While small in stature, ants can be very difficult to control and can live in colonies that exceed more than 500,000 individuals. Needless to say, this can become quite a nuisance around your home, especially in the warm summer months.
Because ant species behave differently, it’s important to properly identify the type of ant on your property. Some ants, like carpenter ants, are most likely to cause structural damage around your home by chewing through wood to make their nests. Other ants, like pavement ants and European fire ants, can be aggressive and are more likely to sting humans.
From the sidewalk to the laundry room, these innovative insects are able to build nests in all sorts of places. Potential hot spots for ant activity include the kitchen or pantry, protected places like wall voids or spaces under appliances and warm or humid places near drains, pipes and wiring.
When inspecting your home, keep an eye out for entry points like cracks, gaps and holes in doors, windows and walls. Make sure to routinely install or replace door sweeps and weather stripping that wears down with use and seal any openings that may signal an open door to foraging ants.
Food and other debris can also attract worker ants looking for the colony’s next meal. Once they find a food source, these workers will send a chemical signal to the rest of the colony – and you’ll start to see the infamous ant trail. Ensure all food is put away and no crumbs are left out in the open. Take the trash out regularly, especially in warmer months, to deter ants from entering your home.
To keep your home from becoming an ant bed and breakfast, download our “Ants Small but Mighty” guide and arm yourself with the knowledge to defeat this annoying pest.
Reviewed by Alice Sinia, Ph.D., MSc on July 24 2021.
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