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How to Keep Ants Out of Your Home

By Chris Williams on April 13, 2012.

Ants found indoors may be nesting in your house, or they may just be coming indoors looking for food or water. A pest control professional can determine which is the case and can set up an ant management program. But the pest control technician needs your help, too. Below are certain steps that you can take to help keep ants out of your home.

  • Most ants feed on sweets or meats and grease. Wipe up spills immediately. Clean crumbs and drips from shelves, counters, and floors. Don’t overlook hidden areas such as stove vents and drip pans that can collect grease. black-ant
  • Don’t leave open containers of sugar, honey, butter, or snacks on counters or tables.
  • Put leftover food away in sealed containers. Food in cardboard boxes or bags should be transferred into glass, metal, or plastic containers with tight lids.
  • Leave pet food out only briefly, then remove it.
  • Remove piles of papers or stacked bags that can provide ant nest sites.
  • To keep ants from crawling up kitchen tables or other standing objects, place double-sided sticky tape around the legs.
  • Do not use insecticides or strong cleaners near areas that have been treated or baited for ants.
  • Store household garbage away from ant-infested sites in sealed bags and containers. Empty the garbage frequently. Rinse food containers for the garbage and containers for recycling before tossing them into the bin.
  • Eliminate excess moisture. Repair leaky faucets, roof leaks. Replace wet, rotting wood.
  • If you can, follow the ant trail to the point where it enters your house. Then caulk cracks, add weather stripping to doors, and take other measures to eliminate ant entrance points.
  • Many ants coexist with aphids, feeding on the sugary “honeydew” the aphids secrete. Make sure that there are no plants with aphids indoors or against the house.
  • Check cut flowers for ants before bringing them indoors. Ants may take up residence inside a potted plant. Place it outdoors and soak it repeatedly with water to force them out
  • Bring in only small quantities of firewood at a time to avoid bringing in overwintering ants.

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