It can be difficult to get rid of ants. Ants are highly mobile insects that can scale your walls and climb across ceilings. They're also tiny. It doesn't take much of a gap or crack to allow ants into your home. Therefore, effective ant control is a multi-pronged process. Let's take a look at this process.
Step 1: Eliminate Food Sources
If you have ants in your Denver property, it is likely that they've found a food source. This could be a rotting apple, dirty recyclables, dirty dishes, crumbs, organic matter in your trash, or something else. You may already know the source if you found ants crawling all over it. Remove the food and it might stop the ants from coming into your home.
Step 2: Clean
When ants find a food source, they lay down invisible trails. These trails are created with pheromones. Cleaning your floors and surfaces can remove the trails and the signal that is leading ants into your home. If ants are coming in from the outside, routine cleanings for a few days may stop them.
Step 3: Seal Gaps
While it is impossible to seal all of the openings ants can use to get into your kitchen or pantry, some of them can be targeted and addressed. The best tool for this job is a caulking gun. Do a detailed examination of your kitchen and look for every gap or crack you can find. If ants are coming in from the outside, and they aren't strongly motivated to be in your home, this can keep them from exploring your kitchen or pantry.
Step 4: Address Moisture
Ants don't just get into your home for food. They're drawn to leaking faucets, garbage disposal, pipes, and other plumbing issues. If you're noticing ants in your home consistently, it is likely that they've moved in. Addressing moisture issues and keeping your home clean could make them decide to move back out.
Step 5: Sealing Exterior Points Of Entry
As with sealing interior gaps, you're not going to be able to seal every entry point an ant can use to get into your home, but there are some common entry points that can be addressed:
- Repair damaged or worn-out weatherstripping and door sweeps on your exterior doors, particularly basement doors and doors that lead directly into your kitchen.
- Apply seals around exterior windows and doors in your foundation walls and on your first floor.
- Use a foundation repair kit to seal foundation cracks.
- Seal gaps around utilities, such as water, sewer, and electrical conduits.
- Make sure you have good seals around exterior wall penetrations, such as air condition units.
- Make sure vents and weep holes are protected.
Step 6: Limit Access
If you have ants near your home, you need to consider how they interact with your exterior walls. Inspect your landscaping and trim any vegetation that touches your walls.
Step 7: Alter Exterior Habitats
Ants will love the exterior of your Denver home if you have lots of sticks and leaves, or piles of wood. Remove organic material from your landscaping and move wood sources away from your home to reduce ant activity. This will reduce the number of ants that will try to get into your home, further protecting you from an infestation.
Step 8: Address Exterior Food Sources
If your exterior has lots of food, ants are likely to create nests in the ground near your home. This is likely to increase your interior ant problems. Here are a few attractants to consider:
- Open garbage or a dirty trash receptacle will draw ants from a distance. Keep your receptacles free of strong odors and remove trash routinely from your property.
- Destructive insects, such as aphids and whiteflies, can lead to increased issues with ants. These plant-damaging insects create honeydew, a desirable food source for a number of ant species.
- If you collect nuts from your yard and bag them to be removed, be sure to keep the bags away from your exterior.
- If you have pets that you feed outside, keep in mind that this is a food source that can attract ants.
- Bird feeders can cause seeds to litter the ground and will attract ants. Liquid feeders such as hummingbird feeders can attract ants as well. If you see ants crawling on your exterior feeders, that is a warning sign.
Step 9: Targeted Ant Control
When it comes to addressing an ant infestation, targeted ant control is sometimes needed. We recommend using bait. Unfortunately, applying bait to control ants can be difficult. They can refuse bait or become averse to the bait you're using. Proper identification of your pest ants is needed.
Denver Ant & Pest Control
If you need help arresting an ant infestation or you'd like ongoing ant (and other pest) reduction around your Denver home, we can help. Reach out to Absolute Pest Control. We'll guide you toward the right solution for your specific needs and budget. We offer both home pest control as well as commercial pest management services.