Are you sick of ant issues? There is a secret weapon you can use against ants. It's called: knowledge. The more you know about ants, the fewer issues you're going to have with them. Let's take a look at a few key factors you can alter to deter ants and keep them from driving you crazy.
Ants explore your property looking for food. When they find food, it allows them to grow their colonies faster, establish new nests, and increase the chances that they'll get into your home. If they get inside and find food, you can expect some ant species to establish nests in your home. But, at the very least, you'll invite ants to frequently enter your home if you provide food sources. Here are a few tips to help you remove food options.
Exterior Trash — Your trash can attract ants from a distance. Many ant species are drawn to the strong odor of decaying organic matter. Keep your trash cans as clean as possible to remove this attractant.
Honeydew — When plant-damaging insects, like aphids, get into your landscaping, you'll have more than just aphid issues. Aphids produce honeydew, which is a highly sought-after food source for ants. Keep your plants healthy to resist aphids and wash aphids off your plants when you see them.
Nectar — When ants explore your landscaping, they'll be excited to find flowers. Nectar is a great food source. If you have flowering weeds in your landscaping, it is beneficial to remove them. Not only will it reduce this food source, but also help with keeping your landscaping dry.
Insects — Ants eat insects both dead and alive. The more insects you have, the more ants you're likely to have. You can reduce insects in your yard by replacing exterior white lights with yellow lights, or by keeping lights off at night. You can also reduce insects by reducing moisture, but we'll get to that later.
Seeds — Ants eat seeds of all types. They'll eat grass seed, birdseed, plant seeds, and more. Keep this in mind when you're introducing grass seed to your property. You have to consider ant control as you seed your lawn or you'll have hundreds of ant mounds scattered throughout your lawn.
Interior Food Debris — If ants get into your home, you don't want them to find any food at all. This is difficult as crumbs are a meal for several ants. Clean routinely and deep clean periodically.
Containers — Ants love sticky jars, juice spills, condiments on dirty plates, and other sweet food sources. Clean the jars in your cabinets. Store dirty dishes in soapy water until you're ready to clean them. Clean glass, metal, and plastic containers you put into your recycling.
Stored Foods — Ants can get into your pantry and kitchen foods. Store paper and cardboard packaged items in sealed plastic containers to keep smells in and ants out.
Pet Food — When you put food down for your pets, you could be feeding ants. Consider only putting food down during mealtimes, and pick it right up afterward.
Another attractant for ants is moisture and water sources. We don't need to get into too much detail with this one. Here are a few examples of how you can address moisture outside and inside your Washington D.C. home.
- Clean your gutters and make repairs if necessary.
- Fix exterior plumbing issues.
- Remove leaves, sticks, and other organic debris from near your home.
- Move wood stacks, stone piles, and other man-made objects away from your exterior.
- Thin your landscaping in areas that are dense. Target flowery weeds first.
- On the inside of your home, repair leaky faucets, showerheads, garbage disposals, and other plumbing issues.
Ants get into your Washington D.C. home because they can. Once you've reduced the number of ants around your home, and given them less incentive to come inside, you need to consider potential entry points.
- If you have light leaking past the seal around your exterior doors, ants can get into your home.Replace weatherstripping, door sweeps, and wood frames. If you have double doors, you may need to have them realigned.
- Fill in gaps and cracks in wood rot or in wood that has been attacked by wood-destroying pests.
- Seal cracks in your foundation walls and seal gaps around plumbing and wire conduits.
When Targeted Ant Control Is Needed
If ant pressures are high, or it is too difficult to control conducive conditions, it is necessary to use control products. It is best to hire a licensed pest professional for the application of these products because the ant species must be properly identified for the ant control products to be effective, and a professional will select appropriate EPA-approved materials and eco-friendly control products to get the job done without presenting harm to you, your kids, or your pets. If you live in Washington D.C. reach out to Miche Pest Control for ant control service. We're here to help.