There are two reasons ants enter into our New Jersey homes. The first is rather straightforward: they get in simply because they can. If there is a gap, hole, or crack in the exterior of your home, ants will take advantage of it to get inside. However, the second isn’t quite as straightforward. It has to do with all of many conditions that attract ants to our homes. Some of these conditions may actually surprise you! Let’s take a look at the entry points ants are likely to exploit and what conditions work to draw ants onto your property and into your home.
As ants explore your foundation walls, the smallest opening can provide them entrance to the inside of your home. It might be a gap in weather stripping on the side of a door. These kinds of gaps can form because of damaged weather stripping or simply due to the door being crooked. If you turn the lights off inside your home and look at your doors on a bright, sunny day, these gaps should be obvious.
Another spot ants commonly find entry is in areas where water has damaged the wood of your home. Moisture softens wood and makes it a target for wood-destroying pests, including carpenter ants. The holes created by these pests then allow these ants access to your home. If the rotten wood is located underneath siding, it can be difficult to detect the holes that have been created.
As a home settles and shifts, gaps can form around window frames. These gaps provide easy access points for ants, especially if they are basement windows. Additionally, as a home ages, the foundation wall itself can provide an entry for ants. Cracks in cement that run deep enough can provide a pathway into wall voids or basement areas. Some homes have pipes that pass through foundation walls. These can sometimes develop gaps around them. If they do, ants will be quick to take a peek inside.
It seems appropriate to use the word attractants as these are the conditions that attract ants. Here are a few of them:
The more ants you have crawling around near your foundation walls, the greater your chances of unwanted entry. Everything you do to make your foundation perimeter less interesting to ants will reduce ant populations both inside and outside your home.
Many ants feed on aphids, scale insects, and the honeydew they produce. These insects can be found on plants. Therefore, the more plants you have around your home, the greater the population of ants on your property is likely to be. Consider reducing the number of plants or get routine pest control treatments to address the insect populations in your yard.
Ants love garbage. Though these pests feed on insects and honeydew, they can also find many food options in a bag of trash. It is important to keep receptacles clean to deter ants.
Moist, shaded areas are attractive to most ants, especially to carpenter ants because in moist shaded areas there is likely to be rotting wood and, as we mentioned above, carpenter ants establish their nests in rotting wood.
So what attract-ants should you be looking for in your home? Just like the outside of your home, ants will be searching for food when they get inside. And these tiny pests can feed on just about anything. They can feed on pet food in a dish on the floor. They can find a meal in an open trash can. They will even nibble on food stuck to a plate that is sitting in the sink. If you want to keep ants out of your kitchen, the first step is to keep your kitchen clean. But even a clean kitchen can be attractive to ants! A leaky faucet or a dripping pipe underneath the sink can provide those ants with something to drink and keep them invading your kitchen area.
In your pantry, it pays to store food items in sealed, plastic containers to keep the smell of your food inside and the ants outside. This can help in your kitchen food storage areas as well.
If you seal your exterior walls and reduce attractants, you can have an impact on ants. You may even be able to prevent an ant infestation. But keeping ants out can sometimes be an exercise in futility. If you’re dealing with ants in your New Jersey home and you just can’t seem to make them go away, ChemTec can help! We use Integrated Pest Management, green pest control, and EPA-approved products to effectively solve ant problems. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and get the help you need. We’d be happy to assist you!