August 7, 2020

Late summer visits from your favorite ants

August and September are the most active warm-weather months for home ant infestations, and 2020 is no exception.

A pandemic doesn’t bug these voracious little insects, who thrive on all the extra people spending extra time at home - especially if those people are eating.

Ant control is about keeping your home free of edible garbage. If ants discover easy access to food, they will keep coming back.

Promptly clean up grease, crumbs, and spills. Sanitize surfaces, and don’t forget to clean the cracks and crevices in pantries and cabinets. Keep pet food secure.

Carefully seal and store sugar, syrup, honey, and other sweets in airtight containers, and make sure to wipe the outside of the containers to get rid of any sticky residue. Make sure all garbage cans have a secure lid and dispose of trash often.

While a few ants crawling around the kitchen or bathroom might not seem like a big issue, they are doubtlessly from a larger colony. Most ants send out sentries looking for food, who then round up a few hundred friends to share. Next thing you know there’s conga line of ants in your home.

Mitigation is the key. Track the telltale ant trails to find ant entrances. Bait traps placed near the entry points are effective tools, but only a temporary solution. No matter how many you catch, there are always more coming.

Block their way. Use sealant around the home to fill cracks and vertices, paying close attention to utility wire and piping.

Check windows and doors for gaps and replace any screens with holes.

Ants need moisture to survive, and sometimes moisture around a leaky outdoor faucet or the seals of tubs or sinks can create a place where ants make a nest. Repair leaking pipes to avoid moisture buildup and use a dehumidifier in damp basements and attics.

Check potted plants inside the home for signs of nesting and keep landscaping well-maintained to discourage nesting in outdoor foliage.