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How do Ants Get Into an Apartment?

Ants are a common problem for millions of homeowners—but if you don’t live in a house, you might think you’re exempt. Unfortunately, even apartment-dwellers can end up battling ants sometimes, and this is true whether you live on the first floor or fourteenth. How do these insects manage to get all the way up there?

Hitching Rides

In the beginning, ants can get into an apartment building the same way they get into any other building—by taking advantage of any opportunity they are given. Ants can hitch a ride by getting into pet food, firewood, flowers, or anything else that comes into the building from outdoors, or even from another building that already has an ant infestation. It’s important to check any items you think might be carrying ants before you bring them into your apartment.

Moving In

These bugs also look for any cracks, gaps, or openings that might appear in the building, especially near ground level. They are small enough that they can squeeze through nearly any opening, and if it’s even too small for them, they have been known to gnaw wider holes in some cases. Ants can also get in through doors, windows, and some ventilation systems, and they can climb fairly well—meaning that they can climb up the outside of a building until they find a spot where they can enter. 

The best ways to prevent this from happening include applying caulk to any cracks or gaps and sealing any other large openings to make it as difficult as possible for ants to invade. Landlords and building managers should also make sure that vegetation is kept trimmed and doesn’t push directly up against the building to reduce the chance that ants will transfer from their natural habitat into yours. A few outdoor bait stations can also help.

Spreading Out

Once ants get inside a building, they can easily spread by creeping through the walls, infesting places under your floors, getting into furniture, and following plumbing or electrical lines. Ants may move from apartment to apartment once inside. If this happens, a building-wide effort may be necessary, although there are a number of steps you can take to make your own apartment less hospitable. 

First of all, you should avoid leaving food for them by cleaning up all crumbs and storing edibles carefully. Second, a few well-placed bait stations can discourage them from entering your space. Fighting ants in your apartment may be annoying, but products like Combat can assist you with resolving the problem. Visit our Prevention Tips page for more tips and other help.