Waking up to an army of ants scavenging food you left out the night before is not a sight you want to see. Having to deal with them and clean up the mess is not something you want to do. Ants have four to five more odor receptors than other insects, so if food is left out, they can find it as fast their little legs will allow. If you have a habit of leaving food out, then you may get into the habit of cleaning up ants. In order to prevent this unfortunate ordeal from happening, here are some tips on getting ants out and keeping them out of your home.
Find the Source
Finding where the ants are coming from will give you an idea and what is bringing them in. Their colony may be outside and they are coming in for food or their colony could even be somewhere in your house. Some ant species even have sub colonies that branch off from the main nest, so you may kill one section of the colony, but not the whole one. Looking for the colonies will help determine the best method of getting rid of them because if it is located in your house, you may want to set traps, but if it is outdoors, you can use poison. The colony may also be in your walls or hidden in a cabinet somewhere. If the problem is out of hand, bringing in a professional to get rid of the ants at the source could be the best option.
Clean Your Counters
While you may pick up food off the counters and brush crumbs off, there is still residue that can be stuck to different surfaces of your kitchen that could be a big ant attracter. Whether it be your counters, stove or sink, wiping these places with a kitchen safe cleaner will help clean something you may have missed. Even water can attract ants if they are close enough because they may be looking for food, but need water to survive as well. Cleaning your counters and drying up water after working in the kitchen can go a long way in keeping ants away.
Check Your Floors
You can see what is going on your counter a lot easier than on the floors. Crumbs can accumulate quickly, attracting ants and you might not know it until it is too late. Keeping your floors swept will help with crumbs from accumulating on your floor and therefore, ants as well. Mopping your floors occasionally will also keep any residue that is stuck on your floor that may bring ants in. Your floors are the first piece of the kitchen ants may be drawn to, so keep them clean and kept up.
Seal Your Food
You may think your cereal is safe just in the box with the tab closed, but even ants can get in there. Keeping your food in airtight containers and bags will help ensure that you get to eat your snacks and ants don’t. Ants can carry diseases, so packing up leftovers soon after you make them will keep them safe and clean as well as helping them stay fresh. Sealing your food can help tremendously in keeping ants out of your cookie jar and the rest of your kitchen too.
Take Out the Trash
Leaving food in your trashcan can bring tons of ants into your home. Trash should be emptied about every one to three days to keep things smelling and looking fresh. Keeping a lid on your trashcan will also make it hard for ants to smell what is happening there. For some food items, you can use the garbage disposal. Using a garbage disposal allows leftover food and smells to leave your kitchen, but make sure you clear it out, so it doesn’t just stay in your sink.
Your kitchen may be clean, but there are still ants around. If this is the case, then take a look around your house for any stray snacks around the house that could be bringing them in. If there is nothing to be found, then these ants may not be attracted to food, but something else. You may have a problem with ants like carpenter ants, that excavate wood to build their nests in. If this is the case, then a professional should be brought in to deal with them. Overall, ants can be annoying, but can normally be avoided with these simple tips and tricks.