Written by: Stuart Steele
Summer is upon us and that, unfortunately, means so are the very thirsty ants. If you want to try a few basic tips and tricks of how to avoid getting invaded this year start here:
1. Keep available food sources to a minimum
This might seem obvious, but ants will predominantly enter your home looking for food and water. So, if they don’t find anything they have nothing to report back to the colony. And you have a smaller chance of seeing long rows of marching ants carrying the spilt sugar or breadcrumbs away.
The key is to keep all cooking and eating spaces as clean as possible, after meals or meal prep make sure to wipe away any crumbs or bits left over.
2. No pools of standing or undisturbed water
After food, water is next on the list on an ant colony’s hierarchy of needs. Even a tiny bit of standing water can sustain an ant colony for quite a while. Should the water source be reliable the ants have reason to move closer to the source and invade your kitchen.
So be sure to wipe up and water spills immediately especially in common high-moisture areas such as under sinks, around refrigerators, near windows and doors and most importantly don’t create an oasis for ants in your pet’s water bowls.
BONUS TIP: if you are ready to spend a few Rands (your pets will also really like this) consider getting a pet fountain that aerates and keeps your best friend or favourite furball’s water bowl moving. Ants rarely go near these.
3. Keep your grocery items securely sealed and off the ground
There are few things worse than reaching into a bag of flour or a bag of snacks and finding a row of ants busy carrying away the loot. Not only does it mean you’ve wasted food (that is becoming more and more expensive) but also that your local colony of ants have found a stable supply of food to explore your grocery cupboards and kitchen from.
For this reason, you should always seal any food items, not in use and store them in areas not easily accessible by ants.
If you are concerned about the environment, look for glass containers or have a look at this article from Popular Science for more info on typical plastic containers and their environmental and health impact.
4. Make sure all exterior windows and doors are sealed securely when shut
Ants, like most natural forces, will follow the same rule of movement – i.e. ants will follow the path of least resistance in their search for food and water. So simply put if your windows and doors have openings or gaps, they offer a prime entry point for a line of ants on their way to come and wreck your kitchen.
Check your doors and windows and close up any gaps to prevent ants from getting inside.
This might also help you to secure your home more effectively, so you will be hitting two birds with one stone.
5. Use a cleaning agent for countertops and surfaces
Ants really like sugar, so any sticky residue (even if it’s not obvious to touch) on your kitchen counters can offer an easy source of energy for ants on the prowl for food.
To effectively clean off any residue on countertops and surfaces you need at least a cleaning agent that can dissolve the sugar build-up on counters or a more natural solution such as a vinegar blend.
6. Check your yard
Ants originate from outside and come indoors, so keeping one’s garden well maintained can assist in reducing ant numbers. One simple tip if you have a lot of pot plants, is to stand them on pot stands and in doing this, it will prevent them from using your pot plants as nesting areas.
What to do if the ant invasion has already descended on your home?
Implement all the above steps immediately. Should this not resolve the problem in a few days it might be time to chat with a professional and we are here to help.
Chat with our team of pest control experts and we can offer advice or a suitable approach to a professional ant treatment.