Ants are a scourge upon many modern homes. They’re even worse because there isn’t always an obvious reason for them. Of course, ants can occur if you have a dirty or ill-kept house, but they can also come into a well-kept home that isn’t dirty at all, just because they’re on the hunt for water or food. With this information about ants in the house, you can be prepared for any ant infestations and do your best to keep them out.
Knowing the Basics of Ants
There are actually over 700 different species of ants in the United States. Many of these classifications won’t really be important to you, however. They’re typically more about tiny differences between species of ants, rather than differences in how these ants behave.
One potentially important difference is the difference between fire ants and pavement ants. Fire ants are easy to spot because of their bright red coloring. They also have a much more painful bite. Pavement ants, on the other hand, are the small black color we all know and hate to see at picnics. These ants typically sneak through cracks in the pavement and can forage up to 30 feet away from their colonies.
How to Prevent Ants From Entering Your Home
How can you avoid ants entering your home? There are many tactics you can utilize for this process. Here are a few steps you may want to take.
Seal Food in Airtight Containers
There are plenty of situations where having food in non-airtight containers can be an accepted way of storing food — consider cereal, for example, which typically isn’t airtight after you open it. However, if you’re having ant problems, you may want to consider transferring these types of food into an airtight container after you open them.
Don’t Leave Food Residue in the Kitchen
Every time you’re done with the kitchen, you may want to be careful and make sure you wipe off all the counters. Even though you might not see it, you can still leave small crumbs of food lying around, which can make for a great snack for ants. To be extremely careful, you may need to vacuum or sweep after you’re done with this food residue.
Take Out Trash Regularly
Trash is a haven for ants. Most of the time, ants are looking for food and water, and trash that has plenty of food waste in it offers both of these to ants. Whenever your trash can gets full, make sure you take out the trash to the garbage bin. You might also want to consider getting a smaller trash can if you still find ants drawn to the trash.
Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets
Even the smallest leak can be a problem when it comes to ants. You might not think much about a leak that lets out just a drop or two every so often, but that single drop is great for ants. When you fix your leaky pipes or faucets, you’ll make your home more secure from ants. Plus, you’ll probably save money on your water bill every month.
Repair Cracked Pavement and Foundation Walls
One method of entry that many ants use is cracked concrete. If you have cracked pavement outside your home or foundation walls inside your home, ants can definitely use that to enter your home. This is even true if your foundation is underground because ants can bury underground. There are many reasons to repair your cracked pavement, and this is just one of the most prominent.
Ants can be a frustrating problem to have, but the good news is that many ant infestations can go away with a little bit of patience and knowledge of how ants tend to enter the home. Follow these steps to reduce your chance of ants coming in from outside. If you have cracked concrete in or around your home, you may want to contact a foundation repair expert to learn more about your repair options to maintain your home’s health overall.