How Do Ants Find Their Way Into My Home?◀ Back To Blog
June 9, 2017
While sprucing up the yard for warm weather in recent weeks, it is more than likely that you have noticed that your neighbors are not the only ones out and about, and thankful for the warm breezes and green grass. This is the time of the year when pests like ants are out and active as well.
Perhaps it is because ants are so common that, for most of us, alarm bells do not ring out as they might for other pests that we see near our homes. The fact is those innocent ants, which we ignore out on the sidewalk because we believe them to be harmless busy bugs doing what ants do, can be much more of a problem than we realize should they find their way inside. Two types of ants, in particular, the odorous house ant and the carpenter ant, are frequently found near human habitats.
The carpenter ant finds its way into buildings generally after they swarm in the spring. When a nest gets too large, winged ants are born that leave their original nest in a large group to search out another nesting spot. This can be a deadened tree or log or any damp, damaged wood nearby - such as the wood in a house that might have had water damage from ice buildup or a leaking roof. When ants infest your property, they quickly discover that their new home is not only climate controlled with plenty of room to expand, but it also has very easy access to some of their favorite foods right in the kitchen - sweet foods, meats, and the greasy residue found near most stoves. Once they find their perfect location, carpenter ants immediately get to work chewing their way through the damaged wood inside the walls. They don’t eat it. Instead, they remove the shavings so that the hollowed-out tunnels remain, allowing them to use the area to breed a new queen and build their new nest site. Over time, carpenter ants can do thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the structure of the house.
The odorous house ant might not damage a home the way carpenter ants do, but these ants can still bring many problems of their own. Odorous house ants will nest inside the walls or floors of the house finding their way in through cracks in the foundation, under damaged weather stripping, or around the open spaces where water pipes go into the home. Their nests can easily number in the thousands with workers traipsing in and out of the kitchen in search of sweet, sugary foods to eat as well as meats and fruit juices. These ants travel in large numbers, so having a full nest inside your home can be overwhelming as the worker ants scuttle around. Because of the sheer number of ants, your pantry will quickly become contaminated. Squishing an odorous house ant will also produce a foul odor that can linger.
Preventing ants can be difficult if you do not know what you are looking for. First, inspect all of the openings to your house. Screens, doors, water pipes, and gas lines should be in good repair with any open spaces filled with weather stripping or caulking. You will want to seal any cracks in the foundation as well. Keeping the lawn well-trimmed and any shrubs and trees away from the siding can also help prevent ants from getting too close. It is also essential to have any wet or damaged wood beneath the siding replaced to discourage carpenter ants from finding their way in. Keeping the kitchen clean and crumb free can help as well.
Even with doing all you can with prevention methods, it is still possible that ants will find their way inside. If that happens, give Thomas Pest Services a call. We have built our company’s excellent reputation by offering excellent customer service and quick response to our client’s needs. Our expert technicians are ready to help you eliminate the threat of odorous house ants and carpenter ants in your home and to show you how you can keep them out.