Sometimes called pavement ants because they may nest under driveways and sidewalks, they can become an annoying pest due to their numbers. Here is how to stop sharing your home with these tiny ants so you'll have no more surprises when you get up in the middle of the night.
Why These Ants Come Inside of Your House
These small black ants prefer to build their colonies outdoors, in the ground or in wood piles. There can be nearly 2,000 individuals in a colony including workers and queens, says Texas A&M Research. Workers are constantly looking for food sources and may be driven into your house by the weather to continue their search. A lot of rain or hot, dry weather can cause these ants to venture into the house. These ants don't carry disease, but they can contaminate your food so you have to throw it away.
There are a few steps you can take to make your house less desirable for the ants. To get rid of them permanently, you'll need to engage a pest control company. They will remove the colony and spray around the perimeter of your house so other ants won't come back.
What You Can Do to Prevent the Ants from Coming Inside
1. Clean up any food spills immediately
These black ants will eat almost anything, from fruit to grains, but they are especially fond of sweet substances. Sweep up crumbs from the floor and wipe off the countertops. Keep the sink free of dirty dishes and any spills. A splash of a sugary soda drink in the sink will draw in a line of ants.
2. Get Rid of the "Bread Crumb" Trail
When workers have found a food source, they leave a trail of pheromones that the other worker ants can follow to the food. When you see a line of ants following each other single-file, they are following this pheromone trail. A household cleaner that contains ammonia or chlorine will obliterate this trail. Get into the habit of wiping tables and countertops off with this cleaner before you go to bed at night to keep the ants from appearing.
3. Stop Them at the Door
When you see a line of ants, walk back along their trail until you can spot where they are coming into the house. You will find that they are coming in through
- cracks around a window ledge
- spaces around a door that doesn't seal well
- cracks in the baseboard
- electrical outlets and switch plates
Fill all of these openings with pieces of foam, insulation, or silicone caulk. Once the crack is sealed, wipe the floor around the opening to remove the trail and there will be one less path for the ants.
Between your efforts to remove food and access points, and the pest control company's, such as Total Control Termite And Pest, removal of the colony, you'll be free of these tiny, black pests.