In the world of pest control we know it is spring because … ANTS! We dare you to find someone who has never encountered ants in their house, office or school. The majority of the Kansas City area residents have fought their fair share of battles against this annoying pest – whether it’s a nest of pavement ants in the garage or a parade of odorous house ants marching across the kitchen counter.
Ants are the number one nuisance in pest control in the United States. With more than 700 species occurring in the country and more than 20 types known to infest homes and other structures. Every year, people report having issues with this pest. Milberger Pest Control has been at war with ants in Kansas City since 1936.
However, in addition to professional pest control, there are some simple steps that homeowners can take to reduce your chances of unintentionally inviting ants into your home.
1. Know the popular hangouts
It’s probably not surprising to hear that ants most frequently infest kitchens. After all, kitchens are full of food and water, everything ants (as well as all other pests) need to survive. Bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, basements, inside walls, and in/around air conditioning and heating units are also known to attract ants.
2. Eliminate water sources
Reducing moisture and standing water around your home can go a long way to help prevent ants. Repair leaky pipes, and routinely check under sinks for areas of moisture. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp basements, crawl spaces or attics. Outside, ensure that downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from the home’s foundation.
3. Eliminate food sources
Keeping your kitchen tidy will help to discourage ants from coming indoors. Wipe down counters and sweep floors regularly to eliminate crumbs and residue from spills. Store food in sealed pest-proof containers, and keep ripe fruit in the refrigerator. Wipe down sticky jars, especially any containing honey, syrup, soda or other sweets. Finally, use a lid on trashcans and dispose of garbage regularly.
4. Don’t discount your pets
Cats, dogs and other pets can inadvertently invite ants into your home. Their food and water bowls are an attractant for pests, so be sure to keep pet bowls clean and clean up any spilled food or water promptly. Opt to store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container rather than the paper bags they often come in, which can be easily accessed by ants and other pests. Inspect dog/cat doors to ensure that pests cannot get through. Remember that ants can fit through even the tiniest openings.
5. Block off or eliminate access points
Take time to inspect the outside of your home for easy access points. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the home, as branches can provide highways indoors for ants. Seal any cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with silicone caulk, paying special attention to areas where utility pipes enter.
6. Don’t go it alone
Without the proper training and tools, battling ants can be an uphill battle. What’s worse, an infestation can continue to grow if it is not properly treated. Some species of ants can cause serious property damage (like carpenter ants) and others (like fire ants) can pose health threats to your family. Even species that are considered nuisance pests (like odorous house ants) can contaminate food.
You may want to call for professional pest control help, before the ants eat the front tree from the inside-out and it falls on your house or car. When you find ants in your home, contact a licensed pest professional, like Milberger Pest Control, right away. They will be able to identify the ant species, spot likely entry points, and determine an effective course of treatment.