Posted By SafeGuard Pest Control Administrator The prolific ant is the most common household pest in Bensalem. One of the reasons why ant infestations are so common is the sheer numbers of the insect. More than 700 species are found in the U.S. Of these, at least 20 types are known to cause problems in homes and businesses including that of the odorous house ant, pavement ant, and carpenter ant.
Most of these are a nuisance. They march across kitchen counters and bathroom floors in an endless search for food and water. Ants live in large colonies, so feeding everyone is a full-time job. They have adapted to ensure success by laying down a trail of pheromones when a food source is discovered. This means that every worker in the nest can exploit the food.
Other ants can be a serious threat. Carpenter ants burrow into all wooden and cellulose-containing materials in structures. The damage typically is not so severe as that caused by termites. Nonetheless, the damage must be repaired, and the infestation can be considerably difficult to eradicate.
Ant control is critical in either of these situations. These species are determined. Once they find a source of food or water, there is little that can convince them to abandon it. With a professional ant control service and integrated pest management techniques, it is possible to eradicate an infestation.
ANT CONTROL THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
Ants may be discovered in almost any room. Their priority is to locate food and water, and they will range far and wide to do so. Once discovered, workers from the colony will keep coming back for more.
Unsurprisingly, human habitations are wonderful places for pests to find food and water. This is one of the reasons why ant infestations are so common. Most infestations occur in the kitchen where food and water may be found in abundance. However, infestations also may be discovered in wall voids, bathrooms, living rooms, air conditioners, basements and bedrooms.
A clean home may discourage many ant problems. It is wise to remove clutter from the interior and exterior of any buildings so that any issues may be more quickly identified. Promptly wiping up spills and crumbs and regularly cleaning floors also are good ways to keep ants where they belong. Consider banning food from bedrooms, living rooms and other places where crumbs are more likely to go unnoticed. Also, ensure that dirty dishes are always returned to the kitchen if food is eaten in other rooms.
ANT CONTROL IN THE KITCHEN
The kitchen is the most common room in which ant infestations occur. This is because food and water can be readily obtained here. This makes it critical to be vigilant about taking precautionary measures in this room.
Ant control in the kitchen begins with checking for water leaks. The leaky pipes under a sink may create a puddle of water that ants cannot resist. Eliminate the leak, and ants are less likely to find this an attractive spot.
Ants come into kitchens for the same reason that people do: To find food. Unlike people, ants are not necessarily looking for a whole sandwich or a slice of pizza. Even microscopic crumbs can satisfy them. This is why it is vital to clean up crumbs from counters and floors on a regular basis. When there are no crumbs to tempt them, ants will look elsewhere for food.
Storing food in the open is rarely a good idea because it will attract hungry ants. It is advisable to keep food in metal or glass containers with tight lids so that the items inside cannot be readily accessed by pests.
Garbage cans in kitchens can prove to be irresistible to ants. This is why it is important to empty trashcans regularly and to clean trashcans to eliminate the residue from foods. A clean garbage receptacle with a tight lid holds little interest for pests.
Dirty dishes are a major attraction for ants as well. Take care to always place dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of leaving them on the counter or in the sink.
ANT CONTROL FOR KITCHEN COUNTERS
Counters are especially susceptible to ant infestations. This happens for a variety of reasons, but it is most commonly a problem because of food that is left on the counter. When spills and crumbs are allowed to remain on the counter or in the sink, ants smell them. This guides them inside, and they leave behind a pheromone trail for their cohorts to use so that the whole colony may benefit.
Even produce, bread and other food items that are left on counters may attract ants. Unwrapped produce is irresistible, and so is any other edible things that are not packed into glass or metal containers with lids.
This is why all food should be stored in the refrigerator. If refrigeration is not appropriate, then the food needs to be kept in a glass or metal container that cannot be breached by ants. Moreover, it is necessary to immediately clean up any spills or crumbs. The longer these sit on the counter, the more likely it is that an ant will smell it and begin looking for it.
ANT CONTROL INSIDE WALLS
Based upon their species, ants may nest in a variety of locations. Some prefer subterranean nests while others may prefer to live inside walls. This is an ideal location because it provides protection from predators and the elements. Walls also provide warmth, and they are ideal if they are damp as well.
To discourage ants from nesting inside walls, it is critical to seek all cracks, holes and openings in the building's exterior. These may be filled or covered to prevent ants from gaining access. Remember how small ants are. This makes it critical to seal even the tiniest cracks. Take the time to examine the frames around windows and doors as well. These can provide ants with plenty of room to get into the building. Even a hole in a window screen can make an inviting opening for an ant.
ANT CONTROL IN THE YARD
When they restrict themselves to the outdoor world, ants can be a beneficial species. It is only when they get too close to human habitations or inside them that they become a problem. Fortunately, homeowners can take steps in their yards to keep ants where they belong.
Overgrown gardens provide a haven for ants. By keeping plants and shrubs trimmed and under control, it is possible to encourage ants to look elsewhere for a nest. Additionally, leaky irrigation systems provide a source of water that ants may find irresistible. Repairing leaks as soon as they are noticed will send ants looking elsewhere.
It is not a good idea for trees, shrubs and other plants to make contact with the exterior of a building. Ants and other pests may use these branches as a way to conveniently access a hole or crack in the structure.
Homeowners who have yard debris piles, woodpiles or compost heaps are encouraged to keep them several feet from any structures. Some ant species may nest n such piles, so it is advisable to keep them at a remove.
ANT CONTROL FOR THE LAWN
Ants may become a serious nuisance in lawns, particularly when they build sizeable nests. They may not only build a mound but also damage the roots of the turf, causing it to turn brown and die.
Moreover, those mounds pose a hazard to people walking across the lawn. They even may interfere with the safe operation of a mower.
Controlling ants in lawns is a delicate operation. This is because children and pets spend quite a bit of time playing in the grass. Professional ant pest control is the best method for dealing with this problem without endangering people, pets or the environment.
DIY ANT CONTROL: DOES IT WORK?
Anyone who has had an ant infestation probably did an online search about how to get rid of the problem. Numerous DIY ant control methods can be found online. Many of them say that they are safe and natural. This may be true, but they are universally ineffective.
Claims have been made about ant control with essential oils, vinegar, baking soda and boric acid. Some DIY proponents even argue for the efficacy of ant control with cinnamon, cornmeal or peppermint.
Each of these methods has a few things in common:
• They can be made with common ingredients already found in most houses • They are natural • They are easy to mix and use • They promise not to harm people, pets or the environment.
All of that sounds wonderful. The only problem is that these ant control methods simply do not work in most instances.
None of them get to the source of the problem, which can be traced back to the nest. Unless the nest is destroyed, the ants will keep coming back. Additionally, most of these DIY methods are not effective at getting rid of the pheromone trail that will continue to attract curious pests.
Moreover, without using Integrated Pest Management techniques, the household will still be vulnerable to new ant colonies and other pests. A more comprehensive approach is necessary.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN ANT EXTERMINATOR
An ant control service can definitely eliminate an infestation but it is vital for the homeowner to take action as well. This may include the following steps:
• Complete a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and bathrooms • Store food in glass or metal containers with lids • Making a habit of running the dishwasher more frequently • Put pet food away outside of meal times • Keep garbage cans empty as much as possible • Rinse recyclables that are kept inside • Vacuum all floors
SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC has been serving Bensalem area home and business owners with successful ant extermination for over 20 years. Our trusted, licensed exterminators can identify the pest and implement the proper treatment procedures.