It’s that time of year–summer is just around the corner! But summer also brings an unwanted guest into your home: ants. Ants are most likely to infest your home in the late summer, especially July-August, so it’s helpful to get a step ahead and prepare before the time comes. CJB Pest & Mosquito Control in Farmington Hills, MI, is here to help! We’ve compiled a list of techniques you can use to prevent and treat an ant infestation in your home this summer.
Need the help of a professional for your ant problem? Make sure to contact CJB Pest & Mosquito Control for all your pest control needs!
Know What You’re Dealing With
Types of Ants
There are two types of ants you might be dealing with: black and brown ants. Black ants are carpenter ants–the most common and most destructive species in Michigan. Carpenter ant colonies can live up to 15 years if not properly treated! Brown ants encompass a variety of species of ant, including: pavement ants, odorous house ants, and acrobat ants. These are the smaller ants you often see in large groups–they love food and will flock wherever they see crumbs.
Each species has its distinctive qualities which require different treatments. Additionally, it’s essential to make note of the ants you see, as they are very calculated insects. Colonies will employ a “scout” ant to go into an area and scope it out–so that single ant you saw in your kitchen isn’t as harmless as you thought. Chances are, where there is one, there are more waiting.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
This may seem like a given, but tidying up your kitchen regularly is one of the best and easiest ways to keep ants out of your home. A dirty kitchen is like an all-you-can-eat restaurant to ants! Making sure to put food away, cleaning up counters from crumbs and liquids, and sweeping & vacuuming can make all the difference. When you cut off the food source, you effectively remove their purpose for infesting your kitchen.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are great for humans, but smell terrible to ants! Certain scents are natural deterrents to ants as the odors disrupt their sensory receptors. These scents include cinnamon, lemon, orange, and peppermint–all things that fit right in your kitchen. Simply spray diluted oils, use an oil diffuser, or even leave lemon or orange peels hanging in the kitchen. This is also a great way to get rid of ants without using harmful chemicals or fragrances in your home. It’s a win-win!
Turn To Your Spice Cupboard
The answer to your ant problem may lie somewhere you wouldn’t expect: your pantry! Certain spices actually act as irritants to ants and can completely deter them from entering your kitchen. Try sprinkling cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or black pepper wherever you spot an ant. If that isn’t enough, try using a mixture of white vinegar and water to mop your floor. The strong scent will irritate them and keep them away. This will also keep your floors clean!
Check for Unsealed Cracks
If there’s one thing about ants, they’re going to find a way in. Take some time to look around your house and spot any unsealed cracks, openings, or crevices that ants could use as an entrance. Over time, sealants will wear down and need to be replaced–especially after a harsh winter or wet spring. Make sure to use caulk to seal up any cracks and replace damaged window and door frames.
Use Ant Bait
While ant bait is typically a temporary solution, it will likely help out with your problem. These traps are beneficial to kill ants that wander around your home outside of their colony. Ants who come into contact with them will carry the poison back to the colony and affect others. More often than not though, it is difficult to target and kill the entire colony using only bait. If the issue persists, it might be time to call a professional.
Know When to Employ a Professional
When you’re dealing with an ant problem, it’s important to know the difference between when you can handle it yourself and when you should contact a professional. While there are many steps you can take to prevent and ward off ants from your kitchen, there are some problems too big to deal with alone! If you’ve tried the above techniques to no avail, it’s time to contact your local pest control specialist.
Go with the Experts
Having been in the industry for over 90 years, we are experts in all things pest control–lucky for you, carpenter ants are our specialty! If you are in the Farmington Hills, MI area and looking for a trustworthy and experienced pest control company to help you with your ant problem, contact our team at CJB Pest & Mosquito Control today!