Pest Proofing Against Ants
Ants are one of the most efficient species on the planet. The individuals in any colony are able to act together with an emphasis always on the greater good. It’s not so easy to marvel at them when they’ve invaded your property however, so what can you do to stop these household pests from every becoming a problem?
Ants are on the whole harmless. However, when they get into your property they can often walk through dirty areas (for instance behind a washing machine) and then transfer dirt and germs into cleaner areas (such as a kitchen worktop). The most common form of ants in the UK are black ants, although you may see red ones as well as the smaller orange coloured pharaoh ants too.
Most ant infestations happen in the following manner. The colony will send out a few scout ants looking for food in a radius around the central nest. Often if you have a patio outside your kitchen back door then this will be an ideal place for ants to form their nest. Unfortunately there is very little you can do about these kind of outside nests, other than poison them or poor on boiling water, which is only likely to solve the problem for a short time before another colony crops up.
One of the most common reason for ants in your house will be badly stored food. Without a source of sustenance these creatures will not venture into your house. They particularly like sweet things, but will be attracted to ant kind of food. Make sure that all your cupboards and work surfaces are regularly cleaned with a mild detergent. If you have foodstuffs that are loose in boxes (cereal being a very good example of this) then it’s a good idea to buy resealable boxes, which you can transfer it into.
When the scout ants find food , they will lay a scent trail and return to the nest. This can then be used by other ants in the colony to travel back to the same location. Ants coming into your house from the outside can therefore exploit any small crack round your doors or windows to enter your property. As soon as they find a way in they’ll keep returning even if you make sure there is no available food. Always check round all your fittings for the smallest of gaps and if you find any, seal them as soon as possible.
Ants can often use trees as a way into your property. If you have any trees close to the house then it’s always best to look at branches touching the exterior walls as these can be used by ants as a bridge to enter your house. Remove any branches touching the house to inhibit the movement of the ants.
Pay close attention to any external pipework on the exterior of your house. Although this may look like it’s been well fitted there can often be small gaps between the pipe and the brickwork. Ants may be able to use these spaces as an entry point into bathrooms and kitchens. The easiest way to stop ants getting in here is to place sealant around the point at the internal points at which these pipes meet the wall.
If you do have an ant infestation and you can’t seem to get rid of it, the first step is to try poisoning the ants. These small creatures have a shared group stomach and pass food between one another, thus making poison an incredibly effective method of dealing with these small household pests. If that fails you’re next step is to contact your the services of a pest control company. Ensure you find a reliable and professional company to work with and that the source of the problem is taken care of.