The Dos And Don'ts Of Ant Control: An Extensive Guide For Houston Homeowners
One of the most important facts to understand about effective ant control is why it is critical to effectively get rid of ants. It is easy to shrug off ant problems, particularly in the early stages, because ants are tiny insects. But there are pitfalls to putting ant control on the back burner. Join us today as we look at the dos and don'ts of Houston ant control. We'll cover all of the basic facts you need to evaluate an ant problem and decide on a solution that will work to stop those ants in their tracks. If you have pressing questions regarding your ant problem, feel free to contact us and speak with us directly. Modern Pest Control offers industry-leading solutions for all of the common pests in our region of the country. You can count on us for up-to-date information regarding professional ant control in Houston. And we make it easy to find information about our services. Navigate to our contact us page, drop us a quick note, and share a few facts about your issue, or request details about pricing and scheduling. We'll get back to you quickly with answers to your questions. With that said, let's dig in and discuss the dos and don'ts of ant control in our Houston service area.
Don't Ignore Early Signs of Ant Activity
Ant problems can grow right under your nose. These itty bitty insects can slip through cracks in your foundation, build nests inside your wall voids, walk underneath the floorboards in your kitchen, and go in and out of your home freely. Along with hiding from view, many ants are nocturnal. They use the cover of night to mask their activity, and you can have a lot of ants in your house without realizing it.
Won't ants just go away? One of the greatest misconceptions about ants is that they leave on their own. Why do people think they do this? It is because, in many cases, ants mobilize a large army to enter a home and collect a food source. Once the food source is gone, they return to their nest outdoors. Therefore, one day there are wall-to-wall ants, and the next day, there are no ants to be found. But does this mean the ant infestation is gone? No. Not at all.
Here are a few facts to consider:
- Ants will continue to enter your home if entry points are not blocked and control measures are not taken to stop them from entering. In some cases, simple exclusions can keep them out, such as applying expanding foam around pipes. In other cases, more control is needed and it is best to contact a licensed professional to address ant mounds and apply a liquid barrier treatment to your exterior.
- Ants will continue to create workers and grow their colony. It is what they do. Ants do nothing else but acquire food and reproduce. If left untreated, the number of ants entering your home will keep pace with available food resources and continue to grow.
- Ants will eventually produce winged reproductives. These ants leave the nest with one purpose. Their job is to create new nests. When you start to see winged ants inside your home it means your ant problem is about to get a lot worse.
- Some ants can live indoors. These species can create satellite nests inside your home and appear routinely in large numbers. They're not going away. They are going to continually appear until you do something to address the nests hiding inside your home.
It is best to stop ants early and prevent them from growing their numbers, establishing new nests, and creating satellite nests inside. Along with this, there are problems with having ants inside your home that go far beyond their ability to annoy you. It is critical to consider how ants impact your health and pose a threat to your property.
Don't Underestimate The Risks Of Ants In The House
Ants pests can impact your home life in many ways. Obviously, they're a nuisance. That goes without saying. But there are many ways ants can secretly impact you that you may not realize at first. Here are a few risks associated with ants.Some of these you may know, and others may surprise you.
- Ants spread germs. If your family is experiencing routine flu or cold symptoms, ants may have something to do with your ailments. These tiny insects move from unsanitary environments, such as the interior of your kitchen trash, to areas you assume are clean, such as your cutting board. Activity like this can lead to sickness even if ants haven't gotten into food packages yet.
- Some ants are known to chew on wiring. They can cause short circuits and make your lights go out. Damage like this is often challenging and costly to repair.
- Some ants get into electronic devices. When they do, electricity can pass through the ants, leading to damaged circuit boards.
- Some ants damage structural wood. These ants are called carpenter ants. While they target soft, moisture-damaged wood first, they're known to spread to sound structural timbers. When not stopped early, damage can become expensive to repair. Worse still, carpenter ant damage can weaken the structure of your home and cause studs, trusses, and other timbers to warp.
- Fire ants present a unique threat as their stings can pose a health concern for individuals with a stinging insect allergy. They're also a threat to babies, children, and some seniors. You can avoid trouble by getting professional fire ant control and addressing ant mounds near your foundation as soon as you see them.
