. This will limit where food crumbs can accidentally be deposited.

  • Remove your kitchen trash before smells develop.

  • Get a covered trash receptacle if you don't have one.

  • Keep your trash receptacle clean.

  • Refrain from putting bagged trash directly on the floor.

  • Store your pantry foods in sealed containers.

  • Put pet food down only during mealtimes—and, never overnight.

Moisture

A condition that can inspire ants to be inside your home is moisture. Water is a building block of life. Ants can choose to live with you even if they can't get into your food or find food sources in your home. It is important that when scout ants explore your home, they don't find ideal living conditions.

Simple Tip #2 - Moisture Control

  • Fix leaky faucets.

  • Fix plumbing issues such as a leaky garbage disposal.

  • Use the fan in your bathroom.

  • Install fans and ventilation in key areas.

  • Get a dehumidifier.

Tight Spaces

Ants crawl under rocks and in the cracks of rocks. They squeeze under bark and tunnel into the soil. They're used to being in tight spaces, especially spaces that are hard. If you have a crack in your foundation wall, or some other tiny opening, they're likely to enter your home. They're just doing what comes natural, they don't know you have food or water resources in there, so it is important to take the time to seal as many potential entry points as you can find.

Simple Tip #3 - Exclusion

  • Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps if you see tiny gaps.

  • Replace wood that has been damaged by pests, or use a caulking gun to fill those holes in.

  • Seal foundation cracks and gaps around foundation penetrations.

Habitation

Ants get into Tampa homes because there are so many ants, they can't possibly be sealed out. You can reduce your chances of having ants invade your home by rolling up your sleeves and doing a little lawn work.

Simple Tip #4 - Habitat Modification

  • Rake leaves, fronds, plant debris, sticks, and other organic material away from your exterior walls.

  • Clear out organic material underneath decks, patios, stairs, and voids under exterior structures.

  • Address moisture issues such as dampness caused by clogged gutters or plumbing leaks.

  • Make sure your exterior trash bins have covers and that they are free of strong odors.

Extra Protection

These four simple tips can help you keep ants out of your Tampa home. If you're not able to take the time to do these things, or if you want added protection due to elevated ant pressures, remember that Eco Tech Pest Control provides advanced pest control in the Tampa Bay area. We can guide you toward the right solutions to your pest control needs. Connect with us today to get started. We're always standing by to help. 

 

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