We’ve all been there. The first few weeks of warm weather hit, followed by weeks of nonstop rain. Suddenly your kitchen is swarming with tiny black dots with seemingly no explanation.
You guessed it. It’s April, which means it’s ant season. These tiny nuisances are a very common problem, replacing cockroaches as the number one pest in the United States. Aside from being generally pesky and seemingly relentless, ants can actually cause serious damage to your home, destroy food, and track dirt and disease in from the outside.
The first thing to do is identify what type of ants you’re dealing with in, or around, your home. There are a variety of different types of ants and proper identification will determine what kind of treatment to use. Missouri is home to two common types of ants: Carpenter Ants and Odorous House Ants.
Carpenter Ants are larger than most and can be identified by their brownish-black color as well as their wings. Carpenter ants and pavement ants are social insects; like bees and termites they live in large colonies where a queen ant is the only fertile female and is tended to and fed by worker ants. These ants love to bore into wood and can cause dangerous structural damage to homes and surrounding buildings.
Odorous House Ant
Odorous House Ants are fairly small, black in color and while they do not cause direct damage to your home itself, they can quickly build an infestation in your kitchen or garden. These ants are particularly frustrating for homeowners because they are drawn to the smell of food and return time and time again after finding a source. If left unmanaged, they have the potential to destroy and soil unlimited amounts of food.
The best way to deal with ants is to take a preventative approach. Since ants are tiny, they are masters of finding tiny doorways into your residence.
First things first, eliminate any attractive sources of food inside your home by using air tight containers and frequently cleaning crumbs off of your counters and floors. Ants are unlikely to enter or return to your house if there isn’t any food odor to follow.
If ants persist, seal off all entrance areas the best you can. Start by following the trail of ants and figuring out where and how they are entering your home. Close gaps around windows, doors, and walls and seal any entrance holes you see with silicone caulk, putty, glue, or plaster.
If barricading your home fails to stop the flow of ants, consider using a more aggressive tactic such as lining suspected entrances with chemicals and powders that repel and kill unwitting ants. Additionally, beef up your barrier by lining your kitchen with adhesive tape, sticky side up.
If you suspect ants are damaging your property or you’re simply too frustrated to keep fighting them, call Mick’s for a free estimate.