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Ant Prevention Tips: How to Stop Ants from Invading Your House
Our years of experience have taught us that ants are the most common pest in Seattle, so knowing basic ant prevention tips is vital. Ant infestations can be anything between a nuisance and a complete catastrophe, depending on the ant species and size of the colony or colonies (yes, plural!). There are many ant prevention tips you can use to stop them from damaging your property, but first, you need to understand what attracts them.
What Attracts Ants?
There are many reasons why ants infest a house, but they all fall under the same category: creating the right conditions for them to thrive. The single most important ant prevention tip is this: don’t create conditions for them to thrive!
Like all animals, ants need a food source and a water supply to live. Mostly, they are able to obtain enough water from the food that they consume.
Sources of Food
Unfortunately, there are many households that unknowingly create the perfect conditions for ants to thrive. Our kitchens are a prime example. Food left on counters, poorly-sealed spices, grains, and food that is not stored in sealed containers will all attract ants. Kitchens are not the only place ants can find food sources. Dirty, unkempt living areas, bedrooms, and storage areas can all house food sources for entire ant colonies.
Moist, Dark Areas
Secondly, ants need moist, dark areas to create colonies and start breeding. They prefer to nest underground, in undisturbed woodpiles, or in hollow trees. In addition, poorly kept crawl spaces and storage areas can become a perfect environment. Some species will travel great distances for food, often putting themselves in our line of site during their explorations. However, other species feed on debris from your crawl space or on the wood of your home and never show signs until it’s too late.
Other Species of Ants and Pests
If you have one ant colony in or around your house, chances are it will attract ants. Some colonies are so big that they have multiple queens. If you are creating the right conditions for one ant colony to thrive, chances are another will soon come along. Also, other pests like cockroaches and spiders will attract ants. Roaches and spiders leave carcasses behind and since we can’t smell them or remove them, they become a food source for the ants.
Most Common Ants in the Pacific Northwest
Because of our weather, the PNW is the perfect area for ants to thrive The three main ant species that thrive in the PNW are the odorous house ant, moisture ants, and carpenter ants.
Odorous House Ants: These ants are the most common type of ants found in the Pacific Northwest. You often see them walking in a single line in kitchens, bathrooms, your teenager’s dirty bedroom. They are difficult to treat because repellent will just cause them to spread out as they cover more ground.
Moisture Ants: Like their name indicates, moisture ants thrive in moist places. They often appear on walls affected by severe water damage. Particularly in summer, these reddish-brown colored insects are known to swarm into specific areas of your home. Luckily, these critters do not cause significant damage and are usually quite easy to get rid of. However, it is important to eradicate moisture ants properly, otherwise, they will likely return.
Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants are a well-known problem in the Seattle area. They are large in size and tend to love water damaged or damp areas. Although they do not eat wood, they don’t mind chewing on it. This is an excellent reason that you may want to get damp areas in your house fixed faster than you thought. If you find carpenter ants in your home during the winter months, call in your local pest professionals to make sure they are not nesting in your floorboards or ceilings.
Removing Any Attractions and Preventing Ant Infestations
In order to stop and deter any infestation, you must follow a few basic ant prevention tips. You must cut off possible food sources: bread, leftover food, poorly packed grains and spices — they all have to be placed in a sealed container, or in the fridge.
If you have never inspected or cleaned out your crawl space and attic, you may want to hire a professional to evaluate them for you. If you are creating the perfect conditions for ants to thrive in, you must eliminate them. Lastly, make sure there are no signs of other pests or ants in your house. If you see signs of possible infestation, contact your local pest control expert.
If you need ant removal services, or pest control of any kind, contact Clean Crawls today. Our team of qualified experts will be more than happy to inspect your house and exterminate all pests. Fill out our online contact form today!