The Best Ant Control Solution For Your Yakima County Home

Do you know that the best ant control methods that Yakima County residents can apply are things that most people are already doing? Rather than turn to ant control products that often fail for lack of proper application, you might want to do more of what you're already doing. Our subject today is green ant control, but we're going to tackle it in a way you may not have considered before. We'll tell you how ants behave and how to use those natural behaviors to outsmart them. If you don't have the desire or inclination to outsmart ants, remember that you can always jump to our contact page and reach out to us for immediate assistance with ant pest control in Yakima County. We can take care of those ants for you! If you like learning new things and want to know how easy it is to outsmart the ants that keep getting into your home, read on.

The Life Cycle Of Common Ants

There are only two stages of the ant lifecycle you're likely to see around—but hopefully not inside—your Yakima County home. Do you know what they are? If you said workers and winged ants, you're absolutely right. You'll never see a queen, king, egg, larva, or pupa. They're all in the heart of the colony, and most colonies are in the ground, some deep in the ground. But you don't need to think too much about the ants you can't see. Let's talk about the ones you can see.

Workers: Most of the ants in a colony are workers. These are the little guys that crawl around on your driveway, exterior doors, and interior counters, among other places. The workers are—well, the workers. Their job is to collect food and liquid. Yes, liquid. Did you know that ants can collect droplets of liquid and carry them back to their nest? It may seem amazing, but it actually isn't. The rules that apply to us do not apply to tiny ants. At their size, ants can do all sorts of things that we can't, such as lift up to 50 times their body weight. While interesting, it may not seem like these facts have anything to do with ant pest control, but they do. When you remove food and water options, something startling happens. Ants go away. Pretty simple, huh? At the heart of effective ant control is the control of food and water. We'll talk about that in the prevention section below.

Winged Ants: These ants are twice the size of workers and have wings. That's probably why we call them winged ants. If you want to get fancy, you could call them alates. The word alate means: having wings or winglike appendages. Winged ants are also reproductive ants. Before they get their wings, they help tend to eggs and larvae in the nest. After they get their wings, their new job is to create new nests. There are a few things you should know when you find several winged ants in your home:

  • Those ants didn't come in from the outside; they're trying to get out. The appearance of many winged ants is a warning sign of an interior ant nest.
  • Winged ants don't appear for long. In less than an hour, those ants will try to get into cracks and crevices and make new nests. Fortunately, most will fail at this, but it only takes a few success stories to make your life more miserable.
  • Winged ants shed their wings when they mate. You may only find wings when swarmers have been in your home. Keep this in mind.

What does it mean when you find one winged ant? It is likely that one ant flew or crawled into your home. If you suck it up with your vacuum or squish it with a piece of paper towel, you'll stop it in its tracks. But keep in mind that one ant likely came from a nest just outside your home.

The Many Problems Ants Can Create In Your Home

When ants get into your home, there are a few ways they can create problems. It is essential to consider these problems because they relate to ant pest control. Let's break them down.

  • Some ants create galleries inside wood. These destructive ants are called carpenter ants. They'll target rotting wood on the exterior of your home and this can lead them to accidentally get inside. Address rotting wood on decks, fences, stairs, and other exterior structures. Sometimes, a coat of paint is enough to deter carpenter ants.
  • Some ants transmit diseases. They pick these human pathogens up from dirty things, such as feces, open wounds, and rotting organic matter. Sanitation can have a big impact on these ants. If you have a clean exterior, you may have no trouble with disease-spreading ants.
  • Some ants are stinky houseguests. The odorous house ant is the most notorious of stinky ants. The smell of an odorous house ant is described as rotten coconut, a description that provides insight into what these insects eat and what you can do to keep them away. These ants eat sweets, such as nectar, honeydew, condiments, hummingbird feeder liquid, and other sweet sources found around residential structures. They also feed on rotting garbage and decaying organic matter. Keeping your trash receptacle clean will help manage these ants.
  • All ants are a general health concern as they go from trash receptacles to surfaces, dishes, and stored foods. Storing pantry foods in sealed containers, putting trash in a covered container, and keeping your home clean will have a big impact on all ants.

Do you see how it works? Ants have natural propensities. The propensities that make them pests are also what attracts them to your home. Let's use what we've talked about so far to consider how to keep ants out.

Five No-Nonsense Ant Prevention Tips For Around The House

All-natural ant control in your house begins with an understanding of how ants behave. We've laid the foundation for that. Now, let's discuss five no-nonsense ant prevention tips that will help you get control of ant problems for good.

1. Elbow Grease

Cleaning your home is hard work, but you probably already do this because house cleaning pays off in many ways. We're sure you know that cleaning your home can make it less likely that ants will infest your home. But you may not know just how much. Your elbow grease can stop ants cold. Food debris, spills, apple cores, dirty dishes, garbage, and other organic debris don't just attract ants; they are a catalyst for infestation. When an ant returns to its nest after finding food, it lays down a pheromone trail. Other worker ants follow this trail. This is why you walk into your kitchen and find thousands of ants as if out of nowhere.

2. Plumb That Plumbing

Ants aren't just attracted to food. They'll get into a home that has moisture and humidity. Both are attractive to certain ant species. When you address plumbing issues and humidity, you make your home less inviting to ants, particularly the ones that create indoor nests.

3. Pluck Those Lawn Weeds

We're sure you know that ants like to get into trash and eat human food, but do you know that they can find an abundance of food from the weeds in your lawn? Ants eat nectar and plant sap. When weeds take over, it isn't long before ants take over. You probably already do something to keep the weeds at bay, but let those ants increase your motivation.

4. Seal Holes

Ants don't make holes to get into your home. Even carpenter ants (which tunnel in wood) are likely to enter your home through entry points that already exist. Home repair is essential for protecting your equity and keeping the cold or hot air inside your home. But fixing your home can also keep ants out. The tools for this job are cans of expanding foam, a caulking gun, a screen patching kit, some weatherstripping, and a few door sweeps.

5. Manage Trash

We know you put your garbage out each week. It is likely that you know that maintaining your garbage can deter ants and other pests from getting into it. But there are a few simple rules of thumb that you may not know. Getting your trash to the curb prevents it from sitting and guards against the scent getting into the plastic. Storing your garbage in scented bags masks the smell that attracts ants and other pests. Routine cleanings of your receptacles help to further reduce odors. If all else fails, there are pest guards available for trash can lids. These work to knock down a variety of pests, including ants, flies, and maggots. Properly maintained trash receptacles will reduce ant activity.

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