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A Handy Ant-Prevention Guide For Phoenix Homeowners

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Ants are everywhere when you go outside. If you take a moment to look around, you will likely see some ants. So it is no surprise that they get into homes. But do you know that there are many ways to reduce ant populations and block the routes they use to get into a home? The more you understand about these two ant prevention concepts, the fewer ants you'll find inside your home. But it isn't easy controlling ants with all-natural pest maintenance. Far too often, Phoenix residents turn to ant pest control products to solve their problems because they promise to offer an easy solution. Unfortunately, ant control products often fall short or make ant infestations worse. Let's take a look at ants in Phoenix, the problems they cause, and five ant-prevention tips that will give you more control over ants than throwing over-the-counter control products at them. If you're currently battling ants and you've had all you can take, remember that you can hop over to our contact page and reach out to us for professional ant pest control in Phoenix. We can take care of your ant problem for you. If you're just here to learn about ants and ant control, read on and enjoy.

The Role Ants Play In Our Ecosystem

Ants provide many benefits, even as they move about in your yard. They help to aerate the soil as they dig their tiny tunnels. They assist with pollination as they collect nectar from flowers. Most of all, they break down organic matter. When insects die, ants devour them for protein. If there were no ants in the world, we'd probably have piles of dead insects everywhere. Okay, that is probably an exaggeration, but ants are important. The goal of ant control in your house and yard should never be to wipe out all the ants around your home but rather to keep ants from getting into places where they don't belong, such as indoor areas. All-natural ant control works best for ant management because it is gentle on the ants. 

Most of the ants that get into Phoenix homes are a nuisance, and it is fine to manage them with all-natural control methods because you don't have to worry about doing things perfectly. It isn't a big deal if they find a way to get in and find a reason to mobilize an army to gather a food source. They won't bother you for long. As soon as the food source is gone, so are the ants. You just have to work harder to prevent ants from finding food and patch the entry point they used to get inside. General maintenance works fine for most ants, and it allows them to continue to provide all of their benefits in your yard. But, while all ants are beneficial, some can present a threat to health and property. When this is the case, more control is warranted. 

  • If you find black carpenter ants in your home, it is best to apply a treatment to arrest all ant activity indoors and near your exterior walls. Over time, carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage in certain circumstances. You don't want to use a gentle hand with these ants.
  • If an army of crazy ants comes into your yard, the negatives will quickly outweigh any positives. These ants get into automobile engines and clog up the works. They also get into electrical boxes and cause electrical problems inside homes.
  • If fire ants move into your yard, they can ruin outdoor fun. They also present a serious risk to individuals with a stinging insect allergy. Targeted colony control is definitely the wisest solution for these stinging insects.
  • If ants repeatedly enter your home and you notice that stomach illness is occurring more often than normal, ants could be to blame. They can climb into trash bins and then move to surfaces, food-prep areas, dish cabinets, and stored foods. When ants do this, it can expose you to harmful bacteria. Added control around your home can stop this from happening.

It is essential to understand how ants may present a threat and take action when greater control is needed. But, most of the time, Phoenix residents get year-round pest control for convenience. When you have routine visits from a service professional, you can put ant control solutions out of your mind. Your perimeter protection will do most of the work for you. 

Five Easy And Effective Ant-Prevention Tips For Around The House

Ant prevention is an extension of what you're probably already doing. It doesn't require you to do new things, just more of the same things. Let's break it down.

1. Indoor Food Sources

The most important step in all-natural and effective ant control is to remove food options inside your home. Ants want to get into your home because they find food. Here are some effective ways to prevent ants from finding food in your home.

  • Clean up food debris from floors, counters, and shelves. It doesn't take much to feed an ant.
  • Clean up spills on the floor. Many ants are drawn to sweet smells, even after they start to smell like decay.
  • Refrain from setting trash bags on the floor next to the door. If the bag is moist and organic juices get on the floor, the scent will attract ants from a distance.
  • Check wastepaper baskets for fruit, bread, and other desirable food sources for ants. It is common for children to leave food in places other than the kitchen trash.
  • Consider putting food in sealed containers, particularly if they come from the store in cardboard or paper packaging.
  • Store dishes in soapy water until you're ready to clean them.
  • Make sure your kitchen trash has a cover and keep your receptacle clean.

Keep your home clean and manage food sources to deter ants. This hard work will also beautify your home and keep your food fresh.

2. Home Improvements

As a homeowner, you know how important it is to have good weatherstripping and an effective seal around your windows. When you weatherproof your home, you save money. Your efforts to keep the cold air in on hot summer days will also keep ants out.

  • Inspect your exterior doors for the smallest gaps and replace weatherstripping if needed.
  • Make sure all of your exterior doors have door sweeps.
  • Use a caulking gun to seal around your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged screens and address gaps around screens.

It isn't easy to fix these problems but well worth the effort. You won't just control ants, you'll keep moisture out, prevent mold, and lower your electric bill.

3. Exclusion Work

All homes have gaps, holes, and cracks. Perform a detailed inspection of your exterior and use expanding foam or caulking to patch any openings you find. Here are a few common problems we see.

  • Gaps around pipes under the kitchen or bathroom sink
  • Gaps around pipes and wire conduits that pass through the foundation or exterior walls
  • Deteriorated sill plates
  • Gaps between wood members
  • Rotted holes in wood
  • Damaged skirting
  • Cracks or holes in foundations

Ants aren't the only pests that get into your home through these openings. When you take the time to apply patches, you make indoor environments nicer. 

4. Yard Work

It is invigorating to do yard work. Exercise is good for the body. It is also good for reducing ants.

  • Blow leaves out of your landscaping and away from your home. Ants explore leaf piles and litter in search of food.
  • Pick up dead branches in your yard and store them in a bin until you're ready to dispose of them. Many insects are attracted to wood sources and ants come to feed on insects both alive and dead. 
  • Trim vegetation in your landscaping, particularly away from exterior walls. Ants often use vegetation to get to easy entry points.
  • Remove unnecessary plants in your landscaping to reduce moisture that attracts insects and the ants that eat them.

Do you see how it works? Pests want to find your exterior overgrown. When you clean things up and keep things trimmed, you deter ants and other pests.

5. Insect Control

We've touched on this, but it bears mentioning again in its own section. Reducing insects will reduce ants. Ants eat insects and feed on honeydew produced by certain insects.

  • Reduce exterior light sources that attract insects, or replace white lights with yellow lights. Insects can't detect light in the yellow spectrum.
  • Clean trash receptacles to reduce odors that attract ants and other insects.
  • Clean your gutters to reduce perimeter dampness that increases pest activity.
  • Address flowering weed problems because insects eat nectar.

Everything you do to reduce insect activity will have an impact on ants. When control products are needed, it is best to contact a licensed professional. 

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants In The House And Keep Them Out

Are you in Phoenix? If so, the best way to keep ants out of your home is to contact ACTION Termite & Pest Control. We provide year-round perimeter protection to reduce the food sources ants are looking for in your yard. If a particular ant pest becomes a problem, we'll target the ant species with appropriate control products to arrest activity. When you have ongoing service from ACTION Termite & Pest Control, you can put ant control out of your mind. If that sounds like a plan, reach out to us. We're here to help.