If you have a few ants crawling around your kitchen or pantry, it may be no big deal. Nesting ants that enter your house to forage for food aren’t too much of a problem. They can crawl up vertical surfaces and get in through some pretty tiny holes. But if those ants you see in the kitchen came from a colony inside your walls, that could be bad, especially if they are carpenter ants. Learn to recognize the signs of ants in your apartment.
What are carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants are a large ant. If you have an army of them crawling across your floor to get to the pet food dish, you’ll know it. They are usually black but can sometimes have a reddish tint to them. This species of ants is responsible for millions of dollars in property damage each year in the United States. They burrow in through wet, rotted wood, and chew galleries through the wood of your home. If not dealt with, they will cause structural damage which can result in tens of thousands of dollars in repairs costs.
Are these ants coming from my walls?
There are a few things you can do to determine if you have ants living inside your walls.
- If the ants you have are carpenter ants, that is a sign in and of itself. Carpenter ants prefer to live in wood. If you don’t have any rotted wood around your home, there is a good chance they have a nest in your walls or floors.
- Listening to your walls or floors. You can hear insect activity if you put your ear close enough to a colony.
- Look for rotted areas on the exterior of your home. You’ll usually find rot where gutters are broken or rain water rests next to the house.
- Hire a professional to do an inspection. When you get a company that has certified entomologists on staff, you’ll know that they have the knowledge to find those ants. 80% of what pest technicians do when they treat your home for ants is locate and eradicate colonies. They don’t just spray around your house and hope for the best. If your pest controller is doing that, get a new one.
How to deal with outside foraging ants.
If the ants in your home came from outside, there are some things you can do to stop them from coming in.
- Keep things clean. They’re looking for food sources.
- Protect cabinet food. If they’re in your cabinets, put vulnerable food in sealed plastic containers.
- If they are going for a pet food dish, put the dish down only during meal times and spray some vinegar and water around the bowl (1 part vinegar and 3 parts water).
- If you see an ant trail, spray the entire trail with window cleaner, soapy water, or the vinegar concoction above. This will get rid of the trail pheromones ants leave behind. This scent is what allows them to travel in a path to where food is.
- Use a caulking gun to seal up entry points.
If you have an ant infestation in your walls, it is a sign that your Montgomery County home is in need of repair. Consider getting those problems fixed by a handyman and hire a pest control company to help exterminate your ant problem and keep them out. You have a lot invested in your home. Keep it safe from destructive pests.