Ants are a prolific pest, once you spot them in your home they will be everywhere if left unchecked.
But why are ants such a problem in the summer?
Year in, year out, you can guarantee that at some point you will see a colony of ants near to your home. What you don’t want to see is members of that colony frequenting your home…
Why do you see so many ants in summer?
Summer is a prime time for ants to make the most of the warm conditions and freely available food.
Open windows and doors to let the air in also serve as an open invitation to hungry ants looking for a bite to eat.
Al fresco dining in the summer months will always mean bits of discarded food, however miniscule, get left on the floor as rich pickings for opportunist ants.
Ants will work hard throughout the summer to collect and store food for their colony ahead of a shift in pace for over-wintering. This means they will remain highly active throughout the warmer months.
Why are ants a problem?
A nuisance rather than a health problem, ants do not carry or spread disease, but they are a major nuisance due to the numbers in which they will invade you home.
Often targeting your kitchen, the last thing homeowners want is an army of small insects crawling across the worktop or marching through cupboards.
Ants work by laying down a scent once they have found a source of food – this sends a signal to other ants to follow the scent. As a result, the number of ants heading into your home will quickly increase.
What can I do to keep ants out of my home in summer?
As always, minimising access to food by being thorough when clearing up after eating and making sure your rubbish is well contained will help to keep pests at bay by not gifting them a source of food.
If ants do appear, masking scent trails with strong smells such as cinnamon, lemon and mint can help.
It is also important to take steps to block their exit so find out where the ants are getting into your house and then close up the gaps. Pay attention to doors and windows and be prepared to use a product such as a sealant to close up minuscule gaps that ants can get through.
DIY solutions for ant invasions
Ants tend to be a problem that emerges at the start of the summer months – so that could be anytime soon.
Once in your home ants can get everywhere and become a real pest. Plenty of homes must be able to sympathise with returning home from holiday in the middle of a hot spell to the horror of ants running riot in kitchen cupboards and across worktops.
The good news about ants though is that while they may be a real nuisance, they are not known to cause harm or spread disease. Still, if you have an ant invasion in your home you will want to take it in hand quickly before you become overwhelmed with the little creepy crawlies.
As with most household pests, ants are looking for food and shelter. In the case of ants, they are particularly fond of sugary foods.
The main thing ants need to complete their invasion is a way to get into your home – due to their size this is harder to guard against.
Once they have found a nice easy food supply and a way in, ants will lay down a scent to follow that will keep them – and a growing army of ants – coming back day after day.
Usually, ants have already set up a permanent home in your garden with nests often being found in soil – and this is where they will head back to with the spoils they pick up in your kitchen.
How to stop ants in their tracks
Following the golden rules of pest prevention also applies to stop ants from becoming a household pest. These include:
- • Keeping the kitchen clean and free of food crumbs
- • Ensuring areas where food is eaten also remain clean
- • Checking – and fixing – potential points of entry for household pets on walls windows and doors.
- • Safely storing all rubbish and waste, indoors and outdoors
Ants make their way into your home while you are unable to call in outside help or pick up repellent there are some good DIY solutions that will help.
A major part of ants returning to your home is the scent they have laid down, which they -and other ants – will follow to find the food source. Getting rid of this scent is a good place to start as it will disrupt the trail.
The first step is to work out where the ants are getting in and, if possible, seal the hole. Then having watched for the point of entry wash down the ground that they travel across to remove the scent using disinfectant, bleach, water and vinegar or just soapy water.
Scents that will help to repel ants
Scents form a good part of your arsenal in deterring ants as certain smells will repel them, these include:
- • Mint
- • Citrus
- • Vinegar
- • Pepper (and other spices)
In tackling an ant invasion, mixing vinegar, lemon juice or mint oil with water (50-50 for vinegar, 2 cups with drops of mint oil, ¼ lemon juice to ¾ water) and spraying it on surfaces and around kitchen cabinets will help to repel ants.
Putting mint leaves around the outside of the house, or sprinkling pepper in affected areas will also help to keep ants away.
If you find a nest, pouring boiling water or a mixture of washing up liquid and water will help to kill the ants.
Ideally, when discovering an ants’ nest on your property, pest control experts can ensure these are fully removed to prevent a repeat of the problem.
Expert pest control
While there are numerous DIY solutions that can be used to stem the flow of ants into your home if you experience an invasion in the summer if you are struggling to take control of the situation call in expert help.
Pest Busters offers pest control solutions across the West Midlands for all manner of household pests including insects, wasps, and rodents. If you are struggling to contain a problem with ants or have a serious pest control issue our team of professional pest control experts can help.
Take swift action to get rid of household pests, contact Pest Busters for help.
Pest Busters (Birmingham)
Birmingham Office, Highfield Farm, Middle Ln, King’s Norton, Birmingham B38 0DX