Getting Fall Ant Problems Under Control

Sep 26, 2016, 10:54 AM by Jackson Griffith

Ants are a problem for homeowners in the fall? Say it isn’t so.

California’s dry summer has reduced many of the naturally occurring food sources. As a result, ants may be targeting your home in search of food and harborage.

Based on the amount of calls, emails, and texts that Clark Pest Control offices receive, the ant that gives California homeowners the biggest headache is the Argentine ant.

This commonly encountered ant species typically lives outdoors in shallow nests, which are found in soil, under wood, slabs, sidewalks, debris, mulch, or in branches and cavities of trees and shrubs. Argentine ants favor nesting sites near moisture sources, which include irrigation systems, water faucets, and landscape water features such as ponds.

An Argentine ant colony can contain millions of ants with several queens and sub-colonies. They are known to travel rapidly in distinctive trails along sidewalks, up sides of buildings, along branches of trees and shrubs, along baseboards, and under edges of carpets. They also will establish nests in wall voids.

The lack of natural food sources has forced this naturally aggressive forager to satisfy its appetite inside homes. What do Argentine ants prefer to dine on? Their favorite menu choices include sweets, oils, fresh fruit, fat, and meat.

How can you prevent Argentine ants from becoming a nuisance in and around your living space? The Clark Man offers the following tips: 

  • Trim tree branches and shrubs that touch your home to keep ants from gaining access via those routes
  • Eliminate food sources inside your home, or prevent access to suitable food, by keeping it in pest-proof containers; as pet food is a major attractant to pests of all types, don’t leave pet feeding bowls out overnight
  • Clean up sugary spills on kitchen countertops, and be sure to rinse out bottles and cans before placing them in the recycling bin
  • Maintain a dry, vegetation-free border, such as gravel or stones, around the perimeter of your home’s foundation to discourage nest building; mulch and landscape plants provide a good nesting environment
  • Eliminate sources of excess moisture (e.g., leaky faucets or broken irrigation pipes and sprinkler heads) that attract ants and other pests
  • Caulk cracks and crevices around foundations that provide entry from outside

Remember: If you have question on how to keep Argentine ants from dancing the tango in your house, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.