Ant Prevention Strategies for Schenectady Homeowners
There are many species of ants in Schenectady and they have no reservations about coming into our yards and making themselves at home. This can lead to ant mounds in your grass and along your walkways, damage to the wood of your home, ants crawling all over your exterior trash cans and, ultimately, an infestation inside your home. But there are some things you can do to resist ants and make your property less of a target for ants. Here's what you need to know.
If you're finding ants crawling all over a stump in your backyard, don't be surprised. Stumps are an ideal location for ants to find harborage, especially carpenter ants. Removing stumps, logs, brush and other dead wood and debris from your yard can make it less attractive to ants.
Most ants need moisture—and lots of it. Any conditions in your yard that promote moisture accumulation can increase populations of ants in your yard. Here are some common ways moisture issues can arise:
- A clogged gutter, damaged gutter line or broken downspout can cause water to saturate your foundation perimeter.
- A leaky spigot on the side of your home, or a leaky hose attached to that spigot can make your perimeter damp.
- Excessive watering of landscaping, especially with a sprinkler, can lead to high-moisture conditions that are ideal for ants.
- When you have leaves covering your ground, they can promote dampness. It is always best to rake leaves away from your home.
- If you have areas with a lot of tree canopy, it can make it difficult for the sun to dry these areas. Trimming a few branches can help let the sun in to do its job.
Ants eat a wide variety of food. Some of the foods they eat may actually surprise you.
- Trash can contain many food options for ants. If you don't put exterior trash in sealed receptacles, you're likely to attract ants.
- Food left outside for pets or livestock can draw ants in for a bite to eat.
- When plant-damaging aphids invade your landscaping, ants will take notice. Many ant species eat aphids and the honeydew produced by aphids.
Once you've done everything you can do to make your yard less interesting to ants, your job isn't finished. Ants will still come into your yard and explore your foundation perimeter. Here are a few prevention tips for keeping those ants from getting into your home.
- Trim bushes away from your exterior walls. Ants use branches to gain quick access to entry points higher up on your home.
Examine your foundation for any cracks and seal them up.
- If you have a brick home, inspect your home for loose or broken mortar or open weep holes. Apply mortar to seal cracks and cover your weep holes with screen material to keep ants and other pests out.
- Inspect wiring and plumbing that pass through your foundation wall. These sometimes have gaps around them which can be exploited by ants.
- Inspect your doors to make sure your door sweeps, weather stripping and frames are in good working condition.
- Inspect windows in your foundation wall and fix any broken panes. If you detect gaps around your window frames, seal those gaps. A caulking gun works great for this.
For the best protection, a residential pest control plan is the way to go. While ants are mostly nuisance pests, they do present some serious problems, especially carpenter ants which create galleries inside wood. With ongoing pest service you'll get the protection to prevent ant problems. But, more than this, you'll have protection from other pests that are much more dangerous than ants, such as mice, rats, cockroaches, wasps and termites.
If you live in Schenectady or the Greater Albany area, reach out to us and ask us about our Complete Care Plan. With Complete Care, you'll have the essential and comprehensive pest control you need to guard against Schenectady pest threats. Get started by scheduling a free estimate for your home, and we'll send a licensed and experienced pest professional right to your doorstep. It's just that easy.