By: PestCom Pest Management
The warmer spring weather brings with it longer days, more outside time with the family and,
unfortunately, bugs. Pests tend to make a presence during the changing of the seasons, which
is why you may notice more ants, spiders, bees and other insects in or around your property
during this time of year.
Ants are usually one of the first insects homeowners in Idaho notice when the weather warms
up. The invasion of ants isn’t something you have to simply accept, though. There are several
ways to prevent ants from moving into your home, and they don’t take much work.
What attracts ants to homes?
Ants become more active in the spring, and they instantly go on the hunt for a place to settle in.
They need a warm place with ample food and water, as well as shelter from heavy spring rains
or intense sunny days. Your home likely provides all of those things.
Carpenter ants , which are some of the most destructive ants out there, like to build nests within
wall cavities because of the extra safety and security they provide. If your home has cracks and
crevices for them to enter and exit, as well as plenty of food for them to eat, they’ve hit the
To make your home less appealing to ants of all kinds, here are some steps to take.
#1: Keep counters and floors clean
One of the biggest reasons ants will pick your home to invade over other homes is food. Even
though they are tiny, ants still have an appetite. Crumbs on the floor, dirty dishes on the coffee
table and lost snacks in the couch cushions create an all-you-can-eat buffet for these little pests.
To make your home less attractive to ants, you should:
#2: Properly store food
Keeping ants at bay isn’t just about cleaning up spills and messes, it’s also about how your food
is stored. Are cereals and snacks in airtight containers? Are half-eaten granola bars left in the
pantry for you or your kids to return to later? And how long is fruit sitting on the counter before it
gets eaten or tossed out?
Look at your kitchen and think like a hungry bug. What’s easily accessible? Then, put those food
items in well-sealed containers and create simple food storage systems for everyone in the
house — even little ones — to follow.
Securing food refers to dog food or cat food, too. Food bags should be tightly sealed, and your
pet’s food bowls should be regularly cleaned so nothing is left for ants to snack on.
#3: Exterminate scout ants — and their trail
Some people see a single ant and don’t think much of it. After all, it’s only one ant. That’s not
necessarily a pest problem. Perhaps not now, but that one ant could lead to big problems.
Single ants are usually scout ants, which means they are scouting out locations for available
food sources so they can report back to their ant colony. If they see that your home has food
lying around, they could bring an entire colony of ants back with them. Take action to remove
the ant swiftly.
Then, you’ll want to clean the area around the ant. Ants leave a scent trail that other ants in their
colony can follow. Spraying a soapy water solution can remove this scent so that others don’t
have a trail to follow.
#4: Take note of ant colonies outside your home
Have you noticed ants on your driveway or sidewalk? Or other locations on the exterior of your
home? Chances are that those ants have already made their way into your home — or are
Apply ant removal products or call a professional pest control company to get rid of those ants
immediately. It’s important to eliminate the entire colony, which may require the application of
multiple rounds of treatment.
#5: Seal cracks and close windows
If ants are inside your home, they’ve used some kind of opening to enter. This could be a
window or door that’s often left open, or a crack in the foundation of your home. Search around
the interior and exterior of your home to see if there’s anything that needs to be sealed. And
remember, ants are small. They can get through very, very small cracks.
These gaps or crevices can usually be repaired with some caulk. Take not that caulk
— particularly on the exterior of the home — can weaken over time and will likely need to
#6: Fix leaking pipes
It’s not just food ants need — they also rely on a consistent water source. And they may find it in
a leaking pipe under a bathroom or kitchen sink. Fix leaks when you notice them, even if they
are small. In the eyes of an ant, a small pool of water can look like a big water hole welcoming
#7: Don’t store firewood inside your home
Carpenter ants are different from other ant types because they nest inside of wood. That means
that they may be nesting inside a pile of firewood that you bring inside your home. For that
reason, it’s best to leave firewood outside until you are ready to burn it. If you absolutely must
bring the wood inside, leave it there for no longer than a day.
#8: Apply an effective ant treatment
The above tips all help prevent ants, but what if ants have already breached your home’s
barrier? This requires the application of an ant extermination treatment that is powerful on the
ants but safe for you and your family.
You could purchase a treatment and apply it yourself, but a pest removal professional will get
the job done quickly and effectively. Professionals apply strong treatments that will exterminate
the ants while preventing more from entering your home. Pest control technicians are also
experts at finding those cracks and crevices where ants may be entering the home, or
identifying warning signs of ants hiding in your walls.
Spring is a time to enjoy more of the outdoors, not bring the outdoors in. Take the above
measures to keep ants and other pests from overtaking your home. And if you have any
questions about ant removal or getting rid of other pests, feel free to reach out to Pestcom Pest
Management, your local pest control experts.