First, you notice them on your countertops or scurrying across the floor – and there’s never just one. As the spring season approaches, you may start to notice more ants around your home as these tiny pests become more active during these warmer months. Ants in the spring season are in search of new places to survive and grow their colonies. Unfortunately, our homes become the perfect place for this quest, which can lead to ant infestations. While most ants are harmless to us when inhabiting the outdoors, they can become a nuisance and create costly damage to your home if they find their way in. Knowing the key tips to controlling ants in the spring season will help you avoid the annoyance and financial impact that an ant infestation could result in. And if they do become a problem in your home this spring, it is important to call in professional ant extermination services to help.
Why is Controlling Ants this Spring Important?
Ants live in colonies, sometimes reaching populations of upwards of 100,000 ants. There are even some, called supercolonies, that can reach ant populations in the millions. For example, one supercolony along the Mediterranean coast amassed a network of nests spanning over 3,500 miles! No matter the size of the colony or type of ant, they often have a similar agenda in the spring season; to find food, water, and shelter to aid them in growing their colonies.
The warm spring weather provides the perfect conditions for ants to embark on this mission for food, water, and shelter. In addition, the spring season brings rain to the New England region, which drives ants to take cover indoors. Unfortunately for us, our homes often provide these survival needs, creating the perfect environment for ants in the spring season. Once they find these survival needs within our homes, they excrete pheromones, creating a chemical trail for other ants to follow suit. Before you know it, more and more ants have made their way down the trail, creating an ant problem in your home.
Which Types of Ants Could Cause a Problem this Spring?
There are many different types of ants that could cause an ant problem this spring. One type of ant that could enter your home are sugar ants. Sugar ants are often in search of high-carbohydrate sweet foods, which could lead them right into your home’s kitchen this spring. Without the proper precautions, these ants can quickly infest your property, contaminating food and attracting other insects to your home in the process.
Another type of ant that could cause an ant problem this spring are carpenter ants. Carpenter ants tend to be larger in size than sugar ants, with some queen carpenter ants reaching an entire inch! Unlike sugar ants, which are primarily motivated by food, carpenter ants tend to be more focused on finding sources of water. Ants need this water to survive and also to fuel their hunt for shelter within your home. Carpenter ants tend to find this shelter in moist, rotting wood that can sometimes be found in your home. The moisture ridden wood makes it easy for ants to burrow, and also provides water to satisfy their hydration needs.
Whether scurrying amongst your food or burrowing through the wood structures of your home, ants in the spring season can not only be a nuisance but can pose a serious risk to your home. Because of this, it is important to be aware of how you can take action to control ants in your home this spring season.
How to Control Ants in Spring
With the weather warming up, controlling ants this spring can be done by implementing the following tips.
Tip #1: Keep Your Home Clean
When ants enter your home, they are often looking for food sources. Even the smallest crumb of food can end up creating a full-blown invasion within your home. Because of this, it is important to eliminate these sources of food by keeping your home clean and free from food and residues that may attract these pests. The following tips can help you prevent ants from finding food within your home:
- Vacuum and Sweep Regularly: This step is important for removing any small crumbs of food that may be left on your floor, especially in areas like the kitchen.
- Clean Up Spills and Wipe Down Surfaces: Ants, particularly sugar ants, are looking to find sweet food to feed on in your home. This can be found on surfaces in the form of spills and residue that have been left behind. Make sure to regularly wipe down surfaces, particularly those that may be prone to these spills, like kitchen cabinets and countertops.
- Don’t Leave Dirty Dishes in your Sink: Ants may already be attracted to your kitchen sink if they are in search of moisture this spring. Add in dirty dishes and your sink becomes the perfect feast for these tiny pests. Keeping your sink free from dirty dishes or food scraps is a key step to prevent ants from entering your kitchen this spring.
Tip #2: Properly Store Away Food
The last thing you want is for ants to be crawling amongst your family’s food this spring season. To prevent ants from finding their way in and contaminating your food, be sure to store all food in sealed, air tight containers.
Tip #3: Seal Off Entrances into your Home
Another way to control ants this spring is to seal off any potential places where ants could find their way into your home. Given their tiny size, ants can fit through the tiniest cracks in your home, potentially leading to an infestation. To prevent ants from finding these entrances, identify these potential areas and seal them using caulk, plaster, or other substance dependent on the type of entrance. Some entrances are harder to find, and may only reveal themselves after a trail of ants have found their way in. In this scenario, quickly take action by identifying where the ants are entering and sealing it promptly to avoid the rest of the colony from invading your home.
Tip #4: Manage and Control Sources of Moisture
Along with food, most ants are also in search of water as they enter your home. They may find this underneath your kitchen sink or within rotting wood of your home’s structure. For example, carpenter ants can borrow through the moist wood within your home, which can weaken the structure of your home, posing a serious risk for your family. Identifying and removing these sources of moisture in your home is an important step for keeping your home and family safe from an ant problem this spring season. The following tips can help you prevent ants this spring by managing and controlling sources of moisture within your home:
- Make sure leaky faucets and appliances are under control.
- Check your home for rotting or moisture-ridden wood and replace if found.
- Replace any wood that has been previously infested by ants.
- Store firewood in a cool, dry place above ground.
- Paint and seal exposed wood to prevent it from becoming moist and damaged.
- Check for leaky roofs, plumbing, and other sources of moisture that could be in your home.
While ants in the spring do pose a threat to your home, following these steps can help you prevent ants from invading. If ants do find their way into your home this spring season, it is important to catch their invasion in its early stages in order to tackle the problem effectively. By working with a pest control company like Eliminate ‘Em, you will get peace of mind that any ant problem you face this spring is handled professionally and effectively.
Does your Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island home show signs of an ant problem? If you suspect ants have invaded your home, call 866-601-5357 for same day ant removal services from Eliminate ‘Em!