One common misconception is that ants are a seasonal problem, or that ants won’t come in if you keep meticulously cleaned up. Unfortunately, ants can take refuge in your kitchen at any time, and they don’t need sugar left out on the counter to find their way inside. During the warm weather months, ants are active and ready searching around for food, while during the winter months they’re seeking warm places where they can fill their bellies.
When ants are spotted in the kitchen, they need to be taken care of swiftly and correctly, otherwise, you could find yourself battling ants in the hundreds or thousands all throughout your home for months.
The Mistakes You’re Making With An Ant Presence
There are some common mistakes most homeowners make when facing an ant presence. While you may think you’re doing what’s right for the problem, you could be making it more difficult to effectively treat in the long-run. Some common ant battle mistakes many homeowners make are:
- Taking out the vacuum – A high powered vacuum hose can make quick work of sucking up and doing away with groups of ants found around the kitchen. While it does solve the problem for the moment, it does little to nothing to address the overall infestation. If the vacuum bag or canister is emptied into an indoor garbage receptacle, you could simply be taking the ants from one place and moving them to another.
- Wiping up the scent trail – When ants make their way into your kitchen, you’ll see quickly that they follow set paths. This is because ants find a pathway to food, and they mark that pathway using pheromones to create an essential superhighway guiding other ants in the colony to the food source. One common mistake many makes is wiping away this pathway and all the ants on it, but it does nothing to address the real problem. Rather than wiping it away, follow the path and see if it leads you to the heart of the colony.
- Wasting the scent trail – Baiting ants is a great way to eliminate the entire colony whether you find it or not. When ants find a bit of food, they take it back with them, and baiting is a method of elimination that uses this idea to wipe out whole groups of ants with little effort. By eliminating the scent trail you’re wasting great potential to fight the ants in a very simple way.
Not All Ants Created Equal
While black sugar ants or table ants are little more than a nuisance, albeit a big nuisance, others can be quite destructive. Carpenter ants, for instance, cost United States homeowners millions of dollars in damages each and every year. Fire ants cause painful stings and potentially dangerous allergic reactions. It’s not just important to learn about the ant colony taken up residence at your home, but the type of ants you’re working with as well. While all ants should be taken care of by a professional, it’s even more important for these potentially dangerous or hazardous species.