As the days become longer and sunnier in the New York metropolis, ants of all species will begin to be more active, searching out new territory. They will look for areas that stay warm at night with food and water nearby. Some place exactly like your kitchen pantry!
Spring is one time of year where our office phones start to ring off the hook with frantic business and homeowners looking for help. Many of our New York City and Long Island clients regularly suffer this time of year with annoying ant invasions. To get rid of ants, you will need a variety of tactics.
It is only natural to want to open up a window and let in some fresh air on these lovely spring days. However, this could deliver an opportunity for scavenger ants to find their way inside. Once they do, if they find food to take back to their nest, they will leave a scent along a trail that will lead all their cohorts in crime back to the source.
Should you shut your window just to keep ants out of your office or home? That seems like an extreme solution. Better to enjoy the fresh air and take some precautions to deter an ant colony from moving in for the season.
10 Ways to Prevent an Ant Infestation
1) Start with a Deep Cleaning:
The biggest draw for an ant infestation is easy access to food sources. Ants are great at sniffing out the smallest of crumbs. That is why keeping surfaces washed down regularly, floors swept and mopped and washing or rinsing dishes immediately goes a long way in preventing an ant infestation.
If your home or office does not provide easy access to food sources then the ants will go elsewhere to find what they need.
2) Do a Little Detective Work:
Are you seeing ants in and around your kitchen or cafeteria area, playroom, basement or anywhere else? Follow their trails to find out what food source they have detected.
Sometimes the ant’s food source can be as simple as pet food left in a bowl. Obviously, you will want to clean up whatever food sources you discover. If the source is pet food, place food bowl in a saucer filled with water to prevent ants from successfully accessing Spot’s food.
3) Store Food in Sealed Containers:
Use sealed airtight containers, such a plastic ware, mason jars, cookie or coffee tins to store food. Not only will this cut off access to ants, it will work with other pests too.
4) Remove Ant Trails:
Scouter ants, the ones sent out to find food for the colony, will leave a pheromone (scented) trail to lead all their fellow ants to the food source. Remove the trails – remove the ants. It is important to identify where the ant trails are and eliminate them. A mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle applied to the length of the ant trail will eliminate the scent trail.
5) Place Ant Baits around Active Areas:
Ant baits placed strategically in problem areas work quickly. Invader ant pick up the and unwittingly take them back to the nest. This will in turn starts to kill off the whole nest. Baits are more effective than just spraying ants at the food source. Sure, you will kill those ants, but not all the ants back at the nest that will start looking for food nearby yet again.
6) Seal Off Cracks & Entrances:
Once removing easy access to food sources, search for areas in and around your home or office that could be potential entrances for ants. Be sure to seal all cracks around the foundation, window and doors. Caulking can eliminate many of the obvious entrances for ants to use. Regularly maintain and reseal cracks when necessary.
7) Control Ant Colonies around the Property:
Ants nest in a variety of areas, soil, wood, cracks, holes and high moisture areas. Mounds developing around your property is a good indication that you have an ant colony making itself at home.
Wiping out these colonies will prevent them from migrating and creating problems closer to home. It is best to contact a professional exterminator to help you deal with larger ant colonies that could just spread out from the nest to survive another day.
8) Direct Nest Treatments:
Treating an ant colony’s nest directly with dust powders are the best solutions in these cases, but they need applied accurately in order to get the best results. This is best left to a professional exterminator that has the knowledge and experience to effectively and safely apply the correct products.
9) Spray an Ant Barrier around Your Property:
Ant barriers are insecticides applied around the perimeter of a building’s foundation to steer scouter ants away. While there are products that can be purchased at your local hardware store, professional exterminators and pest control companies have access to commercial grade products that are more effective.
10) Regular Ant Treatments:
Once effectively employing all the above tactics are, it is wise not to let your guard down and to keep up with regular treatments. While you may have won the battle, the war will go on. There are most likely satellite ant colonies living just beyond the borders of your property line, waiting for an opportunity to spread.
A queen ant can lay up to eight hundred eggs a day and live for decades. Find the queen, say goodbye to millions of possible invaders!
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The Bug Stops Here is a full service pest control and exterminator company located in Long Island, New York serving all of New York City; Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and surrounding area. For twenty years, our team at Pest Control team has been comprised of professional exterminators who provide high quality pest control services for both commercial and residential properties throughout New York. Our team of extermination professionals can get rid of a variety of pests, ranging from, termites, rodents, ants to bed bugs. Our goal is to provide you with the best pest control services that exceed both your standards and those of the industry as a whole.
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