Ants are a common pest to get inside homes, which is not surprising, considering that over 700 species of ants can be found in the United States. Many homeowners have experienced a pest ant invasion, especially when the weather begins to warm and various pests, especially ants, start foraging for food and water. Where do ants like to hide, and where should you check for them?
Top Interior Ant Infestation Locations
In reviewing data on ant control in Reno, Nevada, the National Pest Management Association has found that ant infestations were common in the following types of structures:
- Office buildings (88%)
- Restaurants (83%)
- Apartments and condominiums (82%)
- Single-family homes (80%)
- Nursing homes (70%)
- Hospitals (58%)
- Schools (58%)
- College dormitories (34%)
Within these structures, the following areas are particularly susceptible to infestations:
- Kitchens (96%)
- Bathrooms (89%)
- Interior walls (73%)
- Bedrooms (61%)
- Living rooms (60%)
- Basements (54%)
- HVAC systems and units (37%)
Exterior Ant Infestation Locations
Less pest control data was available for tracking exterior ant infestations, but the report noted that ants are commonly found on driveways, walkways and in landscaped beds (91%).
Taking preventative measures is the key to stopping ant infestations. While your implementations may and should vary from room to room depending on how you use your rooms, your primary goal should be to limit the ability of ants to access food and water. Here are some of our recommendations:
Ants love your food, so they will love your kitchen. Kitchens give ants access to water sources and large amounts of food. If ants are infesting your kitchen, here are some sanitation recommendations:
- Take out your trash regularly.
- Immediately clean up any crumbs or spills. Leaving a mess uncleaned invites ants in.
- Store sugar-based products or sweeteners inside sealed containers, and wipe down any residue from the outside.
- Store a bay leaf inside containers of flour and other dry goods, since bay leaves have a smell that repels ants and other pests naturally.
- Rinse out any beverage containers such as juice bottles or milk gallons before recycling or throwing in the garbage.
- Rinse any fruit that you have sitting around, and discard overripe fruit.
- Fix any leaks or water build up in your kitchen sink faucet or plumbing.
- Do not leave pet food or pet water bowls out.
- Wash pet dishes regularly.
Because ants need water, they are likely to infest your bathrooms. Here are our recommendations to keep ants out of your bathrooms:
- Fix any leaks or drips in sinks, toilets, tubs and faucets.
- Clean and disinfect floors, sink bowls, toilets, and bathtubs.
- Wipe up any spills from lotion, soap, sanitizer, and shampoo bottles.
Other Possible Ant Problem Areas
To stop ants from entering your home, you will need to pest-proof any entrances to your home. Here are our general recommendations:
- Eliminate any standing water sources near your home.
- Prevent tree branches and shrubs from coming in contact with your home and forming a walkway for pests.
- Seal any cracks in your exterior walls, brickwork, foundation, windows, vents, or other potential pest entry points.
- Securely store and regularly dispose of garbage.
- Stack firewood or store building material off the ground and away from your home.