Simple Ant Prevention Tips To Help Combat A Problem In The Bay Area

ants crawling in a bowl

Ant control in The Bay Area is tricky, and DIY ant pest control can make a problem worse. For this reason, we only recommend DIY ant prevention. If you need ant control in your house, it is best to contact a licensed professional. Today, we're going to share some simple ant prevention tips to help you prevent an ant problem in your home. These tips do not require the specialized knowledge service technicians use to arrest indoor ant infestations. If you have an infestation already, please consider contacting Bay Pest for treatment. We use field-tested methods to apply ant pest control in The Bay Area and help residents get long-lasting results.

How Can I Tell If I Have An Ant Infestation?

Some ant infestations are obvious. You need only use your eyes to see that you have ants all over the place. You can also use your sense of touch to tell that you have an ant infestation. When you sit on your couch and feel a tickling feeling on your neck, arms, or legs, you'll quickly realize your couch is covered in ants! These are simple ways to detect ants, but sometimes, an ant infestation isn't easy to detect. Here are some examples:

  • You flick a light switch; the light comes on for a second and immediately goes out. That could be an ant infestation. Ants can get into outlets and powerboxes. They're also known to chew on the coating of wires. Sometimes, electrical issues are caused by ant problems. When you call the electrician, give Bay Pest a call as well. 
  • You open the door to your garage and notice a sawdust material down at the corner of the door frame. That could be an ant infestation. Carpenter ants excavate wood shaving and push them out of tiny kickout holes along with droppings and insect parts. The material they "kick out" is called frass. Inspect any wood shavings you find. Your home doesn't naturally produce sawdust. Something is definitely going on. It may be a carpenter ant infestation. The worst of the worst are black carpenter ants. It is not good to have black carpenter ants in your home because they are the most destructive. Contact Bay Pest for big black ant control in The Bay Area.
  • You find soil leaking out of a baseboard in your home. That is not a natural occurrence. Something is bringing soil into your home. It could be ants. Some ants create nests in wood cavities and your wall voids are a perfect location, and in order to make a suitable environment, they have to carry soil into your walls. When that soil leaks out, it provides a warning sign that you have an ant problem.

Ants aren't usually mysterious. In most cases, they'll let you know they're in your home. They climb on sinks, explore shelves, climb on pet food, and explore your trash. You won't have to wonder if you have an ant infestation. But it is helpful to know how to detect ants just in case you have a more serious issue, like carpenter ants. Those wood-damaging insects can cause extensive damage if not caught and addressed. Let's take a quick look at this and other secret ant problems.    

The Issues Ant Infestations Create In Homes

Most Bay Area residents call a professional because ants are a nuisance—and, boy, are they ever. Ants are the most annoying pests in the country and the number one pest that service providers are called on to address. But ant problems aren't always obvious. Let's start with those carpenter ants.

  • Carpenter ants are nocturnal insects. They come while you're sleeping. So, they can raid your cabinets many times without alerting you to a problem. On top of this, they often don't invade kitchen and pantry foods. They can find all the food they need in the great outdoors. They can decide to use your home only for harborage. When they don't bug you, they are allowed to cause damage for years. That can add up to costly repairs. 
  • Ants pick up germs when they crawl around inside trash receptacles. They carry these invisible organisms to food-prep surfaces, dishes, silverware, stored foods, and more. When they do, you can get sick. The problem with having ants make you sick is that you may not realize ants are to blame. You can get sick by going to the grocery store and touching that number pad everyone touched before you inserted your debit card. 
  • Ants don't just get into switches and powerboxes. They can get into electronics and automobiles. In these places, they can cause electrical shorts when the current from circuit boards passes through the ant workers or when the coating is chewed off wires in your car and zaps the ants.

Most of the time, ants are an obvious problem. They're not typically secretive by nature. Some ants are more obvious than others. We have one ant pest called the odorous house ant. Not only do these ants enter homes in large numbers, they smell like rotting coconut when you step on them.

Five Naturally Effective Ant Prevention Tips

Now that you know what to expect from ants in your Bay Area home, you know why it is a good idea to keep them out. Let's start by looking at five naturally effective ant prevention tips you can use to keep ants out.

  1. Apply sanitation to remove the smells that attract ants. Many ant species are attracted to the scent of decaying organic matter. If you have a stinky trash receptacle, ants are likely to take notice and begin to establish nests near your receptacles. If your receptacles are near your home, ants will likely find their way indoors. They'll follow their noses to indoor trash, recycling, juice stains on the floor, and other stinky things. 
  2. Reduce insects around your home. Ants eat insects, both alive and dead. One of the best ways to reduce insects is to keep exterior lights off. Insects are attracted to light. You can solve this issue of insect-attracting light by installing motion-sensitive light bulbs. 
  3. Keep your perimeter dry. Many ant species are highly motivated by damp conditions. A clean and working gutter system channels rainwater away from your perimeter and keeps the soil near your home dry between rainstorms. Also, consider removing grass, weeds, and other plants from your landscaping to allow the air to flow through your landscaping and keep things dry. Along with keeping your landscaping dry, moisture management is essential for plant health. Healthy plants are resistant to aphids and other plant-damaging insects. These insects produce honeydew, a food source that attracts carpenter ants and other ant species that have a sweet tooth.
  4. Seal potential entry points. Ants enter your home because they can. While it is impossible to seal every entry point an ant may use to enter your home, it is well worth trying to do so. Use a caulking gun to seal around door and window frames. Repair screens. Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps that are damaged. Install weep hole protectors if your home has weep holes. Use a foundation repair kit to seal cracks in your foundation wall or slab. If you are meticulous, you can significantly deter all ants from invading your home.
  5. Keep your home clean. When a worker ant comes into your home and finds food, it lays down a pheromone trail on its way back to the nest. When other workers follow the trail and find the food, they do the same. Each worker adds to the trail, the scent grows, and more ants enter. Within an hour, you can have an army of ants invading your home because of one little worker ant. Clean food debris. Clean up juice spills. Deep clean your kitchen and pantry. Clean your couch. A clean home is an ant-resistant home.

If you have the energy and persistence, you can keep ants out of your home with these all-natural pest management methods. If more control is needed, contact Bay Pest for assistance. We use a multi-pronged strategy to guard your exterior walls and prevent pest entry.   

The Best Way To Get Rid Of An Ant Infestation In Your Home

When ants invade your space, you may want to get ant control products and go after those ants yourself. Keep in mind that many ant species have many queens in their nests. If you don't apply ant control correctly, the ant nests can split, and one nest can become several nests. That is not the way to deal with ants.

Are you in The Bay Area? If so, you're in our service area. Contact Bay Pest. Our service technicians are highly trained and fully licensed. We'll diagnose your ant problem and offer an effective solution to address your specific ant control needs. It pays to go with a company with a track record of success and a reputation for providing impeccable service. Connect with us today. We're here to help.

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