Ants are a common pest in homes – in the summer, anyway. When the weather is warm, ants forage outside for bits of food and materials they need for their nest. When the weather gets cold, ants seem to disappear – from outdoor and indoor settings. This makes it extra frustrating for homeowners when they see ants in their house at the wrong time of year – it just feels unfair!
Knowing why you’re seeing ants in your house and what you can do about it can help you take care of your property. The professionals at EcoTek can help you understand why you’re having this problem, and we can also help you eliminate ants from your house with expert ant pest control services. Here’s what to know.
Why do ants come indoors?
Ants come indoors to find conditions that they can’t find outdoors. They might go into homes looking for shelter, food, moisture or better temperatures. Things that can attract ants to your home include:
- Food crumbs on the kitchen counter
- Food crumbs in the floor of your family room or in bedrooms
- Debris in cracks in the kitchen floor and in seams on appliances
- Pet food dishes left on the floor
What does it mean if you see ants in your home in winter?
Ants are cold-blooded creatures. When winter comes and the temperatures drop, ants must keep themselves warm, or they will die. During this time, they seal themselves up in their nest and stay there.
If you see ants in your home in winter, this is almost certainly a sign that you have an ant colony somewhere in your home. Sometimes ant colonies are located in the walls of the house, in the window frames or in hidden cracks of the house. The ant colony may be in your crawl space, hidden in your floor, behind an appliance or somewhere in your garage.
Sometimes ants are attracted to homes because they’re in search of warmth and security that homes provide. Other times, ants are attracted to homes because they have found a source of food there.
What can you do to control ants in your home?
To keep ants away from your house, watch for lone ants wandering around in your home. Any lone ant you see is likely a “scout ant,” which is an ant that comes into your home looking for food, sustenance, shelter, water or something else that ants want and need.
Scout ants can be followed by more ants, so be vigilant if you’ve got a scout ant on your property. The scout ant is less likely to bring its fellow ants if it doesn’t find what it needs. That’s why you’ll want to do the following:
Clean Surfaces Regularly
Keep the surfaces of your home clean as possible. This is especially important in the kitchen, where foods left out can attract ants regularly.
- Clean the counters following every meal.
- Clean your floors on a regular basis.
- Put away food following meals.
- Clean up your dirty dishes after every meal – don’t leave dirty dishes sitting in the sink.
In addition to cleaning your kitchen, you should also keep other parts of your house as clean as possible. Sweep all floors of your house, or vacuum regularly, depending on whether you have hardwood floors or carpeting.
Wipe down all the surfaces of your home where ants are likely to find food. This might include a coffee table where your children were just eating snacks, or the dining room table.
Seal Cracks Around Your Home
Walk around outside your house and look for cracks that could become a point of entry for a pest. Fill cracks with caulk. Fill larger holes with steel wool or plaster, or if you’re not sure which substance is best, contact a handyman for help. Keep in mind that some holes in your home could be there for ventilation. Don’t block off ventilation holes! Instead, cover them with a fine mesh that can’t be penetrated by ants.
Store Food Correctly
Keep food stored in sealed containers to prevent ants from entering your pantry and finding food they like. This is good practice for controlling nearly all kinds of pests. The best containers to keep out pests are airtight plastic or glass containers. Don’t assume that your food is safe because it’s in a closed box.
Watch for Ant Colonies Around Your Property
If your property has many ant colonies around your home, this may increase the likelihood that you will get an ant colony in your house. Talk to your pest control person to get the ant colony in your vicinity under control.
Not sure what ant colonies look like? Here’s what to watch for:
- Mounds developing around the property.
- Large amounts of ant activity in a concentrated area.
- Lines of ants on your property, marching from here to there.
Are you seeing ants in your home? Call EcoTek Pest Control
At EcoTek Pest Control, we help the homeowners of Spokane WA eliminate the ants and other pests on their property with expert ant pest control services. If you’re seeing ants in your home in winter, there’s a good chance that there’s an ant colony somewhere in your house. We can help! Call today to make an appointment to learn more.