It’s getting warmer now and that means you may see some unwanted guests in your kitchen walking around your counter like they own the place. Ants are one of the most common household pests and will find any tiny crumb left behind, regarding it as a feast to bring back to the colony. Perhaps it is social organization that makes ants so pervasive and hard to get rid of. In a group they have more adaptability to environmental toxins, predators, and a buffer from environmental changes. Still there are some things you can do to try to get the ants out of the kitchen before you call us.
Why Are Ants Drawn to My Kitchen?
We all flock to the kitchen for breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in between. Ants have the same idea. They are collecting food for their entire colony. They are especially drawn to sugar foods, such as that honey that dripped down the side of the honey jar and on the bottom of the cabinets. They also love water, which you’ll have plenty of in your kitchen.
It starts with one ant who finds a source of food before it transforms into a full blown infestation. The first one leaves behind a scent trail of pheromones that other ants can easily follow to locate sources of food and water. This is why it is so common to find ants marching in lines. Understanding this behavior is one key to figuring out how to send them somewhere else.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen
Now, here is the part you’ve been waiting for—how do I get these ants out of my kitchen. Not only did I intend on sharing my meals with these insects but ants can bring with them any number of other food-borne diseases such as salmonella, staph, strep, E. coli, and fungi. Here are four steps to attempt in getting the ants out of your kitchen once and for all.
Step 1: Locate and Eradicate
How do you find the colony? Follow the scent trail. It will lead you right back to the nest. You just can’t kill the ants you see because more will come from the colony. Once you’ve located their home base a non-repellent insecticide will eradicate the nest from continuing to invest in your kitchen. If you can’t find the nest, you can place slow acting bait traps along the scent trails so the ants will carry the poison back to the nest, for a slow but thorough extermination.
Step 2: Seal Ants Out
Once you’ve gotten rid of the immediate threat it is time to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Locate and cover any access points in your kitchen, such as cracks and crevices with a caulk or joint compound. Boric acid will also deter ants from entering your home.
Step 3: Kill Remaining Ants
Still seeing ants. Their home may be gone but who knows where they will rebuild. Use a kill-on-contact ant spray bottle, but make sure to do it away from your food. For those of us not keen on spraying toxic chemicals where we eat, many find that simple household products such as soap, water and white vinegar will trap ants and make them easy to send into the next life. Water and soap on the counter is effective as soap will break the surface tension of the water and trap the ants, making them an easy target.
Similarly, equal parts white vinegar and water or even lemon juice will confuse the ant’s scent trails giving you a chance to get rid of them quickly.
Step 4: Stop Them from Returning
Your kitchen is ant free! Let’s just make sure they don’t come back. It’s time to make sure all the food you store is in an airtight container, so another colony won’t be tempted to trailblaze into your home once again. In addition, a clean and dry kitchen is an ant free kitchen. Spills and crumbs are like holding up a neon welcome sign in the ant world.
What If I’ve Still Got Ants?
You’ve tried but sometimes it is best to leave it up to us. We have experience and success in eradicating ant colonies from your home and making sure they don’t come back. Contact us today to find out more.