Ants can be quite a nuisance. Often times, homeowners aren’t able to find the source of an ant infestation and spend ages trying to get rid of them. Even just one or two in the home can signal a nest of thousands nearby. That said, keep reading to learn more about what attracts ants, how to prevent them, and how you can get rid of them for good if you’re experiencing an infestation.
If you’re finding ants marching around your home, it can be hard to target what they are attracted to (or perhaps they have simply found shelter in the house).
Accessible food is the most common source. With 400+ odor receptors, ants have an incredible sense of smell considering how small they are. What food attracts ants? This depends on the species, but most are attracted to sugar and grease. Often times, forgotten food spills or hidden messes will attract them. Additionally, ants can easily smell food that isn’t securely stored in a container or inside the fridge.
Although ants don’t fall into the pantry pest extermination category, they are sometimes also attracted to dry foods such as flour or grains if they’re not securely stored.
What causes ants in the house aside from food? Excess moisture is another factor that could be attracting ants. If there are ants in your bathroom, water is typically the cause. Carpenter ants, for example, build nests under bathroom sinks and tiles since they hold the most moisture. If you’re finding ants, there could be a leak – check near toilets, sinks, and tubs for any leaks. If you’ve searched high and low for foods in the kitchen, they could be attracted to water.
To prevent kitchen ants, cleanliness is most important. Make sure to clean countertops and floors regularly with soap (water alone may not completely eradicate scents that attract ants). Clean up any spills as quickly as possible, especially spills that are sugary or greasy. Pay extra close attention to small spaces or cracks that food could fall into, as well as children that may be sneakily hiding food around the home.
Additionally, make sure to clean indoor garbage cans and empty them out daily. Place perishable food inside a bag before throwing into the trash, and keep any outside trash cans away from the entrance of your house.
To prevent ants in your bathroom, make sure to thoroughly clean your bathroom to remove any standing pools of water. Also, scrub the floors and inside of drawers with a cleaner. Along with the bathroom, the kitchen sink may also provide ants with needed water. Try to keep the kitchen sink and nearby areas free of standing water.
In some unfortunate circumstances, ants may have decided to make a nest in your home walls or other areas. This is a less common occurrence, but it happens. In this case, you often need a professional as you can’t reach the source of the problem with regular bug sprays and other products. Some species are more likely to nest in your home (for example, pavement ant infestation is common because they often live in home foundations).
If you already have an infestation, there are a few ways you can go about getting rid of ants. Often times, you can pinpoint what they are attracted to because they huddle around it. For example, if you dropped a piece of pie next to the fridge, they will likely leave once you remove their source of food. If you can’t find the exact source, try following all of the prevention measures listed previously. Perform a deep clean of your kitchen to remove any old spills and crumbs. If this doesn’t work, search the home for any standing water and fix this if you find any.
However, sometimes you’ll find stubborn ants that have created a nest in your home or are using your home for shelter. This usually requires a professional to perform a full ant extermination, but you can try over-the-counter products to get rid of ants. Ant traps can be successful, as well as some repellants. Overall, a professional like Aptive Environmental will be able to target the source of the problem and quickly eliminate it. We focus on eliminating the current infestation as well as future infestations. If the bugs come back, we will too (at no additional cost)!