Some ant problems are hard to miss. Ants have a way of driving people crazy. But they often do things that are mysterious as well. A serious ant problem can hide from view. If you want to protect your property from damage and guard your health from the harmful impact of an ant infestation, you need to know a few simple facts. We'll start with how to detect ants and what to expect from ants inside your home. We'll tell you why ants are mysterious and what they do right under your nose. Once we've covered the basics, we'll tell you how to get rid of ants with effective ant pest control and how to keep those pests out of your home for good. If you would prefer to speak with a pest professional rather than read an article about ant control, remember that you can connect with us through our contact page to get answers to your questions or to schedule a service visit. Masters Touch Pest Solutions provides advanced and environmentally friendly pest control in West Chester. We'll help you find the right solution for you!
Clear Signs Of An Ant Infestation In Your Home
Ants are tiny. Some ant species have workers that are a mere 1/32 of an inch long. You can have thousands of ants in your home and never see them because they get into wall voids, climb in the space between hardwood floors and subflooring, and get into nooks and crannies in your kitchen, pantry, bathroom, and other common areas. So, when an infestation isn't obvious, it helps to know where to look for these tiny pests.
Some ants are nocturnal. Carpenter ants are a good example of this. While these are the largest ants that infest West Chester homes, they typically only come out at night. When an infestation isn't obvious, it helps to know what other evidence these ants leave for you to find.
Where To Look For Ants: The tool for this job is a flashlight. (You may want to wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty.) You may find ants in the following places:
- Under the kitchen cabinet where your pipes come in. Ants are attracted to moisture points.
- On the sides or behind your oven. Ants eat grime and oil that can get caked onto stoves.
- Under your refrigerator. Ants are drawn to juice stains.
- On your pantry shelves. Sugar, honey, flour, and other food remnants left on shelves are plenty of food for tiny ants.
- Inside your trash receptacle. Ants aren't picky eaters. They can eat things that are decaying. Some ants are drawn to decaying foods.
- Check for ants along your foundation walls. If you see mounds next to your foundation, you should address them.
- Check inside the crawl space under your home. Ants are attracted to humid and dark spaces.
Sometimes tiny ants can crawl across your floor in plain view; that's how tiny they are. You need to look closely when you inspect your home for ants.
Evidence Of An Ant Problem: If ants are hiding in your home, there are a few ways you may detect them without actually seeing the ants. Most of these tips will relate to carpenter ants.
- Carpenter ants produce a material called frass. You may find frass near door frames, baseboards, and on structural wood. The primary component of frass is wood shavings.
- Carpenter ants push frass out of kickout holes. You may see these tiny holes. They look like someone stabbed the wood with a metal tool with a pencil-like tip.
- Carpenter ants cause wood deterioration. When you see holes, look inside them. If you find stacked tunnels, you've found carpenter ant damage.
- Other ants that infest homes may sometimes bring soil in with them. A warning sign of an indoor nest is soil leaking out of a gap or crack.
When you find evidence of carpenter ants, it is time to contact us for carpenter ant pest control. These pests can do a lot of damage if left untreated. While they won't significantly damage your home in a month or a year, over several years, the damage will definitely add up.
Ants In The Home Can Create Many Problems
There are many problems ants bring into your home. Some may surprise you. We already touched on one. Carpenter ants are destructive pests. They create galleries in wood and will do damage over time. They also replicate. One nest will send out winged reproductives to create more nests. It is best to stop this process of replication early. Here are a few more problems that arise from having an ant infestation.
- Mostly, ants are a nuisance. When they appear in your home by the thousands, they're hard to ignore. Some ants also have the disturbing ability to swarm and stack on top of each other. When they do this, they can create a bio mass that looks like it belongs in a horror movie.
- Ants spread germs. Some do this more efficiently than others because they are attracted to rotting organic matter. When ants go from dirty environments to your counters, dish cabinets, silverware drawers, or food-storage areas, they can make you sick from exposure. They're known to spread salmonella, E. coli, streptococcus, staphylococcus, shigella, and more.
- Ants are food for other pests. When you have an ant nest in your home, you'll likely draw the attention of spiders, centipedes, and other pests that feed on ants. The primary concern is attracting black widow spiders into the home.
- Ants get into powerboxes and outlets. They can chew on wire coating and cause circuits to short. If your lights go out in one room, you may have an ant infestation.
- Some ants smell bad when you crush them underfoot. One of the worst is the odorous house ant, which is a common indoor pest in Pennsylvania.
It is best to keep ants outside where they belong. But how do you get rid of ants? Can you buy a product from the store and get rid of ants on your own? Sadly, most people don't have success addressing ants. They use spray products, which are topical, baits that work for other ants, or control strategies that fall short for lack of knowledge.
Call Us At The First Sign Of An Ant Problem Around Your Home
When you need ant control in West Chester, contact Masters Touch Pest Solutions. Our highly trained and fully-certified pest management professionals have the experience to diagnose your ant control issue and provide advice and solutions. Your pest professional can identify the ants on your property, evaluate the routes they're taking, and apply appropriate baits the ants are known to take. Along with an application of bait in targeted locations along ant routes, your professional may perform a mound treatment or apply other control methods. Most of all, your professional has the training to inspect your property and check monitoring devices to make sure no ants remain indoors.
Naturally Effective Tips To Prevent Future Ant Problems
When it comes to ant control for homeowners, we don't offer tips for addressing indoor infestation because it is a complicated process. We do, however, offer many tips to help homeowners keep ants out. There are several all-natural solutions to deter ants. Here are a few examples:
- Remove ideal harborage options near your exterior walls, such as brush piles, stacked wood, or leaves.
- Address moisture issues, such as broken gutters or clogs in your gutter system. Water is a building block of life, and most ants want to live where water droplets are found.
- Clean your trash cans to remove odors that attract ants from a distance.
- Move hummingbird feeders away from your exterior.
- If you rake nuts up from under trees, never stack them near your exterior walls.
- Trim your landscape vegetation to keep your plants dry.
- When trimming landscaping, make sure no plants touch your exterior walls. Ants use plants and branches as bridges to get to higher entry points and enter your home in large numbers.
- Address aphid problems quickly. Aphids produce honeydew, which is a food source for many ants, including carpenter ants.
- Address weed problems in your lawn. Ants have a long journey to go from the edge of your property to your exterior walls. Often, available nectar in flowering weeds are the incentive for ants to encroach on homes.
- Pest proof your home. Use caulking to seal around windows. Use expanding foam to fill in voids behind joists or gaps around pipes. Install door sweeps. Replace weatherstripping. Patch damaged screens. All of these work to create physical barriers that ants must get around to access your home.
These naturally effective tips will give you quite a bit of protection. If you need more protection, or you don't have the time and energy to take these steps, contact Masters Touch Pest Solutions for ant control solutions. We offer year-round pest control that comes with coverage for common ant pests. There is no easier way to keep ants out of your West Chester home. Connect with us today to learn more.