Ants set up their nests in a variety of places, including walls, floors, plants, and foundations. Once a home has an ant infestation, it can be difficult to remove since colonies often have thousands of ants. Once a queen establishes the nest, the colony does everything it can to protect her and her eggs. You can prevent this from happening by making your home less attractive to ants.

What Attracts Ants to Homes?

Ants move into homes that have food, and as omnivorous creatures, they will eat anything organic. Their favorite meal is anything sweet, so if you have crumbs on your kitchen floors, they will devour them. 

Ants also move into houses that have moisture or standing water. They love eating pet food, as well as dead insects or shed skin from pets or other pests. These hungry pests also gravitate towards cleaning cloths, especially ones used to wipe up food or drinks.

If ants find a consistent food source, they won’t hesitate to set up their nests. 

How Do Ants Get Into Homes?

Ants entering a home through a hole in a blue wall

Because ants are so small, they can get into the tiniest spaces. They enter through foundation cracks, holes in window screens, under doors, and utility holes. Since they can enter through the small spaces, homeowners should make their homes less enticing to ants. Sealing entrances and removing food and water sources is a great place to start. 

Helpful Ant Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent ants from moving in is to keep your home clean. 

When people spill or leave crumbs, clean them up immediately, as ants can find food quickly. If you have standing water, leaky pipes, or excess moisture, repair the problem and use dehumidifiers to dry out moist areas. If you’ve noticed ants in your home, watch for their trails and put bait traps in the path. 

To keep ants from crawling on your countertops and inside cabinets, dispose of your rotten fruits and vegetables. Always keep food in air-tight containers. Ants will easily make their way into open packages. Ants don’t like spices, so you can drive them away by putting cinnamon or mint in areas where you’ve seen them. 

Homes with thick vegetation around the foundation become attractive to ants. They may use plants as a foothold to find entrances in damaged foundations and open windows. Therefore, keep tall grasses, firewood stacks, and trash bins away from potential entry points. 

If you’ve found holes in your foundation or you’ve noticed ants entering through utility openings, seal them with caulk. You can also spray insecticide around doors and windows to kill them as they enter. You can also use a barrier treatment around your home’s foundation. 

What You Can Do About Your Ant Problem

Close-up overhead shot of red ants on top of their mound

Fortunately, homeowners have some DIY steps they can take to help remove ants. 

Ant Identification

With over 12,000 species of ants around the world, knowing what ants are in your home helps you choose the best removal method. Houston homes tend to attract fire ants, carpenter ants, and pharaoh ants. 

Finding Ant Nests

Ants make their nests anywhere they can. They want food, moisture, and protection, so look for places that have those qualities. You can also follow them to the nest.

Ant Removal

Ants often leave scent trails, so they all follow the same paths from the nest to the food and back again. You can use bait traps along their scent trails. You can also get rid of trails by using vinegar and water to clean hard surfaces where ants are likely to travel. 

Killing Ants

Once you’ve removed the colony, you have to remove the scent so they don’t return. Boric acid usually kills worker ants and queens within weeks of exposure. 

Let the Experts Handle It

Close-up of a group of red imported fire ants on the ground

With extensive knowledge and experience, the experts at Stampede Pest Control can help. We utilize efficient tools and safe practices that remove colonies and prevent them from returning. 

Call us today for a free quote!