From the Argentine and carpenter ant to the odorous house and red imported fire ant, California residents are all too familiar with the country’s most commonly encountered pest – ants!
A National Pest Management Association survey asked pest management professionals where they’re most often called to service for ants. Eighty percent responded: single-family homes.
Even though single-family homes ranked behind restaurants and apartments/condominiums on the list of where are ants most often found, a trail of ants crossing your kitchen or bathroom floor, or your foot while you’re sitting on the patio, certainly will get your attention.
To prevent ants from becoming a most unwelcome and annoying pest, the Clark Man offers the following ant expertise:
Outside your home:
On your home’s exterior, ants will nest near plants with honeydew-producing insects, including soft scales, mealy bugs, aphids, and whiteflies (honeydew is the sugary liquid waste product from those insects, on which ants enjoy feasting). You should avoid planting these types of trees and shrubs next to your home, and trim tree limbs to prevent them from touching your house, which will eliminate easy access routes for ants.
Maintain a plant-, grass- and mulch-free barrier (six to eight inches) around the foundation of your home to remove potential ant nesting locations. It’s also a good idea to fix leaky faucets and sprinkler heads, which will help eliminate excess moisture.
Inside your home
Ants can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, closets, and bedrooms. They are often found near food and moisture sources under sinks, in cupboards and pantries, and along pipes and electrical wires.
Ants are drawn to sugar, syrup, honey, fruit juice, fats, and meat, and the sight of long and winding ant trails – sometimes containing thousands of ants – heading from their nest to food sources definitely will sound the alarm.
Preventing ants from entering your home starts by denying them access, along with the food, water, and harborage they seek. Ants typically establish trails along the structural features of your home – utility wires, pipes, and foundations – to enter or move about your home, and openings should be caulked or filled with the appropriate materials.
The Clark Man also recommends the following tips to keep ants away:
- Seal cracks and crevices on the interior of your home, especially in kitchens and other food-preparation and storage areas
- Store attractive food items, such as sugar, syrup, honey, and pet food, in closed containers that have been washed to remove residues from outer surfaces
- Rinse out empty soft drink containers before placing them in the garbage or recycling container
- Thoroughly clean up grease and spills
- Remove garbage on a daily basis, and change liners frequently
- Look for indoor nesting sites, such as potted plants
If you’re having a problem with stinging insects around your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an inspection.
Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.