The best way to deal with ants is to find their nest and eradicating the whole colony. One of the ways to find their nest is to follow their trail. How to do that is a great challenge and needs time and patience since ants can go places impossible to follow. Inspection of the house and locating the nests is necessary before they can damage the structure and further polluting food and water.
- Signs To Look For
- Inspection and Locating Ants Nests
- What To do With Ants Infestation
Signs To Look For
These are some clues that a house is a host to an ant infestation:
- ants and fine sand coming out from electrical outlets. They may be nested there, or it is their passage through;
- there are ants in the food containers and pet dishes;
- there are trails of ants. Maybe hundreds of them trail along sides of the wall, at the wires or pipes. Some ants are too tiny that they are not noticeable immediately;
- listen to the walls. Carpenter ants are night busters, and they may cause rustling sounds at night as they build their nest. If you knock the walls, it sounds hollow;
- woodshaving is an indication of carpenter ants infestation. They leave a trail of woodshaving and sawdust;
- damp areas. Ants like moisture. See for water leaks and check water drainage;
- dead ants. Suspect a nest nearby if there are dead ants around;
- if there are swarmers or flying ants in the house, it means there is an established colony inside;
- holes or cracks. Holes or cracks in walls or foundations, where pipes enter the building, around the windows and doors. These serve as entry points of ants.
Inspection and Locating Ants Nests
Kitchen and dining area
Ants go inside the house because they need food and water. This area is their favorite place to hang out. Observe the ants where they are coming from or back. Look inside the cupboards, pantry, kitchen cabinets for holes or cracks, underneath the sink, at the back or under the refrigerator, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, ants nest entrances may be there. Ants may also hide inside wallpapers, floor drains, and even at the motor area of the fridge. Check a crumbled sealant on the window sill or a torn on the window screen.
Ants are attracted to the bathroom because of the moisture and excess water. They are also attracted to leaking shampoo and bodywashes, and even toothpaste! They get into the sweetness of the toothpaste that one of the components is sorbitol, which is a fruit-derived sugar. Check cracks and other small openings along with floors and walls.
Ants stay inside homes because they see a perfect hideout, especially if there’s a bad weather condition. They hide behind furniture, behind or under the bed, under carpets, inside cabinets, cracks in the perimeter, and floorboards if they are moist or worn out. Ants can find food crumbs also in the bedroom, from movie nights, breakfast in bed, a spill of milk, or from a night snacks. Check the cabinets, beds, hampers for possible ants infestation. There may be cracks at the doors, windows, and the inner structures of the room.
Most of the time, family and social gatherings take place in the living room. There may be food crumbles that were left out or spills of wines and other drinks. Inspect the area for possible ants nests at curtain rods, wood frames, potted plants, and couches. The couches offer suitable protection and shelter for ants. Take a closer look at wooden furniture. Some ants dig up woods for nesting.
Try knocking on the wall. A distinct sound that is different from the other wall is present. Or try listening on the wall at night or may use a stethoscope. If you hear a rustling sound, it may be the carpenter ants that are busy building their nests. Ants stay inside walls and other voids because it is a perfect site for moisture and protection.
Electrical Boxes And Outlets
They say that ants are attracted to the heat electronics give off. It is suitable for their nesting. The outlets may serve as their point of entry and exit so check it out.
Air Conditioning And Heating Units
Experts suspects that ants are attracted to the current and electromagnetic field of the air conditioners condenser. And its warm secluded place is a suitable nesting area.
Ants build their nest under concrete slabs if there’s enough room to move. They get through cracks in the walls, windows, doors, and floors of the basement.
Rotted Window And Door Frames
When rainwater penetrates the wall cavity and timber framing of windows and doors, it becomes wet and vulnerable to the nesting of ants.
Gaps And Cracks
These cracks are their passage to anywhere. It is better to check them out and seal them.
Home insulation is also a target place for ants to build their nest. If there’s a water leak in insulation, it holds moisture and heat. Moist and warm is the perfect environment for ants to thrive. They also can chew up and reuse foam insulation.
Inspect the wooden structures of the ceiling for leaks and water damage, the inside of crevices or cracks. Look for sawdust and wood shavings trails. If there is a faint scratching sound from the ceiling, it may also indicate ant infestation. Ants are fascinated by the hollowness and darkness of the ceiling area that is appropriate to build their colonies.
What To Do With Ants Infestation
Management is gear towards sanitation and prevention and eradication of ants from home.
After inspection and only find a few ants, plan an overall cleaning of the house. Wash all the ants’ trails and vacuum before and after getting rid of ants. Seal all the holes and cracks. Routinely check all the areas for moisture and repair water leaks, maintain proper water drainage away from home, clean gutters, and landscape drainage. Trim the shrubs and trees away from the house. Stack firewood at least 20 feet away from home, it should not be touching the ground, and have a cover over it to keep it dry not only for easy burning but dry woods is less enticing to pests.
If there is a minimal infestation, opt for baits and sprays. Sprays work immediately and instantly eliminate ants. They may be sprayed directly to the opening of trails, at the ant trails, or any holes they crawl through and within reach. Baits are useful because they can reach all those nests that are difficult to get. Just make sure to strictly follow directions and exercise precautions, especially if there are pets and children.
Contacting professionals is necessary when there’s a large infestation. A colony may consist of thousands of members, and they are considered one of the most difficult to control. Each species has its attributes and attracted to different things. That is why treatment for them is not all the same. The pest control team can assess the situation, inspect the property, identify ant species, and design a treatment strategy. Repeated and several treatments are needed to control ants infestation.