Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

Save Your Summer from Ant Infestations

Summer is the time for baseball games and backyard barbecues, picnics in the park and poolside piña coladas. But all too often, that laid-back relaxation is interrupted by unwanted guests. First, one shows up, then another, and before you know it, your kitchen, patio and even bathrooms are overrun by hordes of uninvited interlopers. No, the pesky intruders are not your in-laws or your teenager’s garage band - you’ve got an ant infestation on your hands.

Many insects hibernate through the winter. Like bears, they awake in the spring ravenous and ready to refuel. Ants infiltrate your home in the summer for the same reasons a teenage garage band will. They are hot, thirsty and looking for food. But ants are much more industrious than grungy guitarists. They can carry up to 50 times their own weight and will scurry back and forth at great speed. If an ant were the size of a human, it would clock in at just over 53 miles per hour, stopping only to take tiny 1.1 minute power naps before continuing the work of demolishing your pantry stores.

Ant infestations can be as small as a few dozen members, but most are much larger, numbering in the hundreds, thousands and even millions. The fable about the ants and the grasshopper wasn’t entirely made up; these hard workers spend the entire summer stocking up food in preparation for colder months. These creatures work hard to feed themselves and others - in addition to the food they cart off they also possess a second stomach that enables them to carry food to share inside as well. While this may seem altruistic, you won’t think so when it’s your food they’re contaminating and carrying away.

To prevent ant infestations from taking over your home each summer the most important measure you can take is securing your food. Ants will eat everything from spilled sugar to cookie crumbs to stovetop grease, so wipe off countertops after each meal and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Avoid leaving food out - refrigerate fruit, meat and other perishables as quickly as possible, and seal pantry items like cereal, bread and cookies in air-tight containers or bags. Take out the trash regularly and use bins with lids to deter the little pests from creeping inside and enjoying a dumpster diving feast. Towel up freestanding water around your pool and in the bathroom, where ants often find abundant water sources and attractive odors.

If these measures don’t keep unwanted guests away, it may be time to call in the reinforcements by using pest control products. Unfortunately, there’s nothing they can do about that garage band infestation.