Now that you know a bit more about what you're up against when dealing with ants in your home, let's turn our attention to the challenges of ant pest control. Ants act in mysterious ways, and they are often frustrating to control because their behavior doesn't make sense. It helps to know a bit about what is going on inside the mind of an ant. But it takes effort to learn about ants and pest control methods that are used to control them. The easy solution is to hire someone with this education. Your pest management professional is trained and licensed to address common ant pests and consider their habits, food preferences, and preferred habitats.
Do Call The Professionals At The First Sign Of Ants
Ant problems can appear right under your nose, and they are always growing their colonies and spreading. As their numbers increase, they have a greater potential to cause harm. When you start to notice problems, you'll want to do something about them. But DIY ant control can make a bad situation worse. Please consider these common pitfalls.
- Ants work together to evaluate food. One of the foods they commonly have to evaluate is bait. If you apply bait incorrectly, you can cause ants to develop a behavior pattern called bait aversion. When ants start to avoid bait, they become harder to control, which can increase your cost when you eventually contact a professional to deal with them.
- Ants work together to avoid treated surfaces and other dangers in their environment. A common result of conventional treatments is that ants avoid the treatments. But something worse can happen. Many pest ant species have multiple queens. When workers detect a threat, it can send a signal back to the queens and they may respond by splitting their colonies, essentially expanding the problem and making it more complicated to address. This can also add to your cost when contacting a professional.
- DIY ant control often results in a partial solution. You may stop seeing ants for a time. But doing this can allow them to continue to present a threat to your health and property. Professionals use field-tested methods to monitor for ant activity and inspect for warning signs of continued infestation.
It is always best to contact a professional first because you can limit the amount you'll have to spend on your ant control service. Plus, your pest management professional will provide you with a complete solution that will arrest ant activity in your home and address conditions that are allowing for continued infestation. But you're not without options when it comes to preventing future ant problems or curtailing a problem before it begins. Let's end by looking and some ant prevention tips that work well in deterring ants in the first place.
Don't Forget These Ant Prevention Tips
Ants have simple behavior patterns. If you understand how they behave, you can have success keeping them out of your home. Here are some tips that don't require any specialized pest control knowledge. All you have to do is roll up your sleeves and do the work.
- Reduce habitats near your home. Ants hide in leaf piles and find food in them as well. They're also drawn to brush piles. Removing organic debris will reduce ants near your home.
- Address aphids or other insects that produce honeydew. Many ants are attracted to honeydew. It is like candy to them. Carpenter ants love it so much that they are observed protecting aphids like a farmer would protect a herd of cows.
- Deal with lawn weeds. Long before ants get to your exterior and find food, sources of nectar and plant sap in your yard will cause them to slowly encroach upon your property.
- Trim vegetation to reduce humidity.
- Keep landscaping away from exterior walls. Doing this will remove bridges that ants use to enter your home in large numbers through entry points that are off the ground.
- Seal gaps around pipes. Ants commonly enter homes by way of gaps around utilities. A can of expanding foam or a caulking gun can solve this problem.
- Patch cracks in your foundation. Ants can work their way up through foundation cracks to get into wall voids.
- Repair or replace damaged screens. If ants get past your screens, they can enter your home when you open doors and windows.
- Apply a seal or weatherstripping around your exterior door and window frames. This is another common entry point for ants and other pests.
- Replace old door sweeps that aren't making good contact. Ants can crawl right under damaged sweeps.
- Clean out your gutters to reduce perimeter moisture.
- Wash your trash receptacles to remove the scent of decaying food, which can attract ants from a considerable distance.
- Make sure your trash gets to the curb weekly, and keep it covered with tight-fitting lids.
- Keep the interior of your home as clean as possible. Doing this will remove food debris and juice spills, which can inspire ants to invade your home in large numbers.
- Establish a mealtime for pets. Ants don't just eat human food; pet food that is left out can often attract them.
- Clean dishes as you go. Ants aren't picky. They'll eat your leftovers.
- Store food in sealed containers. Ants get into sugar, flour, cereal, and more.
- Keep food covered when left on counters or your kitchen island.
When you reduce food sources and moisture and make it harder for ants to get into your home, you'll have fewer issues with ants. These all-natural tips work well to counteract the natural behavior patterns ants follow.
If you want assistance keeping ants out of your home, getting a year-round pest control service plan can really help. Check out our residential pest control service page. Ant pest control services come with our Modern Plus, Signature, and Signature Plus service plans. There is no better way to keep ants out of your Houston home than to partner with Modern Pest Control. Give us a call today to find out more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Houston and learn how we can keep ants out of your home.