If you ever had an ant problem, you probably thought to yourself: Well, if I wait them out, they’ll be gone by winter. Well, there’s a major difference between being gone and hunkering down. Ants don’t respond to cold any better than humans do. They too, take great measures to protect themselves in the winter. Ants themselves have built-in bodily responses to the weather as it gets colder. They become sluggish as their own body temperatures drop. To combat this, they seek out and create places where the temperature is warmer. This means going deeper into the soil, hiding out in tree bark, or finding a nice rock to crawl under. In addition, they commune together in large groups in order to maintain their body heat. They huddle around thier queen in order to ensure that she is protected. They winterize their nests and reduce activity.
In order to accomplish this, the ants need to eat large amounts of food in autumn to hold them over the course of winter. Beefing up in autumn allows them to feed off their own bodies in winter. When the weather warms up again in spring, the ants will exit the nest and look for food. Now they’re back and full force! You’ve only delayed the inevitable.
Preventing a Spring Invasion
If you’ve had ants throughout the spring and summer, you’ll have them again once winter passes. Ants know where your food stores are and if you offer them a good food supply, they’ll be driven by the odor to come back. It’s therefore extra important to ensure that your dishes are handled routinely and your countertops are clean. This may not prevent ants from entering your home, but it will certainly not incentivize them to enter your home either and, furthermore, they’ll have no reason to stay or come back. Spring Cleaning is a thing for a reason.
Next, you’ll want to check that your cupboards and cabinets are clean of food residue. You’ll also want to ensure that any foodstuffs located in the cabinets are properly closed. If they’ve been there for a while, it doesn’t hurt to get rid of them.
Lastly, all those cracks in your foundation and around your house are making it easier for ants to get in. It’s already too easy for them to get in. They’re great climbers and they can fit just about anywhere. You don’t want to help them by giving them easy access.
When Do I Need to Call Ant Control?
Ants can do serious damage to your home. They can spoil your food. They cost you money. They may seem like good-hearted creatures, but most homeowners would prefer that they do their thing somewhere else. There’s a good reason for that attitude, even ants that don’t sting or bite can eat through concrete, drywall, and other materials to bring back to their nest. Some won’t do extensive damage to your home, but they might get into your food and are a major nuisance. Much like your college roommate, they aren’t great to live with.
Luckily, you don’t have to. Most people elect to buy ant traps or baits at their local grocery store. These can work, but they don’t work in a vacuum. They might reduce the population for a while, but it’s going to be necessary to take aims to prevent them from breeding and returning. Otherwise, they will come back.
Are Baits and Traps Effective?
The answer to that question is yes and no. Yes, they do lure ants in and kill them. They can reduce the population of a nest. However, they do so by luring the ants into your home. In other words, the ants think that the bait is a food source and are drawn to it. Now, the problem should be obvious. What is the sense of luring ants into my home?
In fact, baits alone can make the problem worse if not properly deployed. Most folks think that they can buy a few ant traps and the ants will go away. There’s more to the story than that, however. Traps need to be employed alongside other methods to keep the ants out. In other words, baits treat the symptom without addressing the cause. Improperly deployed baits will lure ants into your property rather than keeping them out.
Talk to a Northwestern Ant Exterminator
Pointe Pest Control can successfully eradicate your ant problem safely and efficiently. That means not only getting rid of a current problem, but preventing a future one. Using store-bought materials can be helpful, but may not get rid of the problem long term. If you have a serious ant infestation, give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.