Humans are a prolific species scientifically speaking. We have a recognizable talent for growing in numbers and spreading out across the environment given to us. However, looking at the bigger picture, humans are severely outclassed by another extremely prolific species here on Earth: Ants. Today we are going to discuss how to prevent an ant infestation.
With around a quadrillion of these insects inhabiting the globe alongside us, chances are we’ve all had a run-in or two with ants in our living spaces. In fact, for millions of people, ant problems can be a routine annoyance throughout the year.
We’ve compiled some key tips on how to prevent an ant infestation in your home, apartment, or any other living space. Hopefully, this list of tricks can give you a leg up in the unfair fight between ants and humans.
How To Prevent An Ant Infestation: The Basics
Start by addressing some fundamental items that, hopefully, will make the more in-depth actions unnecessary. Observe these regularly and consistently and you will drastically lower your chances of infestation.
Clean Well And Often
It sounds simple, but usually, the most simple solutions can have the greatest impact. When ants have worked their way into your home and are sending out scouts to look for their next meal or a location for the next nest, a dirty home is a treasure trove.
First, maintaining a mess in areas of the home can help ants go undetected. The right stack of unopened mail or dish you’ve been meaning to move to the sink can provide places for ants to sneak around and behind. By the time you become wise to the situation, the scouts have brought their friends and your problem just became much bigger.
Also, most of the things we clean up regularly like food waste, water, and other liquids, and general junk and garbage are exactly what ants are looking for. Taking away these tempting prizes and keeping things orderly can help deter those first few ants from finding any success or encouragement.
Most people don’t understand that regular cleaning and wiping down areas that could be affected by ants because in doing so, you are sabotaging the ants’ ability to find their way around. Have you ever wondered why you often see ants moving along a specific path one after another? This is because the ants have left behind a trail of pheromones that signal the proper way to navigate the area. Sanitizing the area can help prevent those ant trails from developing.
Seal Cracks And Openings
This is another basic tactic that we already practice in everyday life. Want to keep someone out of a specific area? Put up a strong door in between that someone and what they’re looking for.
Ants primarily find their way into your home from working their way through breaks or cracks in existing openings in your home. You’ll want to address any wear and tear around windows, doors, and wherever fixtures meet the underlying framework of the house, especially along exterior walls. Check your sealant and break out the caulk gun if you start to see those seals wear down.
Focus On High-Risk Areas
There is a simple truth that makes getting rid of ants difficult for most people. Homes can be quite expansive and ants are some of the smallest creatures you can encounter. It could be unrealistic to be constantly patrolling your abode policing ant colony risk.
Center your efforts on areas that ants have either been spotted before, or have a high concentration of things ants want. In most cases, this refers to spaces like the kitchen or bathrooms.
Also pay attention to places where your home has literal openings: windows and doors. Ants might outnumber us by a huge ratio, but they think similarly. If the doors already open, they might not choose to bust through the wall.
How To Prevent An Ant Infestation: Advanced Control
Once you feel comfortable that you’re abiding by best practices for preventing ants, it could be necessary to elevate your tactics. Consider some of these suggestions for ways to be more assertive about any ant issues.
Take It Outside
Most of the time, ants showing up in the home isn’t a surprise if you know what to look for. Ants that appear in the home have to move into the neighborhood at some point. Keep an eye out for exterior colonies and ant hills that seem to pop up in your lawn or patio areas. These colonies act like staging grounds for ants to begin finding their way into your space.
Once you’ve identified any of these exterior colonies, the top priority is wiping them out. While we want to respect wildlife in our environment, ants propagate at such a rapid rate that leaving them be can lead to a runaway issue that will only lead to more heartache.
Break Out The Clippers
One area homeowners tend to be blind to is their prized landscaping positioned right up against the house. Yes, the shrubs you’ve cultivated are beautiful and bring the lawn together, but if they are too close to exterior walls, you’ve just given ants a haven to take up shop in right next to your home.
Ensure that any landscaping has a decent buffer between itself and the exterior walls of the home. If need be, cut back or regularly trim any plants back to maintain that buffer. Otherwise, the natural shelter given to the ants can also break down and create a situation for more insects, like termites, to thrive.
Regular Inspections And Treatments
Finally, the surefire way to ensure that your ant prevention needs are being met is to regularly schedule pest control experts to inspect the property and address any issues discovered. Yes, it’s a good idea to call professionals in once a problem has gotten out of hand, but just like with medicine, preventative treatment can be more effective over the long haul.
Consider signing up for a quarterly pest control plan to combine your inspections and treatments into one manageable relationship with Pest Control and Lawn Experts who have over 70 years of experience in the Kansas City Area.