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.

How To Prevent An Ant Infestation: The Basics. Cleaning house.

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.

Focus On High-Risk Areas. Wooden Kitchen Table.

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.

Ant Prevention FAQ

Q: What Scent Do Ants Hate?

A: Ants are known to dislike certain scents, which can disrupt their communication and foraging patterns. One of the most commonly cited scents that ants dislike is vinegar. The strong acidic smell of vinegar can interfere with ants’ ability to communicate through pheromones, leading them to avoid areas where vinegar is present.

Q: Does Lavender Repel Ants?

A: Yes, lavender is known to repel ants due to its strong scent, which disrupts their communication and foraging patterns. Placing sachets of dried lavender or spraying lavender essential oil in ant-prone areas can help deter ants from entering your home.

Q: How Long Does Peppermint Oil Repel Ants?

A: Peppermint oil can repel ants for several days to weeks, depending on factors such as the concentration of the oil, the frequency of application, and environmental conditions. Reapplication may be necessary after heavy rainfall or if the scent dissipates over time.

Q: Why Are There Ants In My Bedroom?

A: Ants may be attracted to your bedroom for several reasons, including the presence of food crumbs, spills, or open food containers that provide a food source for them. Additionally, ants may enter your bedroom in search of water, shelter, or nesting sites, especially during warmer months when outdoor conditions become less favorable. It’s also possible that ants are using cracks, gaps, or openings in walls, floors, or windows as entry points into your bedroom. Regularly cleaning and sealing food sources, as well as addressing entry points, can help prevent ants from entering your bedroom.

Q: What Attracts Ants?

A: Ants are attracted to a variety of factors, primarily food, water, and shelter. They are especially drawn to sugary substances, protein-rich foods, and greasy or oily residues. Crumbs, spills, and food debris left unattended can serve as a food source, attracting ants to your home. Additionally, standing water or moisture can attract certain ant species, as they require water for survival. Ants may also seek shelter in warm, protected areas, such as cracks, crevices, or openings in walls, floors, or foundations. Proper food storage, regular cleaning, and addressing moisture issues can help reduce factors that attract ants to your home.

Q: Do ant traps work?

A: Yes, ant traps can be effective in controlling ant infestations, particularly when used correctly and in conjunction with other pest control methods. Ant traps typically contain a bait that attracts ants, which they then carry back to their colony, ultimately leading to the elimination of the colony. However, the effectiveness of ant traps can vary depending on factors such as the type of bait used, placement of traps, and species of ants. It may take some time for ant traps to significantly reduce ant populations, so patience and consistent application are key. Additionally, it’s important to choose ant traps specifically designed for the species of ants you are dealing with for optimal results.


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