How do ants get into your house?
Ants have become the number one pest complaint that exterminators receive, and if you’re like most homeowners, you’re at your wits’ end. Ants seem to appear out of nowhere, then they’re everywhere, then they’re gone and then back again. As soon as there is a speck of food on the counter, they’re on it!
But where are all of these ants coming from? How are ants entering your home, office or warehouse? They seem to come from nowhere and take advantage of a spill, crumb and housekeeping mistakes you may make! Ants enter your home, office or warehouse from many different ways and understanding how ants find their way inside is often the first step in treating an ant infestation. Where are these points of entry?
Cracks & Seams In Walls
Homes, offices and warehouse are not airtight. Over time, the foundation settles leaving cracks either in the foundation, around windows and doors and along sill plates (which is behind the exterior siding of the structure). These gaps are large enough for ants to find a path into your home. Walk around your home, office or warehouse and look closely at the foundation for cracks, look for seams along areas of transition such as where the siding meets a door or window, look at anything that is entering the building from the outside like cable, electric and telephone wires. Ants are very small and they can get in the smallest of cracks and openings. Also check areas where holes have been created in an exterior wall for a window, outlet, plumbing pipe, electric line or vent.
Doors and Windows
While we appreciate the windows for letting in sunlight and fresh air, they may also be providing ants access to your home or office. Opened windows, screens that do not close tightly or have holes are easy for ants to move through. Window frames that are not sealed properly may have gaps between it and the wall that permit entry. Doors and window frames can also collect moisture and cause the wood to rot providing an ideal environment for all types of insects.
Ants will take advantage of every opportunity available and sometimes the best way to enter a building is through the doorway. Doors that seal poorly are ideal for ants, spiders, centipedes and stink bugs to gain access. Check the seal along the bottom of the threshold, but also check for quality seals on the sides and the top of the door, as well. Pay particular attention to doors that are not used often or not at all. Because these doors see little activity, seals may deteriorate or cracks may develop unnoticed. When these areas are left unchecked they can allow easy access for ants and other insects.
Toys, House Plants & Other Articles
You may inadvertently be bringing ants into your home Plants that were once left outside are a prime source for ants because the pots are a good source of moisture and shelter. Once moved inside for the winter they may be the source of an ant invasion. The same goes for hollow toys and furniture, they become host to an ant colony and then carried inside. Large groups of ants can also be brought inside on a variety of other articles, including used furniture or appliances, storage tubs, hoses, pipes and even groceries.
Born In The House
Not all ants live outside, some ants have always been in your house - they may have been born there! That’s right; some ant species can build nests inside your home – often using wall voids or rotting wood to make a nest. That means you could have several generations of these insects joining you as tenants. The foraging ants in this type of a colony will not only look for food inside the house but will probably go outside as well.