Sugar ants are harmless little insects that are incredibly common in residential environments. They don't bite, they don't clear big ugly patches in your yard, and they don't bore dangerous holes into the wood. However, they can completely ruin a pantry. Once they colonize your home, you will never get rid of them.
So, while sugar ants are one of the least offensive of the insect home invaders, the last thing you want is for them to feel at home in your walls drinking your water, eating your pantry goods, and filling your home with swarms of workers.
Ants are an issue for both tenants and investment homeowners. If you rent to locals, it's vital to provide a home that does not harbor pests. If you rent your residence, it's also important to take steps that discourage pests from trying to move in. Today, we're here to help you keep ants out and stop them from returning to your rental home.
Here are seven solid tips that will discourage invasions and kill colonies.
1) Seal Up Your Pantry Goods
While sugar ants are capable of finding food outside, the concentrated collections of food we keep in our pantries is like a vault full of infinite money for an ant. Workers only have to follow a single chem trail to your sugar canister and back to feed more baby ants than their queen could possibly produce. But what may be a bonanza for them is completely gross for you and your family.
Therefore, the primary step to keeping a colony of ants from trying to take over your home is not to encourage them. Keep all your pantry goods sealed tightly and clean up any spills immediately so as not to create a 'lake' of food for ants to return to. If you've got some old jars or plastic containers, double-check to make sure the seal is still solid by shaking water inside them. If the plastic or rubber has aged too much, you may need new storage containers that can maintain a seal.
2) Fill Cracks in Walls, Floors, and Cabinets
Sugar ants do not tunnel through walls the way mice or termites do, which means they have to get into your house somehow. They are tiny, so any little crack could be a possible way in. If you're handy with putty and caulk, you should be able to seal up any little crack you find that could be letting the ants in. This is a sure thing if you actually find a crack that has become a part of an identifiable ant trail. Check your cabinets, walls, floors, windows, and doorframes to make sure that your home is almost as well sealed as your flour, sugar, and dry pasta.
3) Wipe Down Surfaces Constantly
As we mentioned when talking about your pantry, ants come for the food. They are more likely to stay if a food source is always available in the places their chem trails leave. This means that if you're a bit of a messy chef, as most chefs are, the little drips and puddles caused by moving pots, pans, and spoons around constantly can form a regular feeding ground for ants. Wiping up your counters, appliance faces, and the outsides of your cabinets is the best way to make sure not food remnants are drawing ants. Being diligent can also eliminate chem trails left by previous ants, so fewer will keep coming back.
4) Spray Your Home Perimeter
In the rare moment when you have no ants or only a very few ants inside your home, your main priority should be keeping them outside where they belong. The best way to do this is by creating a complete barrier between your home and the ground outside with a line of poison. This way, any ants or other creepy crawlies that try to cross your perimeter will perish before they get a chance to discover food or send word back to their numerous little friends. While you can create a perimeter with consumer bug spray, your local pest control service can lay down a formula that will last for about 6 months which will reduce the number of times you have to re-spray to keep the bugs at bay.
5) Use Bait Poison for Indoor Colonies
Bait poison, on the other hand, is the most effective and sometimes only way to get rid of a colony of ants that has taken root inside your house. This is because ants are run by a queen that can make an infinite number of new workers wherever she is holed up as long as a few workers remain to bring her food. To get rid of a hidden ant colony, you'll need to have the workers bring the queen poisoned food so ant production stops and the colony dies.
If you fight back seasonal sugar ants, these tips can really help you keep your home and pantry clear of the pesky little bugs. Even more importantly, these tips keep the inside of your home clean and poison-free except for childproof traps in key locations. Renters should take steps to protect foodstuffs, while landlords and property managers take care of repairs and arrange for perimeter treatment.
For more ideas on how to keep pests out of your properties, contact us today!