This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and that means the unofficial start of summer. The kids are out of school, the temperature is rising and it is time to pull the grill out of the garage and fire it up for a cookout. However, while you’re outside enjoying a hamburger and the long weekend, someone—or something—else might be enjoying the inside of your home: ants. That’s right. Summer also means the return of one of our least favorite and most invasive pests. To get you ready for maximum summer fun with minimum ant invasion, we’ve put together a list of our pest ant prevention and elimination tips:
- Do a thorough cleaning of your home (if you never got around to your spring cleaning, a long weekend is the perfect time) throwing away empty boxes, unused stacks of newspaper and other unneeded items that can be hiding places for pests.
- As you clean, look for gaps or cracks around doors and windows and in screens which make easy entrances for pests. Also check for cracks in your siding, foundation and around where utility lines enter your home. These can be fixed with new screens, weather stripping or spray foam.
- Also check for leaky pipes and fix any you find. Pests are attracted to easy water sources—especially Carpenter Ants.
- If you do find points where you suspect ants are entering you home (a gap around a door or crack around a window), clean around it with a chemical detergent. This will remove the pheromone trail the ants leave behind to find their way in and out of your home and will make it harder for them to reenter in the future.
- Take out trash and recycling promptly to avoid attracting pests.
- Wipe down counters and floors and make sure to wash dishes, pots, pans and other surfaces that have come into contact with food or drink after you are done using them. Try not to leave unwashed dishes in the sink overnight.
- Wipe up any spills—especially sugary ones like soda, jelly, ice cream or sports drinks—immediately. Ants and other pests are attracted to sugar.
- Keep all your food inside your refrigerator or sealed inside airtight containers in your panty. This is especially important for sugary foods like cookies, cereal and granola bars.
- If you’re moving summer gear like patio furniture, garden equipment, pool or beach toys, plants, the grill or anything else, make sure to shake it off outside and hose it down before bringing it though the house—even if you’re just passing through. Bugs can latch onto a flower pot in the garage and then jump off in the kitchen as you carry it out to the backyard.
- The same goes for anything you’re moving from outside into storage in the basement, attic or garage for the summer. Make sure to wash it off before bringing it inside to store.
- To prevent Carpenter Ant infestations, make sure to keep trees and shrubs trimmed so they do not touch the house. And routinely seal any exposed wood on your home and replace any rotted or damaged wood.
- If you do see ants of any kind, whether Carpenter Ants or Red Imported Fire Ants or Pavement Ants, call the ant elimination professionals at Arrow Exterminators. There are many steps you can take to prevent ant infestations, but once you’re faced with a full-scale invasion, it’s very difficult to get rid of all the ants without professional help. Ant colonies can contain hundreds of thousands of ants, and without the help of a trained professional with specialized equipment, it can be almost impossible to find the source of the invasion and get rid of the entire colony.
We hope this information helps you better prevent ant infestations this summer and keeps your home free from any type of pest all year long. And if you see these tiny pests—or any others—in your home, give us a call or visit our website to get started on your free, no-obligation evaluation. We’ll create a custom pest control plan to get rid of all your pest problems in no time! You can call our trained pest control experts at any time with questions about pest control methods or pest prevention techniques. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for more pest prevention tips and tricks.