Ants are one of the most common household pests in the world. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and are consistently one of the most called about pests for pest control companies here in Queensland. Getting rid of ants can be difficult and frustrating. Luckily, learning how to ant proof your home can help alleviate these problems.
One of the first things you need to know about ants is that they live in highly sophisticated colonies with a queen (or queens), future reproductives, soldiers, and workers. The ants that you see marching through your kitchen day after day are worker ants that are responsible for gathering the food and bringing it back to the rest of the colony. If you only kill these workers, you will never be able to completely eliminate the nest because the queen will continue producing more workers as fast as you can kill them.
If you want to ant-proof your home, you will need to focus on three main areas: taking care of your yard, sealing your home, and proper sanitation.
Taking Care of Your Yard
The more ants you have around your yard, the more likely they are to find their way into your home. There are many things you can do to make your yard less enticing for ants.
- Trim all your landscaping so that it is well-manicured and not touching your house. Plants that touch the home can become easy bridges that allow access for insects.
- Keep the grass short. Tall grass provides shade, moisture, and shelter for ants. It also makes it difficult to see anthills until it is too late.
- Control the aphid population in your garden. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that eat sap from plants. They are very common in gardens and yards. Aphids produce a sweet liquid called honeydew that ants love to eat. Ants will protect the aphids so that they can eat the honeydew. You can control aphids with insecticidal soap, lady bugs, and other insecticides.
- Get rid of rotting wood around your home and move firewood stacks away. Ants like to nest in wood, especially if it is decaying, so keeping it away from the house is essential.
Sealing Your Home
Sealing the exterior of your home is an important step to prevent all pests, including ants. Start by slowly walking around the outside of your home, taking note of any cracks, gaps, or holes. Small cracks and crevices can be sealed by applying a clear latex caulk. Larger holes may require expandable spray foam. Other openings like chimneys, vents, and weep holes can be covered with a fine mesh that will allow air flow, but keep insects out.
There are a number of things that attract ants to homes, but number one is food. Kitchens tend to provide an easy and consistent source of food. When one ant finds food it will communicate with other ants through the use of pheromones. These pheromones form a trail that the rest of the ants can follow straight into your kitchen. If you don’t want ants inside, it is important to maintain a clean home and eliminate these pheromone trails by doing the following the best you can:
- Sweep, mop, and vacuum regularly
- Immediately clean up any spills or crumbs
- Wash dishes after use
- Take out the trash often
- Store food properly, either in the refrigerator or in glass or hard plastic containers
- Do not leave pet food and water out overnight
Sunshine Coast Pest Control
If ants are a problem around your home or property, call the professionals at Radar Pest Control. Our team of experienced technicians can inspect your property, identify problem areas, and apply a barrier treatment around your home to help keep ants, spiders, roaches, and many other pests away. For pest control Buderim, pest control Nambour, and everywhere in between, contact Radar Pest Control today.