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MARCH 14 2022 /
Do you have ant troubles? Well, they're only getting started. Ants come out of hiding in spring and begin to do what they do best: multiply.
Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. Here is what you need to know to protect your home from ants.
Ants in the kitchen. If you have a few ants here and there, those are just scouts. Spray them with soapy water, window cleaner, or a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. If they are outdoor nesting ants, this will sometimes be enough to deter them from coming in. Don't squish them, because they have a pheromone inside their body that attracts other ants.
Ants in the pantry. If you're getting ants in your pantry, you probably have an exposed food source. You can usually tell where that food source is by the location of the ants. Worker ants don't eat the food. They have to bring it back to their colony and have it processed into a liquid form. That means there will be a trail you can follow to the food source. Put exposed food in hard plastic containers and clean your shelves.
Ants in the walls. Those ant trails will also lead you to entry points. Look closely to where ants are coming in and going out. You can keep many ants out by sealing up holes with a caulking gun, but be aware that you may have ants inside your walls. If they are carpenter ants, you need to take care of the problem immediately. Carpenter ants usually get into homes where there is water damage. This is not a DIY project. It requires a specialist that knows how to track down ant colonies and treat them inside your walls.
Ants around the foundation. You can deter ants from getting into your wall voids by sealing up any cracks or gaps in your foundation. You may be tempted to try to spray those ants out of existence, but be aware that spraying ant workers will not kill the colonies. Often it will cause colonies to divide, making your problem worse. Get a professional to locate and eradicate colonies.
Ants on walkways and in the yard. There isn't a lot you can do about ants in your yard or on your walkway. Applying pesticides can be dangerous to children, pets and even you. If you want to kill the ants on your property, this is another job for a professional.
Ants require ongoing protection. If you do get a professional to fix your ant problem for good, know that this is not a one-time fix. Ants continue to encroach, and they require routine deterrence. But most pest control companies offer a plan that protects against multiple pests, so it is well worth the investment to get year-round pest control.
Make ant-proofing your home part of your spring cleanup activities. It is important to start your protection "before" those ants get into your walls because getting them out of your walls is a pain. Start early and stay vigilant.