Are you tired of pesky ants invading your home? We hear you. Ants are super annoying. But there are ways to keep them from continuing to enter your home. Join us today as we show you how to say good riddance to those pests. We'll cover how to detect signs of an ant infestation, what to expect from ants in your home, how to prevent an infestation, and how to get rid of ants if they're currently crawling around in your home. Full disclosure: ant control isn't easy. The simple tips and advice provided here are not simple to accomplish. If you want easy ant pest control in Virginia Beach, contact Hawk MP. We provide industry-leading ant control solutions and (best of all) we do the hard work for you! Connect with us by text, phone, or our contact page for assistance.
Signs Of An Ant Infestation
When you see ants crawling all over your kitchen, you don't have to wonder if you have an ant infestation, right? Well, not necessarily. Sure, those ants are currently infesting your home, but you may not have an indoor nest. If the nest is outdoors, guess what you can do about those ants? You can seal your exterior and prevent the ants from continuing to enter your home. We'll discuss how to do this in a moment. First, let's look at how you can track ants and evaluate your ant problem.
Look For The Trails
Ants walk lock-step from their nests to food sources. That means you can find the line of ants (called an ant trail) and track it back to the entry point the ants used to get into your home. That is the goal, anyway. Sometimes the entry point isn't easy to track. For example, you may see ants crawling out of a gap underneath the kitchen cabinet next to your oven. You know that gap isn't the entry point they used to get into your home because it isn't in your exterior wall. Moreover, you can't simply remove your cabinets and check to see what is happening inside or behind those cabinets. But, with a little detective work, you may figure out how the ants got inside. If they're coming out from under your cabinet, they may have accessed your kitchen through the moisture point under your sink. Check that cabinet and look for ants going into any gaps you may have around your pipes. They may have used your kitchen window frame. Check to see if they're slipping underneath the edges. You can also go outdoors and check the exterior wall. It is likely that they entered through the exterior wall of your kitchen.
Look For Mounds
As you search for ant activity on your exterior walls, you may detect dirt mounds. The mounds ants create above ground provide a marker for where the nests are located. Having several mounds near your exterior walls is a good indication that your indoor ant problem is the result of exterior ant nests. If this is the case, you may take steps to address the conditions that are making those ants want to live near your home.
Look For Evidence
When ants create a nest inside your walls, they sometimes leave evidence. Most ants in Virginia Beach will bring soil inside with them. They use the soil to create a habitat in which to build their nests. If you detect soil on the floor next to a wall, or dirt leaking out of a gap, you may have ants inside that wall. If you have carpenter ants, you may find a material called frass, which is a mix of insect parts, ant droppings, and wood shavings. Carpenter ants may also cause wood damage that you can see. Look for holes, trenches in the wood, and ant activity. Carpenter ants are the largest ants that invade Virginia Beach homes. They are as large as ? of an inch in length.
What do you do if you find evidence of an indoor ant nest? The first step is to consider what ants do inside homes. If you don't understand the risks, you may not take the necessary measures to get rid of those ants. Let's take a look.
Don't Underestimate The Risks Of An Ant Infestation
We have several ant pest species in our area. In most cases, ants are just annoying little pests. If they're not annoying enough for you to deal with them, you may turn a blind eye. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't turn a blind eye.
- Some ants chew on the coating that protects electrical wiring. This is considered a fire hazard.
- Some ants get into outlets or power boxes and cause things to short out.
- Some ants get into electrical devices or automobile engines and cause them to malfunction.
- Some ants tunnel in wood and cause increasing damage over time as they create nest after nest.
- Some ants sting. These ants present a unique threat to individuals with an allergy, infants, toddlers, certain seniors, and the infirm.
- All ants are a low health risk as they can spread germs and cause stomach ailments.
- Some ants are a disease risk. Pharaoh ants are the most common species in this category.
When you detect ant problems, it is best to contact a licensed professional for a comprehensive and sustainable solution. You can save yourself a lot of headaches—and money. If you prefer to deal with ants on your own, or you're looking to prevent ant infestations before they begin, you can use the following prevention tips to manage ants naturally.
Prevention Is Critical To Successful Ant Control
All-natural ant prevention does not require a specialized knowledge of ant control materials or methods. Most of these are simple things you can do with a little muscle and some determination. It all begins with outdoor ant control.
- Pluck weeds to reduce nectar as a food source for ants.
- Pick up nuts and store them in a container. Some ants eat nuts.
- Rake leaves and remove them. These are an ideal hunting ground for ants as certain ants eat insects and bugs.
- Keep exterior lights off. Insects are attracted to light.
- Remove bird feeders. The seeds that fall from feeders are a food source and the sweet sugar water in a hummingbird feeder is highly attractive to ants with a sweet tooth.
- Address aphids. These insects create honeydew, which many ants love. Keeping plants healthy, washing aphids off the bottoms of your leaves, and using yellow sticky traps are general management tips. When more is needed, consult a licensed pest professional.
- Remove the scent of decaying organic matter. If you have a dirty trash can or trash that sits for over a week, the aroma will certainly attract ants.
- Trim vegetation and tree branches. Ants climb on plants. If these touch your exterior walls, ants may enter your home in large numbers.
After you've considered outdoor ant prevention, turn your attention to the inside of your home. The primary reason ants invade your home is that they find food. Your first step is to remove food options and guard your food from entry.
- Manage your trash and keep your trash covered.
- Deep clean your oven and other key areas in your home.
- Clean dishes as you go.
- Keep food covered when on the counter or kitchen island.
- Pick pet food up after meal times and clean the floor underneath.
- Store pantry food in containers that have a tight seal.
Steps like these will make your home less inviting to ants, but most of all, prevent scout ants from recruiting other workers to enter your home in large numbers. Once you've done this, it is time to do the last step.
- Repair damaged seals around exterior doors and align doors or adjust them to create a tight seal.
- Use expanding foam to fill in gaps between wood members, gaps around pipes, voids, wood holes, cracks, and more.
- Repair any worn-out or damaged screens.
- Apply mortar to seal cracks in your foundation.
When you apply these all-natural methods, you'll have great protection from ants without the need for control materials. If you are unable to correct the conditions that are attracting ant infestations, contact a professional for an ant treatment.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Ant Infestation
When ants are persistent, or when they create indoor nests, a professional pest control service is the best way to deal with the problem. A technician has access to a range of products and the unique knowledge and experience to apply the products to provide an effective ant control solution. Your technician will identify the ants, track activity, target the colonies, and monitor the success of the treatment plan. A professional treatment like this has a wide-reaching impact. It can address nests outside your home, create barriers that prevent continued access, and address secondary pests that are a food source for ants.
Would you like to learn more about ant control in Virginia Beach and the service options provided by Hawk Mosquito & Pest? We'd love the opportunity to help. Connect with us today. We offer one-time ant control and ongoing, year-round ant and pest control. We'll guide you toward the right solution for you.