When you plug something into an electrical socket, you might not give the square plate on your wall a second thought. But the electric wires attached the socket can act as a thoroughfare for ants who want to leave the great outdoors and set up residence in your walls.
If you remove an outlet cover and unleash a swarm of little black ants or light brown pharaoh ants, you have a problem. Unlike the trail of ants you might see from your backdoor to the kitchen cupboard, these little ants are not temporary visitors. It is likely they have built a nest inside your wall. But don’t panic. A few simple steps will place Road Closed signs across the ant highways.
First wipe away the ants crawling over your wall with a damp cloth, being sure to avoid touching the electrical outlet. This will eliminate any scout trails the ants might follow on their way to your commissary. The second step is to place ant baits around the infestation. The ants enter the bait station; eat the deliciously irresistible poison and take some back to the colony to feed the Queen. With ant bait stations or ant killing bait strips, the entire colony will be destroyed within a week or two.
After setting the bait, take yourself outdoors. You will most likely see a line of ants moving along your foundation or siding. They are probably entering your home through miniscule cracks around electric boxes, wires, conduit, cable TV lines, phone lines, or pipes. Seal up all cracks, crevices, and holes with outdoor caulk.
Now it’s time to do an analysis of your structure. Ants only care about three things, food, water, and shelter. (Well, make that four—reproduction.) They usually invade homes that have moisture issues. You might have a leaky pipe or water somehow entering your walls. Clear your gutters of leaves and debris and make sure downspouts are carrying water away from the structure. Pull mulch back from the foundation and trim shrubbery that might be directing downpours towards your home.
Roaches, spiders, and even lizards can be found living in the walls of homes so this work will do double the duty. No one needs critters setting up camp inside the walls. It’s smelly, unhealthy, and downright creepy.