Why do ants enter the house: and how to stop them

If you’re wondering why ants come into the house, the unfortunate fact is that warmer weather often heralds unwanted guests.

Ants are always scurrying into our backyards, but especially in the summer months when we open the doors and windows of our homes to let in the fresh air, they may see this as an open invitation to walk. – by the hundreds and by the thousands.

There are a number of options available to you if you’re wondering how to get rid of ants, but prevention is always better than cure, so avoid an infestation of these little insects by not putting temptation in their path. .

dragon fruit cut in half to see the seeds

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Why do ants enter the house?

While ants are valuable garden residents, helping to recycle organic matter and aerate the soil for soil health, we don’t want them throwing a party in our homes. So why do ants enter the house?

“Ants usually come into the house looking for food, and if you don’t take care of them quickly, they may decide to stay. The easiest way to keep them out, especially in the summer, is to keep food sealed in containers and wipe up spills on counters and floors immediately. Even the smallest crumbs will tempt them, so good housekeeping and following cleaning tips is a must,” says Lucy Searle, editor of Homes & Gardens Global.

maintenance and cleaning

(Image credit: Emma Lewis)

Why do ants suddenly appear in the house?

Ants can suddenly appear in the house because they are looking for food, water or shelter.

FOOD

Ants search for food in the spring and summer, sending out search parties that scavenge whatever they can find. They are particularly fond of sweet stuff, and we’ve all had the experience of picnicking outside, only to turn around and find the little critters descending on food left on unattended plates.

As for ants entering the home, “sticky jam residue left on a kitchen counter or a candy tossed on a table are all great for attracting ants, and once an ant finds the source of this sweetness, it will leave behind an olfactory trail to attract others, which can lead to a massive infestation in no time,” explain the experts of Smith’s Pest Control (opens in a new tab) in California.

THE WATER

Ants will also seek water, especially in hot weather. When they find a good source, they will leave a scent trail for the rest of the colony, so leaky pet water bowls or pipes can cause a problem, Smith experts add.

clean a kitchen counter with a rag

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How do I prevent ants from entering my house?

The best way to keep ants out of your home in the first place is to “keep a clean home, remove spills immediately, and clean food preparation areas,” say experts at Pest Defense (opens in a new tab).

Make sure you:

  • Throw away any rotten fruit sitting in fruit bowls or vegetables in shelves
  • Store sweet jams, cakes or cookies, etc. in sealed containers or in the fridge – just putting them in the cupboard may not be enough as ants can still squeeze through the smallest crack.
  • Fix leaky pipes and move pet water bowls away from entrances.

What attracts ants to the house?

Sweet foods or spills in particular attract ants, but any leftover food left in a kitchen or elsewhere can attract them. Even if windows and doors aren’t left open, ants can still make their way through small holes and cracks in masonry or woodwork. , so keeping a clean house is the best prevention.

It’s not just our food that they might be attracted to either: pet food left in bowls might still provide them with some nutrition, so clean pet bowls and keep surroundings brushed and clean .


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