Ants are common household pests worldwide. They are particularly difficult to get rid of because they will leave scent trails for other ants to follow. That means that even if you kill the visible ants, more ants from the colony will easily be able to follow the scent trail and end up right back in your home. Keeping ants out of the house to begin with is one of the best ways to deal with these pests. By learning what attracts ants, you can work on preventing them.
Ants are living creatures that need food, water, and shelter to survive. While almost any food will do, ants are particularly attracted to a few specific things. Let’s take a closer look.
Ants are especially attracted to sugary substances. Sugary foods contain high amounts of carbohydrates that ants can readily use. While sugary foods and even plain table sugar may be eaten, ants actually prefer sugary liquids because food in liquid form is easier for them to swallow. Things like juices, soda pop, syrup, and melted popsicles are especially attractive. Cleaning up spills, wiping down drips on containers, and washing counters frequently can prevent infestations.
Ants need a variety of carbs, proteins, and fats in their diet. Fats, in the form of grease, have a strong scent that ants will pick up on. Grease from cooking surfaces, leftovers, and trash should be cleaned up and disposed of as soon as possible. Taking the trash out daily can help cut down on potential ant populations.
It may not be the most obvious thing that comes to mind, but ants will also seek out salt. Salt is essential for life and proper bodily functions. Researchers found that ants in salt-poor areas (away from oceans) are actually more attracted to salty snacks than sweet ones. Sweeping and vacuuming regularly to get rid of crumbs is important in ant prevention.
Ants can get most of the water they need from the food they eat, but they still need some water from their environment. Excess moisture from leaky faucets and pipes or improper drainage can attract not only ants, but many other types of pests as well. Humidity in the home can also be problematic. Consider using a dehumidifier if necessary. Carpenter ants are particularly attracted to moisture, as they seek out damp wood to tunnel in. A carpenter ant infestation can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage if left unchecked.
Ants rarely require indoor shelter, but certain extreme weather conditions can drive them into homes and structures. During times of excess heat and drought or in flooding conditions, ants are more likely to enter homes. Prevent them from entering by ensuring that the exterior of the home is completely sealed. Use latex caulk for small cracks and gaps. Larger holes can be filled with steel wool and then sealed with expandable spray foam. All windows and doors should also fit snugly and have intact weatherstripping.
If you are struggling with ant problems, Midwest Pest Control can help. Our dedicated team of experts will walk you through every step of the process. A technician will come to your home, identify the species causing trouble, and work with you to come up with a customized treatment plan. With Midwest Pest Control, you can be confident that we will get the job done right.