Keeping Ants from Ruining Your Holiday Feasts
Nothing can ruin a holiday feast faster than uninvited guests showing up with massive appetites and atrocious table manners. The intruders arrive empty handed, take over every corner of your kitchen, and eat everything in sight. You can’t reason with them and begging is to no avail. And no, I’m not talking about crazy aunt relatives, I’m talking about insect ants.
If you want to keep ants from ruining your holiday meals you need to do what the ants do: plan ahead. Ants are on the constant lookout for food. As the weather cools sugar ants, odorous house ants, and carpenter ants start searching for a warmer place to forage before frigid cold weather arrives. With its heating, freshwater, and plenty of stored food your house makes the perfect buffet.
To prevent ants from invading your holiday dinner, follow a routine course of action throughout the year. Keep your kitchen clean and scrub away crumbs, grease, juice spills, and random food bits. Pay extra attention to areas around the stove, along the baseboards, and under appliances like toasters and microwaves. Make sure oils, sweets, meats, fruit, and other ant attractants are stored in airtight containers or in the fridge. Wipe down the cupboards where food is stored and don’t let garbage sit in the trash can for long.
To keep ants out in the cold, seal up cracks in the foundation and caulk up gaps where the utility lines enter the house. Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed. This will also save you money on heating bills when cold winds blow.
If you’re picking up fresh produce at a farmers market, or even the big-box store, inspect the food for the sisterhood of the traveling ants. Ants can also stowaway on firewood as well as pumpkins, gourds, and pine boughs used for centerpiece decorations.
The best way to prevent a holiday infestation is to place ant bait stations around your home in early fall. The ants can’t resist the delicious bait mixed with insecticides. They carry the food back to their colony and it wipes out the entire nest within a few days. While the ants won’t be thankful, your guests will be.