Summer is the most common season for ants to invade your home and property. Ants thrive in warm weather and spend the summer months gathering food for their eventual hibernation during the winter. That means they have to work twice as hard to collect food in order to store it away for colder weather!
Once they’ve found an entry point, an ant infestation can be very difficult to get rid of. In fact, the best way to get rid of them is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
Ant Prevention Tips
Preventing an ant infestation isn’t complicated and simply requires a bit of attention and care of your house and property. Try these tips to keep your house free of ants and other pests:
Wipe up crumbs and spills
Remaining food or spilled drinks that you might not even notice can act as a beacon for ants. A small glob of jelly on a counter will be a feast for them! Be diligent about wiping up eating or cooking surfaces immediately following use.
Store food in sealed containers
Cardboard or paper food containers directly from the grocery story simply aren’t enough to keep pests out. Ants can enter your kitchen cabinets and infest your cereals, baking supplies or other dry goods. To keep your food safe, decant poorly-packaged items into sealed containers for protection from ants and other pests.
Take out the trash!
Garbage is attractive to ants. Even just a small amount of food left in the inside of a package can be an attractive source of food. Empty inside trash cans regularly and store outside garbage in sealed containers.
Clean up your pet bowls
Pets who are messy eaters may leave bits of food about that draw ants in. Wipe up crumbs and spills from pet bowls in the same way you would wipe up after people.
Seal cracks and holes outside your home
Ants are masters at finding the tiniest little cracks as an opportunity to enter your home. Carefully inspect the outside of your home and seal up crevices or cracks in siding or concrete, between bricks, around wiring, near pipes, around windows and doors, or in other areas that might provide access for pests. Silicone caulk works as an effective sealant to prevent pest entry.
Fix holes or gaps in window screens
Large holes in screens may be obviously in need of repair, but also check around the edges of the window or door to be sure the screen is tightly sealed.
Eliminate all access points
When inspecting your home, go outside and look around. Consider where you would try to get inside if you were an ant. Then eliminate any of those options.
Cut off potential food and water sources
Consider places ants and other pests might be accessing food and water. Drippy faucets, pooling water on your property, clogged gutters or downspouts may all provide an attractive opportunity for ants to congregate around a water source.
Care for your property
Keep shrubs and tree branches well-trimmed and at least a foot away from the house. This helps to prevent hidden access points from getting out of hand.
Vacuum every day
Ants can trace even the smallest of crumbs. Running your vacuum cleaner every day, especially along the edges of the room where food might have spilled, will help to prevent them from considering that as a food source.
Wipe down ant trails
If you do see an ant, you should kill it and then use disinfectant spray to wipe down the area where it traveled. Ants leave a trail for other ants to follow along behind them and find food. Wiping down the area will stop their friends and family from being attracted to the same place.
Although ant prevention is always the best form of defense, sometimes an ant infestation can’t be helped. If you do encounter signs of an ant infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional who can offer the most effective and efficient ant control while preventing further outbreaks and protecting your family. For Houston Pest Control options, Cypress Creek offers complete residential and commercial services.