Ants are surprisingly versatile critters. They scale walls, climb through the thinnest of gaps, and survive in harsh environments. How on earth can you keep them out of your West Chester home? There are many solutions, but all are not equally effective. Today, we're going to take a look at how ant control in West Chester works, break down the facts you need to know, and guide you toward the best solution possible. We'll also give you five naturally effective ant prevention tips to keep ants out of your home after you've dealt with an indoor ant problem. If you need immediate help with ants, contact us at any time. Our friendly pest management professionals can answer your questions and guide you toward a solution.
Signs Of An Ant Infestation
The first step in addressing ant problems is tracking ants down. Whether they've infested your home or are infesting a location near your home, these quick tips will help you zero in on those pests. We'll also give you what you need to know in order to tell whether or not you have an indoor nest.
- You don't have to wonder if you have an ant infestation if you see a line of ants crawling across your kitchen floor every day. But ants are tiny, so you may have to look for ant lines under cabinet overhangs and behind floor clutter.
- When you frequently see ants in your home in large numbers, it is a warning sign of an indoor nest. It may also indicate a large nest of ants near your exterior walls and an available entry point. Inspect the perimeter around your home and look for ant mounds.
- If you have an indoor nest of carpenter ants, you may find frass, which is a mixture of insect parts, ant droppings, and wood shavings. Look for this material along baseboards and around window or door frames.
- If you have ground ants, you may notice soil leaking out of a gap. Ants that require soil for habitation may carry soil into your wall voids or the voids within your door frames.
The main warning signs of ant infestations are worker ants, ant mounds, frass, and soil. Check for these in dark spaces, areas of high humidity, vegetation, damp exterior zones, around trash receptacles, and near organic detritus. You may also check common exterior habitats, such as where dead branches and logs lie on the ground, leaf piles, plants, and portions of your lawn where weeds or drought stress are occurring.
Why Ants In The House Can Be So Problematic
The primary issue that makes ants in West Chester problematic is that they're an incredible nuisance. Ants can swarm together and create blobs. They can cover food sources, trash bins, dishes, couches, and more. When crushed underfoot, some ants produce a sickly sweet odor. But a big reason to keep ants out is that they may get into outlets, electrical boxes, and electronics. When they do this, they can cause shorts and power outages. Fortunately, these problems are rare. If you practice outdoor ant control, pest-proof your home, and stay on top of sanitation, you'll have fewer issues with ants. You can add even more protection by contacting a professional for ant control near you. For assistance in West Chester, remember that Masters Touch Pest Solutions is always available to help you with expert advice and service.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Ant Infestation
There are many over-the-counter ant control solutions. Do they work? Yes. Sometimes. But they often fail or make problems worse. The reason for this has little to do with the products used and more to do with the methods. For example, bait is an effective tool to eliminate ant colonies and arrest ant infestations. But some ants take to sweet baits while others take to baits that have protein. If bait is applied incorrectly, ants can become bait averse and start to avoid the bait.
DIY ant pest control often fails when materials are incorrectly applied. Topical treatments don't get deep enough to address ants that are hiding underground or in the wood of your home. Mound treatments don't get deep enough to get to nests, which are sometimes several feet beneath the surface. Products that eliminate ants quickly can send a signal to a colony that danger is present. A colony with multiple queens may split into two or more colonies, making the problem worse. Control materials applied to exterior locations can quickly become inert after rain or some other weather condition. There are many challenges to applying ant pest control.
Ant control is a scientific process. A pest management professional identifies the pest ants, selects appropriate baits, applies and evaluates bait applications, treats mounds if applicable for the species, monitors the treatment program, applies materials according to protocols, and works the problem until the job is complete. If you have a current infestation, contact Masters Touch Pest Solutions for advice. We use industry-leading control solutions to get results.
Five Naturally Effective Ways To Prevent Ants From Coming Back
Once the ant infestation in your home is addressed, how do you keep ants from entering your home and infesting it again? You could get year-round pest control. It is the best pest control for ants because it targets pest ants as they appear and provides a wide range of coverage to control several insect pests that attempt to get into your home. But there are many naturally effective ant prevention tips you can apply. These don't require the use of control products, which means they aren't going to make your problem worse. The downside is that natural ant prevention takes effort. After a hard day at work, you may not want to do these tasks. But keep in mind that you don't have to do them perfectly. A little prevention is often enough to prevent most ant problems.
1. Reduce Outdoor Attractants
If you have a lot of ants crawling around near your home, what will happen? Those ants will find a way indoors. Ants are attracted to a few common factors. Doing the following will reduce attractants.
- Clean receptacles and remove trash regularly. The scent of decaying organic matter in your trash can attract them.
- Rake leaves and remove sticks. Ants are attracted to the humid environment under leaves and other organic debris.
- Keep exterior lights off. Ants eat insects and insects are attracted to light.
- Address aphids. These insects create honeydew. Carpenter ants and other ants love honeydew and some will protect aphids from predators so they can produce this sweet food source for them.
- Address weeds. Yard weeds can cause ants to encroach.
Consider all the food sources that lure ants to your home and do your best to remove them. It will make a big difference.
2. Address Potential Routes
Ants scale walls to get into homes, but more often they'll use branches that touch exterior walls. If you have trees, shrubs, or ornamentals that are near enough to touch your home, trim them to prevent direct access. This will make a big difference.
3. Block Access
Ants enter your home through foundation cracks, gaps between wood members, and many other tiny entry points. If you're wise to the ways they can enter homes, you can deter them.
- Use a caulking gun to ensure a good seal around exterior door and window frames.
- Patch damaged screens on doors and windows.
- Replace weatherstripping or door sweeps that aren't creating a complete seal around exterior doors.
- Use a foundation repair kit to address foundation cracks, particularly around windows.
- Use expanding foam to seal around plumbing pipes and wire conduits that pass through the foundation of your home.
When you seal every entry point you can find, you'll have a lot less trouble from ants because it will help to block them from accessing your home, and also help to keep other insects out, which are food for ants.
4. Remove Indoor Food Sources
When an ant finds food in your home, guess what it does. It returns to its nest, laying a scented trail for other ants to follow. Within a short time, an army of ants can mobilize. If you remove food options, you can deter ants from entering your home in large numbers.
- Keep your home as clean as possible to deter ants and the pests ants eat.
- Manage trash to reduce smells that attract ants and other pests.
- Clean dishes as you go.
- Keep your food in sealed containers.
- Establish a meal time for your dog or cat.
- Consider making a rule that food is only eaten in the kitchen or dining room.
Use these and other ideas for removing food options within your home to manage ants and the pests ants eat.
5. Address Other Indoor Conditions
Ants may enter your home if you have other conditions that attract them. Here is a short list of common attractants you should consider addressing.
- Repair leaks and other plumbing issues.
- Repair or patch rotting wood.
- Use the fan in your bathroom to vent moisture.
- Install a dehumidifier in your basement.
These all-natural methods take effort, but they have a wide-reaching impact on ants and other pests. If you need help on top of what you're doing, remember that Masters Touch Pest Solutions is here to help you with home pest control in West Chester. Contact us anytime for advice or to schedule a service visit. We provide ongoing residential pest control that gets results.