Every year, the United States pest control industry generates over $26 billion in revenue. There are more than 34,000 different pest control businesses scattered throughout the country. More than 167,000 people work in the pest control industry to keep our homes free of ants and other pests.
The size of this industry is a testament both to how much people value pest control and to how often pests still manage to get into our homes to bother us. Many people need to learn how to stop ants from coming in through entrances to their homes at some point in their lives.
Once you learn these tips, you will be better prepared for all future infestations. Read on to learn all about the most important steps to take to keep ants from entering your home!
Look for Scout Ants
When it comes to pest infestation, it is even more true than usual that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You may need to make your own plan to deal with your infestation.
Not everyone knows how to recognize the early signs of a possible future infestation. Learning a little bit more about ant behavior can help you keep infestations from ever happening.
Ants use scouts to find sources of food. These scout ants take long and meandering paths in almost random directions. It is these scout ants that first enter your home looking for food.
When they get inside, ants might find a huge store of food, so they return and bring many other ants back with them. However, you can recognize and respond to these early scout ants to keep future infestations from occurring.
First, you can kill the scout ants you find. Second, you can recognize that the ants have a path into your home and may already know that it contains food. That is a sign that you may need to use some of the other tips in this article.
Keep Your Home Clean
Preventing ant infestations starts with making your home a less desirable target for infesting. The less food there is accessible to ants, the less incentive they will have to invade your home.
In most cases, ants do not find their first traces of food in your pantry. Instead, they find crumbs on the floor or food that has been left out. The cleaner your home is, the more scout ants will be disappointed by investigating it. That will lead them to move on to other places, so they will never lead more ants back into your home.
The most important thing to keep clean to prevent an ant infestation is the floor. If you find scout ants, make a point of focusing on sweeping and vacuuming until they stop coming back as frequently.
However, keeping the floor clean may not be enough. You may also need to wipe down any other surfaces in your home where there might be traces of food. Keep in mind that wiping things down with vinegar can make it even less likely that ants will find your home to be a hospitable environment.
Lastly, make sure to clean up your dirty dishes so that they do not offer a tempting supply of food to ants.
Store Food in Airtight Containers
For similar reasons, make sure to avoid leaving food out anywhere in your home where ants might be able to find it. Ants do not make it into the refrigerator because it is sealed and they cannot access it. Apply the same principle and seal up any food you are leaving out in airtight containers.
Keep in mind that if you do not use airtight containers, ants may smell food even if they cannot access it. That can draw them into your home as well.
Seal off Entrances to Your Home
Another way to manage infestations is by eliminating the paths that ants have into your home. Consider taking a slow walk around the perimeter of your home. Look for cracks and any other places that ants might be able to enter.
You can often fill in cracks with caulking. If you seal your home well enough, it will be much easier to prevent ants from coming back, regardless of how clean your home happens to be.
Of course, if you are dealing with an infestation, you might need to focus both on cleaning your home and on sealing up entrances at the same time.
Use an Ant Barrier
Ant barriers are made out of chemicals that ants prefer to avoid walking over. You can spray these chemicals in a perimeter all around your home so that it is impossible for ants to get to your home without crossing this barrier. This can be an effective technique, but there are some important things you need to remember about how to use it.
First, you may need to do more than simply spray the ant barrier in a line where the bottom of your home walls meets the ground. This is because ants often enter your home through higher entrances.
If possible, it is ideal if you can discover the specific paths that ants use to enter your home. You might be able to find a line of ants moving back and forth along a specific route. The more of these specific routes you can find, the more effective your ant barrier will be when you spray it so as to block these routes.
The other thing to keep in mind about ant barriers is that they are exposed to the elements outside. As a result, they will not last forever. This is especially true if you happen to have rain right after you apply your ant barrier.
As a result, you might need to apply your ant barrier multiple times. However, the longer ants find it hard to get past the ant barrier, the higher the chance that they will give up and start looking for food in other places. At that point, even when your ant barrier wears off, the ants will not return all at once.
However, if your home is still a great source of food for ants, it is probable that they will find their way back in one way or another. That is why it is important to combine these kinds of tools with keeping a clean home.
Eliminate Trails From Ant Infestations
Ants communicate by leaving behind scent trails. This is how a scout ant can lead other ants back into your home. If you can clean up these sent trails, then ants will have more difficulty navigating their way into your home.
Scent trails are left on the surfaces where ants walk. Use a vinegar and water solution to wipe up scent trails wherever you think ants might have been walking around your home.
Use Bait for Getting Rid of Ants
Ant bait is a powerful way to deter infestation. Learning more about tools for fighting infestations can help the whole process go more smoothly. Here is a particularly good one that we have had great success with.
Scout ants may take poisoned bait back to the nest to try to bring other ants back. However, the poisoned food will make it much less likely that the ants return.
Find Ant Colonies Outside
Ant colonies are the source of the ants in your home. If you look around outside, you might be able to find the nearby colonies. With the right products, you can partially exterminate these colonies once you find the little mounds that form outside their entrances.
Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to kill every ant in a colony using the kinds of tools you will have at your disposal. However, you do not need to kill every ant to have a significant effect on your infestation problem.
With such a major disruption to the colony, there is a good chance that the ants will forget about your home for the time being. As long as you keep your home clean, it is also less likely that they will come back.
Invest in Pest Control Services
Some types of ants are harder to get rid of than others. If your own efforts are not enough, you may need to hire professional pest control services. If you go this route, it might be helpful to look at reviews online to help you choose the right company.
Know How to Stop Ants From Coming In
Learning how to stop ants from coming in can be tricky at first, but it is more than worth it. Even if your efforts are not enough for your infestation, you can call quality pest control services to help you. Then, you can focus on prevention in the future.
To learn more about where you can find tools to help manage ant infestations, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!