ants in kitchen

In our Yakima County service area, we have ant pests that can bite and sting, damage property, impact health, and make themselves a serious nuisance. When they come into your yard, explore your foundation perimeter and get into your home, you may be at a loss as to how to stop them. Here are some tips that will keep ants out of your home, and why these tips work.

winged ants
ants crawling on wood

Step 1: Reduce Attractants

Why? Because ants get into your home by accident. Fewer ants near your home will result in fewer accidental breaches of your exterior walls. Here are a few things that can attract ants to the outside of your Yakima County home.

The smell of garbage. Keep exterior receptacles as clean as possible. You would be amazed how far away ants can smell rotting organic matter.

Moist habitats. Clean your gutters and fix plumbing leaks to prevent oversaturation of your foundation perimeter.

Leaf litter. Rake leaves and sticks up and away from your home.

Woodpiles. Never store wood next to your home, and elevate wood stacks that are in your yard.

Birdseed. Move bird feeders away from your exterior so that seeds don't fall onto the ground and attract ants.

Step 2: Seal Entry Points Ants Commonly Use

Why? Because an ant is less likely to accidentally get into your home if it doesn't find an opening to explore. Here are a few common entry points you should address.

Foundation cracks. If you have a crack in the floor of your basement, or cracks in the foundation walls around the base of your home, these will be targeted by ants. Use a foundation repair kit to seal cracks.
Gaps around pipes. These are attractive to ants because ants are already attracted to humidity and moisture, which can be associated with plumbing. Use a caulking gun to seal gaps around pipes, wires, and other foundation penetrations.

Exterior doors. These are notorious entry points for ants, especially near the bottoms where gaps in weatherstripping, damage to door sweeps, and holes in wood frames can let them inside. Sliding glass doors can have damaged screens and gaps around screen frames that allow entry.

Exterior windows. Damaged screens, gaps around screen frames, and holes in wood frames work together to let ants in through windows, but they can also get in around the outside of your frames if gaps have formed. Use a caulking gun to seal any gaps you find.

Sole plates. These are the horizontal wood members at the base of your home. Water damage can lead to rot, and rot can lead to pest damage. When pests damage your sole plates, the resulting holes can allow ants to gain entry. Examine sole plates that are visible on the outside of your home and inside your basement or cellar. Repair any holes you find.

Ventilation exhaust. Make sure all your vents are properly covered.

Weep holes on brick homes. Make sure all weep holes have weep hole protectors.

Step 3: Keep Things Clean In Your Home

Why? Because ants are likely to get in no matter how hard you try to seal your exterior. When they get in, it is important that they don't find what they're looking for, such as food and water resources. If you keep your home clean, you reduce the likelihood that one ant will go back outside and tell other ants to follow their scented trail to food and water resources within your home.

  • Vacuum and clean floors regularly.

  • Clean up spills immediately.

  • Wipe down shelves and cabinets.

  • Routinely deep clean around your oven and other appliances.

  • Consider eating only in your dining room and kitchen.

  • Repair leaky faucets.

Step 4: Remove Interior Food Sources

Why? Because the last thing you want to do is put food out for ants. There are many ways you might do this without realizing it.

  • Consider putting pantry foods in sealed containers.

  • Store fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator.

  • Place pet food down only during mealtimes.

  • Put dirty dishes in soapy water.

  • Keep your interior trash receptacles clean and remove trash before smells develop.

Professional Pest Control

If you want added protection, or you desire the greatest level of protection, a residential pest control plan is the way to go. Reach out to Prosite Pest Control and let our pest management team guide you in selecting the right plan for your Yakima County home. We're here to help.

 

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