As far as pest invaders go, ants may rank lower on the “ick” factor or the “fear” scale. That doesn’t mean you have to embrace them in your home! In fact, many homeowners consider ant problems to be the most frustrating to deal with, because getting rid of ant invaders can feel like a never ending battle.
A single ant on your countertop may not be cause for concern; but ants are social critters. This means that where there’s one, there’s likely several more just out of sight. In fact, most ants are members of colonies of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of ants!
If you’re having trouble shaking the ants in your kitchen – it’s time to learn what might be drawing them to your home in the first place, and what you can do to keep them from returning again.
Ant Species Common in Maryland and Northern Virginia
Maryland and Northern Virginia are home to a wide variety of ant species, including:
Little Black Ants
Odorous House Ants
Many of these ants live in the soil on your property or make their nests in decaying wood sources. It’s natural to see them outside in your lawn, and they perform an important duty - feeding on insects that attack lawns and gardens, as well as pollinating flowers and distributing seeds as they gather food for their colony.
But it can be problematic when they travel into your home, and it can be exceptionally difficult to get rid of them!
What Draws Ants to Your Home?
The ants that you can see on your kitchen counters are worker ants, searching for food and water for their colony. You could be inviting ants into your home by making that food or water easily accessible.
Keep Your Kitchen Free From Food Residue
You could be inviting pests in with complimentary breakfast. Even if you keep your kitchen clean, it can be easy to miss things that might make your home more hospitable to ants.
Clean up crumbs or spills after each meal
Don’t leave dirty plates stacked in the sink or on the counter overnight
Make sure containers of food are properly sealed
Clean leftover residue out of trash cans
Fix Leaky Pipes and Puddles of Water
Even if you keep your kitchen spotless, an ant infestation can still happen in your home. Leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and dishwashers that don’t drain all the way can attract a number of different pests to your home.
Seal Entry Points to Your Home
Ants are small, so even the smallest crack or crevice can make it possible for ants to get into your home. If you see a line of ants crawling into your personal space, track them back to see if you can find where they’re entering.
Be mindful of cracks or holes in the wall, damaged siding, rips or tears in screens, or cracks in the window or door frames of your home. Keep landscaping and outdoor furniture a few inches from the side of your house, because ants can use those things as a bridge to gain access to your home.
I’ve Done All of Those Things - Why Do Ants Keep Coming Back After I’ve Treated Them?
If you’ve tried sprays, baits, traps, or other do-it-yourself ant treatments, you might be eradicating the ants that you can see; but if your treatments aren’t reaching the center of the colony, they won’t make a dent in your ant infestation.
At the center of a colony is the queen, and sometimes colonies will have multiple queens. These queens reproduce rapidly, populating the colony with worker ants that are responsible for gathering resources or protecting the queen from threats. Even if you’re able to spot-treat the worker ants that have taken over your home, the queen will continue to repopulate the colony.
This is why it can seem like you’re being slammed with a new ant problem every few days or weeks - because the same colony is returning.
What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Ants?
If you’ve already taken preventative measures and ants are still encroaching on your space, it’s time to let a professional get to the bottom of your ant infestation.
A professional will have the expertise, the right tools, and access to the most effective products on the market. They also know how to apply those products in your home in a way that won’t damage your property or put your children or pets at risk.
B.O.G. Pest Control can eradicate ant activity in your home for good by:
Sealing potential exit and entry points
Spraying the exterior of your home to prevent ants from getting inside
Using pesticide formulas that will destroy the entire colony - guaranteed
Treating your home regularly to prevent future infestations
Ant control isn’t a one and done deal; it requires ongoing maintenance to be effective. To get the best bang for your buck, a recurring pest control program can keep ants at bay, as well as a variety of other common household pests - like spiders, roaches, silverfish, beetles, and more.