Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

Ant Control Begins With You

There are about 400 ant species in North American but only a few are common household pests. These include Argentine ants, big-headed ants, little black ants, pavement ants, odorous house ants, fire ants, and pharaoh ants. They are found in outdoor mounds, under cracks in the concrete, in walls and under floors, and near heat sources in the home. What the pesky ants all have in common is they love what we love—sweets, grease, and protein-laden food including meat, nuts, cheeses, and peanut butter. They’re also a thirsty lot and ants need water just like larger critters. While you might see your home as your castle, ants see it as a giant, free buffet. And unless you want to share your citadel with an army of ants you need to make it extremely uninviting to the six-legged thorax packers.

The three words central to ant control are seal, clean, and bait. When ants overrun your home, they are following scent trails laid down by scout ants. The pheromone trails lead from the nest to your kitchen or garbage cans. In such cases, first thing to do is follow the ant trail back to the entry point. Ants will follow the path of least resistance and chances are the bugs are coming in through an obvious crack in the foundation, around a window, or under a door. Caulk up cracks and consider enhancing the weather stripping around doors and windows.

Once the entry points are sealed, take a soapy cloth and wipe up the trail of ants along with the pheromone trails. Clean sticky jelly jars and place open bags of sugar, cookies, cereal, and the like in air-thigh plastic containers. This will not only deprive ants (and mice and cockroaches) of their victuals but will keep your food fresher.

Finally, place numerous ant baits around your home, under sinks, in the basement, and around baseboards. Since the little critters can gain access to your home through the tiniest cracks, the baits will stop the ants in their tracks. Ant control begins with you but ends when the pests take the bait back to the queen and kill off the colony in the process.