Why Do Ants Keep Coming Back To My House?
Frequent encounters with marching colonies of ants inside your house are never a good sign. This is especially alarming if they keep coming back even after you regularly ambush them with strong ant-repellants. So, how can you win against these tiny insects?
No matter what ant repellent you use, ants will keep coming back if they can find what they need in your house. So to have an ant-free home, you’ll need to ensure your home is not attractive to these harmless-looking insects.
First things first, you need to learn what are the factors that draw ants towards your house. Then, you can start making changes. In this article, we have outlined some of the most common ant attractants.
Reasons Why Ants Keep Coming Back to Your House
Access to Food
All kinds of insects that come into your home come in search of food – and ants are no exception. You might already know that ants love food crumbs. Leave some food open on the kitchen counters, and ants will swarm all over the area in no time. Unfortunately, food crumbs are not the only thing you need to worry about.
Ants are attracted to any kind of food item in open packages. So from sugar to flour to chips and cookies, be sure to store everything in tightly sealed containers. Otherwise, these canisters full of dry goods will bring ants into your house. In addition to using air-tight containers, you can add a bay leaf to each of these containers. Bay leaf gives off a strong odour that deters ants.
Also, do not leave overripe fruits on counters. The sweet smell attracts not only ants but lots of other bugs too.
Overall, the only way to limit food sources for ants is through frequent deep cleaning. Clean areas where food is consumed and remove food debris that collects around ovens and refrigerators. Scrub baseboards, keep the floor clean, and empty kitchen cabinets.
Ants also love drink spills and grease, so clean these immediately. Even before you throw soda glass bottles and cans in the recycle bin, empty them first. Next, throw out leftover pet food and wash the pet food bowls. Furthermore, you can use some DIY solutions like vinegar if you want to remove scent trails left by other ants.
Ants often return to the same home repeatedly because it is a good source of moisture. Like all other bugs, ants enjoy moist areas. They need a water source, but they only need a little water to survive. That’s because ants can store water and use it later.
Wondering how you can reduce moisture in your home? Well, it’s pretty easy. First, eliminate moisture by using dehumidifiers. Pay special attention to kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and crawl spaces which are more prone to excess moisture. Routinely check tubs, showers, toilets, and sinks. Fix any leaks immediately.
Finally, check if your home’s exterior is moisture-free. Ensure there is proper water drainage. Check that the gutters are clean and the fixtures are dry.
Loads of Entry Points
Ants are tiny. They barely need any space to crawl into a house. But you can block all entry points so that ants cannot enter your home. So, first of all, identify all the possible points of entry ants are using to enter your home. This is not very difficult, especially if you follow ant trails.
After that, repair these holes and gaps from both outside and inside to prevent ants from entering. Do not forget to seal holes on all the doors and windows. Ants can make nests in walls, so you might also want to patch up the holes in walls.
Furthermore, try to trim vegetation and trees so that they stay clear of the house. Sometimes, when ants fail to enter through direct routes, they can travel over branches to reach your home.
Plants Within the House
Having fresh plants inside the house is a tempting thought. As exciting as it may be, having fresh indoor plants do come with a few drawbacks. One of the problems you might face with having indoor plants is ant attacks. Yes, ants love plants too!
Ants enjoy fresh and damp soil. The plants in your house will not survive without this, so you are unknowingly inviting a trail of ants by keeping indoor plants. If you enjoy the greenery but do not want ants to return, remove all indoor plants and replace them with artificial ones.
Ant Scent Trails Are Not Cleaned Properly
Another main contributor to the return of ants is ant scent trails. Ants that had invaded your home previously would have left a scent trail. Worker ants depend on scent signals left by their scouts to help their colony find specific food sources. This trail is primarily made of pheromones, which are natural chemicals ants deposit throughout their route.
Even though these scent trails are not too difficult to remove, most people do not do anything about them. If you have taken care of ants recently, you must take care of their scent too. How? It’s as simple as wiping the affected surface well.
It is recommended that you do not remove the trail immediately upon discovering it. Instead, observe it and set out different ant traps along the path. This way, worker ants will bring both the food and poison bait (set by you) back to their colony. This will diminish the colony. After your trap has done its job, you can remove the pheromones from the trail by cleaning it.
Now, ants will not keep coming back. You may want to use ant-deterring agents such as vinegar, cinnamon, baking soda, or chilli powder. Don’t have any of these? Boiling water will do the job just as well.
Pestered by the constant invasion and reinvasion of ants into your home? Then you need to find the reasons why these insects are constantly crawling back. One of the most common things that attract ants into homes is the availability of food.
Pay attention to food crumbs and drink spills. Clean these immediately to prevent ants from raiding the crumbs and spillings on countertops and floors. Also, note how you are throwing leftovers into the trash. The scent of leftovers in your trash can attract ants too.
Remove any moisture and clean surfaces well. Next, you can use a potent agent such as vinegar or baking soda to remove scent trails. Finally, identify and seal all the possible entry points. By being mindful of these ant attractants, you can easily tackle the ant problem in your home. But even after taking all the necessary steps, if you still see ants in your house, you should contact a knowledgeable pest control expert to take charge of the situation and help you keep the ants out of your way for good.