Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control
If you’ve ever had your home invaded by ants, then you know that you don’t want it to happen again. A trail of those industrious pests meandering through your cupboards, marching over your floors, and swarming along cabinets and doorways is a traumatic experience not to be repeated. Instead of dealing with an ant infestation – and the time and energy to eradicate them – let’s focus on ant control and make sure they don’t find a welcoming experience in your home.
What can you do to control ants in your home? Here are 5 effective ant control tips.
Like all living creatures, ants need food, water, and shelter. When you begin to control that, you can control the ants.
1. Reduce Moisture & Food Sources Inside the House
Ants will be attracted to sources of food and water in your house. Crumbs and spilled drinks on the floor, open containers, pet food, and even a leaky faucet can bring in unwelcome guests.
- Contain food garbage and take it out frequently
- Sweep & wipe floors regularly
- Wash dishes promptly
- Feed pets and then put food away/sealed
- Keep pantry items in air-tight containers
- Fix leaky faucets/showerheads quickly
- Use exhaust fan to mitigate condensation after shower/bath
However, we all live in our houses and they can’t be sparkling clean every moment. So, let’s make sure ants never find their way inside to begin with. So. . .
2. Reduce Entry Points & Access to the House
It can seem impossible to entirely eliminate ant access to our houses as they can get through spaces just 1/16”, but there are steps to reduce the ease with which ants can enter your home.
- Seal foundation cracks
- Assess gaps around the foundation and seal off
- Replace old weatherstripping
- Correct damage to door sweeps
- Cut back bushes, trees, and shrubs that touch the house (and create a bridge into your home or business)
- Keep a 3-6 inch clearance between the ground and your siding (to prevent ants from nesting in the siding)
Now that ants can’t get into the house, let’s keep building this barrier. . .
3. Reduce Moisture & Food Sources Outside the House
If ants can’t find food, water, and shelter INSIDE the house, they will find it outside. We can often unknowingly create hospitable environments for these pests in our yards.
- Rake & toss leaves, nuts, and organic debris that can collect and create a welcome food source
- Clean trash cans or dirty receptacles
- Ensure gutters are working properly
- Trim vegetation for good airflow (so it doesn’t collect moisture)
- Remove objects that collect water
- Consider watering plants in the early morning
Now that we’ve eliminated or reduced the things ants need to survive, let’s add an extra layer of protection with some barriers. . .
4. Control Ants with Natural Repellants
Especially in the house where we want to reduce chemical exposure for pets and children, using natural repellants can be a good choice to control ants.
- Lemons: Squirt lemon juice on windowsills and entrance points. Slip a wedge into a known crack or hole. Scatter peel outside doors to repel ants.
- White vinegar: Like lemon juice, use white vinegar to repel ants. And add it to your cleaning routine (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water makes an excellent ratio for effectively eliminating ant scent trails).
- Herbs and Spices: Slip a bay leaf inside pantry staples (if you don’t want the bay to influence the flavor, tape it to the lid). Make a sachet of sage, bay, cinnamon sticks, and whole clove and place in the pantry, closets, cupboards to keep ants at bay.
5. Control Ants with Baits and Traps
Add to your ant control arsenal with baits and traps or consider professional services.
- Liquid & solid baits: If you are using baits, be prepared to see more ants initially. But don’t kill them. Let them take the poison back to the nest.
- Invest in professional ant control services: If you’ve done all you can and still have problems, or if you just want the peace of mind that comes with expertise, reach out to Cascade for pest control.
Cascade Pest Control has been working in the Greater Seattle region for over 42 years now. Our experienced technicians know the ins and outs of ant control and are dedicated to creating a plan that works best for you.
Call 888-989-8979 today to get a quote from Cascade Pest Control!
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