Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

What to do if you see Ants in your House

The bad news is unless you live in a plastic bubble or are reading this from the International Space Station, ants are going to come into your house. They are tiny, clever, hungry, and thirsty. What looks like a spilled drop of fruit juice to you looks like manna from heaven to an ant. The good news is there are things you can do to avoid being at the center of an ant swarm.

The most common ant species live in outdoor colonies made up of nests underground or in ant hills. Each colony contains a queen, which might live for more than 30 years, producing more ants than you can imagine in your wildest nightmares. In most parts of the country, the ants hibernate in the winter. When the weather gets warm, millions of scouts emerge from the nest with one mission in mind—to find food and water for the queen and her brood back home. Your house, with its sweets, grease, sweating drainpipes, and garbage cans, has a great big target on it. Once the scout finds the food, it grabs a piece and follows his scent trail back to the nest. All the while he lays down a trail of pheromones that the worker ants will follow from their nest to yours. Next thing you know, a line of marching ants extends from your cupboard to the colony.

To stop the ant buffet in its tracks, there are several steps you can take. First remove the ants with a wet cloth or, my favorite, a vacuum cleaner. Clean the area around the ant trail with window cleaner, to remove the scent “map” that points to your cupboard. Eliminate food sources then set out some ant bait stations, like Combat Source Kill Ant Bait or Source Kill Max Ant Killing Gel. You can place the bait on the outside of the entry point so the ants won’t crawl back in your house to take the bait. Or you can place the bait throughout your home in the kitchen, garage, and basement to eliminate the problem. Finally, find the points where ants enter your house and fill them with caulk or other sealant. One thing is for sure, the world isn’t running out of ants, but if your casa is also an ant’s casa, it’s best to give them the bait and hope they switch to someone else’s home buffet.