Pest Control Blog

Pest control tips for getting rid of ants and where do ants go in the winter

April 6th, 2018 by Mike MacDonald in Ants

With snow melting and winter quickly fading into the past, more people are going to start seeing ants, so this post is all about pest control tips for getting rid of ants in your home.

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Where do ants go in the winter?

As temperatures start to warm up, most pests, like ants, have more freedom to roam about the country. However during the winter months, ants will go into a type of hibernation and seal off their nests from the elements.

They fatten themselves up as winter approaches and then hide out until temperatures start to warm during springtime. With food sources virtually wiped out, ants become more aggressive in finding food to support the colony.

This causes them to widen their search for food, as winter has caused much of the abundance of food outdoors to disappear. This makes your home a prime target for ants. Ants begin their search for new food and water sources by sending out scout ants.

If you see a single ant creeping throughout your home, it’s a good idea to kill it as they could be a scout ant that could attract hundreds more. Ants work together as a cohesive colony and these initial scout ants pave the way and establish pheromone trails the rest of the worker ants can follow.

This means that if you leave your home open to ant invasions, one can quickly turn into many.

Focus on exclusion and sealing your home for getting rid of ants

As with most pests, ants can get into your home through the tiniest spaces. Your average insect pest can get through as small of a gap as 1/8th of an inch, so sealing off entry points can be difficult.

Some of the major areas you should focus on is sealing gaps under doors and between windows, repairing damaged or loose-fitting screens, and sealing major cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, it is pretty much impossible to seal each and every entry point into your home as some can even be in the foundation underground.

As your home ages, it can settle and tiny cracks can form in the foundation which can become easy access points into your home for pests. Do your best with exclusion, but understand that it often isn’t realistic to expect a 100% fix for getting rid of ants and other pests.

Clean up around your home as another step for getting rid of ants

Usually, spring cleaning isn’t the most fun activity on your list as temperatures start to warm up, but doing a thorough job of it can be a major key for getting rid of ants in your home.

If any of the scout ants find an abundant food source in your home, they will quickly alert the rest of their colony. This means keeping your food in sealed containers, dishes clean, counters wiped down, and garbages clean and sealed is an important step for getting rid of ants in your home.

Pests like ants, are attracted to food, water, and shelter, so making it a priority to keep their access to a minimum as seasons change is a great way for getting rid of ants in your home.

Work with a pest control service to get even quicker results for getting rid of ants

There are a variety of pest control treatments that you can use depending on how serious an infestation of ants you have on your hands, but there are a few we recommend as a general base for getting rid of ants in your home. As a foundation for getting rid of ants and other pests, we recommend doing a spray barrier treatment on the outside of the home.

This barrier doesn’t necessarily prevent pests from entering your home, but once they cross the barrier they do tend to die very quickly, making it hard for any pests like ants to take hold in your home. This works well for ants as they initially send out scouts to search for food within your home.

If these scout ants die before they ever make it back to the colony, there won’t be a steady stream of ants following them back in search of food. Unless pests are already in your home, pest issues come from the outside.

In the case of you already having ants in your home, we tend to recommend bait traps and/or an inside spray treatment as well for getting rid of ants in your home. The foundational prevention steps of cleaning and exclusion can help reduce issues from happening, but teaming up with a pest control service can help you get even better results for getting rid of ants in your home.

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