Our Top 5 Tips For Ant Prevention

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Our Top 5 Ant Prevention Tips

Here in South Carolina, ants are everywhere. Especially once the summer arrives, ant hills line our sidewalks and pop up in our yards. Unfortunately, the occasional ant in your yard can quickly turn into an ant infestation in your home. And according to a recent survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) in partnership with Spokane Falls Community College and Washington State University, pest control agencies nationwide report that ant infestations appear to be on the rise. While some ant species are little more than a nuisance, others present a real danger. In South Carolina, fire ants in particular can inflict extremely painful bites that can lead to severe allergic reactions.


While it’s important to know how to get rid of ants if you do end up with an infestation, the best approach to ant control is prevention. In this guide, we’ll look at our top 5 ant prevention tips to keep your home ant-free all summer long. If you do end up with an ant problem, though, don’t worry: we’ll also take a look at the best approach when it comes to ant control.

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1. Eliminate Points of Entry for Ants

Have you ever stopped to consider how it is that ants enter your home in the first place? They rarely march in through the front door. Rather, ants make their way into your home via tiny cracks and crevices. Older homes in particular often provide ants with a large number of points of entry, which is one of the reasons why homeowners with older residences tend to have more trouble with ant prevention.

Fortunately, it’s possible to eliminate most points of entry for ants. While it can be time consuming to do, this is one of the most important preventive measures you can take to keep ants (and pests in general) out of your home.

Start by going around the outside of your home and checking your foundation. Are there cracks or holes? If so, these need to be repaired by a professional. Pay attention to windows and doors leading into your basement or crawlspace. These are often poorly sealed, making it easy for ants to enter your home at ground level. Next, look for holes or gaps around areas where pipes and cables enter your dwelling. Finally, check around windows and doors on the main level of your home. Using caulk or other appropriate materials to fill these gaps can reduce the likelihood of an ant infestation.


2. Clean Your Gutters Regularly

No one likes to clean their gutters. It’s one of those semi-annual chores that we tend to put off for as long as possible. And, of course, it’s easy to understand why: gutter cleaning is time consuming, laborious, and often difficult to do. But when it comes to ant prevention, cleaning your gutters on a regular basis is essential.

Over time, your gutters begin to fill with twigs, leaves, and other debris -- not to mention a considerable amount of stagnant water. This creates a perfect breeding ground for ants, increasing the likelihood that you’ll end up with an ant problem in or around your home. Keep your gutters clean, and you’ll encounter fewer ants in the long run.


3. Eliminate Water Sources and Keep Your Home Dry

It’s not just waterlogged gutters that can attract ants. Standing water in or around your home is problematic, whether it’s in your gutters, your yard, or your basement.

Without moisture, ants can’t survive. The less moisture you have in and around your home, the less likely you are to end up with an ant problem. Begin by checking for leaky pipes under your sink and in your basement. Repair any leaks that you find. If you have items in your yard or on your porch that are collecting water (such as lawn furniture or saucers for potted plants), be sure to empty them out regularly. Finally, it may be a good idea to place a dehumidifier in your basement if you find that it’s particularly damp.


4. Keep Your Kitchen Clean

More than perhaps anything else, ants are drawn to food sources. And for many species of ants, those food sources include the items in your pantry.

Pest control professionals nationwide agree that cleanliness is essential to preventing ant infestations. After preparing food in your kitchen, it’s important to clean up right away. Don’t leave spills or crumbs on your countertops: wipe them clean immediately. Rather than allowing dishes to pile up in your sink, it’s a good idea to wash dishes after using them (or rinse them and place them in the dishwasher). Sweep up any crumbs that find their way onto the floor, and wipe up spills as soon as possible.

Additionally, don’t let your trash pile up in the kitchen: take your trash out regularly. The same goes for your recycling. Lastly, make sure you keep food in your cupboards and fridge properly stored. Placing items inside sealed plastic containers is your best bet for keeping ants away.


5. Consider Your Pets

When we think about eliminating ant food sources, our first thought goes to the kitchen. But if you have pets at home, it’s important to remember that their food is just as attractive to ants.

Be sure to store pet food in a sealed plastic container. Paper bags of pet food left standing open are likely to attract ants and other pests. Once your pet is finished eating a meal, pick up their dish and wash it rather than allowing leftover flecks of food to sit in the dish. Even the tiniest of crumbs can attract ants. This is especially important with outdoor pet food and automatic pet feeders, which can end up crawling with ants if left unattended. If you have a pet door, remember that this may provide a point of entry for ants. Consider installing a pet door that seals well enough to prevent pests from entering your home.


Professional Ant Control

By following these 5 tips for ant prevention, you’ll significantly reduce your likelihood of ending up with an ant infestation. But despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself dealing with an ant problem.

If you’re experiencing an ant infestation, don’t try to address it on your own: contact the professionals at Home Pest Control. We know how to eliminate ants in your home quickly and efficiently. One of our trained technicians will design a custom ant control plan for your home using safe, environmentally friendly methods.

Want to learn how to prevent pests all year long? Download our free pest control calendar for homeowners!

Sign up now to receive our free seasonal pest prevention calendar.

March 1, 2018

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