The only thing more frustrating than one ant invasion are multiple ant invasions that just keep coming back. To solve a recurring ant problem, you’ll first need to determine what is attracting ants to your home in the first place.
What Attracts Ants to Homes?
Ants are attracted to the two things essential to their survival: water and food. This is why you’ll typically find ants near a home’s wet or damp places (like houseplants or a dripping bathroom sink) or areas where you eat or prepare food (like the kitchen counter).
When it comes to food, these pests have a “sweet tooth,” so sweet substances and anything that contains sugar can be an ant magnet. Along with candy, fruits, and soda, carbohydrates like bread and crackers also contain enticing nutrients for ants. With their keen sense of smell, these pests can even sniff out the crumbs or sugary residue left on unrinsed recyclables from long distances away, leading to trash bin infestations.
Many types of plants can also attract ants. The leaves and damp soil provide moisture and protection from predators. In some cases, a plant’s sweet fragrance can bring ants to your home. Roses and peonies are some of the biggest offenders in this category.
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How to Prevent Recurring Ant Infestations
There are multiple steps you can take to prevent ants from becoming a recurring problem in your home:
- Seal your food in airtight containers as soon as you bring it home from the grocery store.
- Don’t leave dishes to soak in the sink for more than 30 minutes. Try to wash them right away, or rinse them and immediately put them in your dishwasher.
- Every night, wipe down your kitchen counters, stovetop, and dining table, and sweep or vacuum your kitchen floor. Don’t forget to clean underneath your appliances!
- Rinse your recyclables to get rid of food or sugary residue, and, if possible, discard them in an outdoor recycling bin with a lid.
- Fix drainage issues around your property to get rid of standing water.
- Address plumbing leaks right away.
- When bringing home new plants, inspect the soil and leaves for ants. If you find ants on your houseplant, spray the ants with a mixture of peppermint soap and water (1 tablespoon of peppermint soap for every 2 cups of water). Rinse gently with water to remove the ants.
If you have an ongoing ant problem, placing poisoned bait around your home may work temporarily, but it’s not likely to work as a long-term solution. Plus, there’s the danger of a child or pet coming into contact with the poison. Working with an experienced ant control professional can help eliminate the colonies around your property and prevent new ones from forming.
Ant Exterminators In New Jersey & New York
At Horizon Pest Control, we know ants. Our New Jersey and New York ant exterminators have the training and experience to control and prevent infestations on your property, both safely and effectively. Give us a call today at (201) 365-9886 or contact us online.