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How To Completely Get Rid Of Ants In Your Phoenix Home

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Ants are common pests. But they don't have to be inevitable pests. There are many things you can do to keep ants out of your home. Unfortunately, once they get inside, it is often difficult to get them out and keep them out. It isn't because ants are difficult to control. In many cases, all you have to do is wait for ants to leave. They go away on their own. The problem is that they'll keep appearing over and over again unless you do something to stop them at the source. Join us today as we discuss what works to completely get rid of ants in your Phoenix home and why it is a good idea to take ACTION when you start having problems with ants. As always, jump to our contact page if you need immediate assistance with pest control in Phoenix. Our service team members are happy to help.  

The Life Cycle Of Common Ants

Ants have one job: Survive. They don't sit around binge-watching television shows online. There is no time for that in an ant's life. They immediately get to work ensuring the survival of their species. When they come into your yard, you can expect them to relentlessly pursue their goal of finding water, food, and suitable nesting areas. You can also expect them to reproduce as quickly as possible.

The most important aspect of an ant life cycle is the winged stage. Some ants become winged reproductives. These ants leave the nest on a mission to create new nests. When you see winged ants in your home, it is an indication that you have an indoor nest. We point this out because it is harder to address an infestation if you have indoor ants. We will come back to this point later on.  

The Problems Ants Can Create In Your Home

Another factor to consider is how much of a threat the ants in your home represent. Some ants are worse than others and are best dealt with by a professional. Before we dig into how to get rid of ants, let's quickly discuss the problems ants in Phoenix create.

  • You have a serious problem if you have black carpenter ants in your home. These big black ants tunnel in wood and can damage your home over time. While they aren't nearly as destructive as termites, it is best to deal with carpenter ants expeditiously.
  • You could have a problem if you have fire ants in your home. While these ants are mostly a nuisance, they can present a threat to babies and individuals with a stinging insect allergy.
  • You could have electrical issues if you have a crazy ant problem. These ants can enter yards by the millions. They get into trucks, cars, mowers, and other machines. They also get into electrical boxes.
  • All ants present a health risk as they get into trash receptacles and then get into stored foods or climb on surfaces and dishes. But when it comes to making people sick, one ant stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is the pharaoh ant. Not surprisingly, they are a plague to have in your home. These ants are attracted to dirty things and are known to get into open wounds on wildlife, livestock, dogs, cats, and humans.
  • If you think it stinks to have ants in your home, you'll literally hate having odorous house ants. These ants produce a rotten coconut smell when crushed. While not a health concern, these ants definitely stink to have around your home.

Some ants require immediate ACTION. When this is the case, contact ACTION Termite & Pest Control for assistance.

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants In Your House

Ant pest control is not a product, though it is often thought of that way. Can you stop ants with a pest control product? It depends on the problem you're attempting to solve. In most cases, the answer is no. You can put a bait down that is known to successfully control ants and have your ants not take it simply because they have another food source that is more preferable. You can apply a mound treatment and rather than have the ants disappear, five more mounds may appear. Why? Because the ant colony had multiple queens and those queens protected their colony by splitting it into several colonies. The best way to get rid of ants in your house is to hire a trained service professional. Professionals know how to get rid of an ant infestation. But you can have varying degrees of success dealing with ants on your own. Here are a few suggestions.

Step 1: Remove food options.

The most obvious application of this step is finding a food source that ants are feeding on and dispose of it outside. For example, a banana peel in a wastebasket. When one worker ant finds food in your home, it alerts the other workers. One by one they march into your home and take little piece of the food back outside to their nest.

Step 2: Protect your food.

Ants don't wait for you to dispose of food in an open kitchen trash can, recycling bin, or wastepaper basket. They'll eat food right out of a dish or food package. Keep food covered on your counters. Put dirty dishes in soapy water until you're ready to wash them. Put pet food down only during meals. Put pantry food in sealed plastic containers. Everything you do to protect the food in your home will prevent ants from marching into your home by the thousands.

Step 3: Deep clean.

Ants feed on crumbs that fall to the floor, grease on the sides of your oven, and juice spills under your fridge. When you roll your sleeves up and deep clean your kitchen, you'll have less trouble with ants and other common household pests. 

Step 4: Seal entry points.

Ants don't chew a hole to get into your home. Even carpenter ants prefer to use entry points that already exist. Get some expanding foam and seal gaps around pipes, wire conduits, and loose wires. Do this around the pipes under your kitchen sink as well.

Step 5: Replace protective building materials.

Your door sweeps, weatherstripping, screens, weep holes, and vent covers are critical. If these are not in good working condition, or you see gaps, make repairs. Every gap you seal will add more protection to your exterior. 

Step 6: Determine whether or not you have an indoor nest.

Ant control in your house is harder when you have an indoor nest because you can't remove food and water and drive them out, or seal exterior entry points to keep them out. Inspect your home and look for soil or frass leaking out of gaps, cracks, and crevices. Some ants bring soil inside when they create an indoor nest. Carpenter ants produce frass, which they push out of their tunnels. Both of these provide clear warning that there is an indoor nest.

Step 7: Clear around your foundation.

Ants thrive in leaves, sticks, vegetation, and organic debris. If you're able, create a dry patch that is a foot and a half wide. Doing so will deter ants from readily exploring your exterior.

Step 8: Trim vegetation away from your exterior.

You may think that ants just climb up your walls all the time, and that it makes no sense to do this but it actually helps quite a bit to trim vegetation away from your exterior. What often happens is that ants use vegetation as a bridge to get to higher entry points and enter homes in these areas in large numbers. After trimming a tree branch, bush, shrub, or plant, an infestation can just disappear.

Step 9: Address food sources near your home.

The more ants you have near your exterior walls, the more trouble you'll have with ants inside your home. Effective ant control requires management of exterior food sources. The trick is knowing what ants eat.

  • Clean your trash receptacles and keep covers securely in place.
  • Address aphid problems quickly. Ants love honeydew.
  • Address lawn weed problems. Ants eat nectar from flowers.
  • Move bird feeders away from your exterior.
  • Clean up nuts underneath nut-producing trees.
  • Clean up fruit.
  • Clean up dog droppings. Some ants will feed on the feces of domesticated dogs.
  • Address insect populations. Some ants eat insects both alive and dead.    

When you take these steps, you can stop indoor ant problems and reduce ant activity around your home. In most cases, you won't need more control than what these steps provide. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where ants don't take the hint.  

How To Prevent Future Ant Infestations In Your Home

Whether you're looking to prevent future ant infestations or you need to find ant control solutions for a current and mysterious ant problem, we can help. The service team at ACTION Termite & Pest Control has seen just about everything. We can diagnose your problem and apply a systematic strategy to arrest ant activity in your home and work with you to keep ants out permanently. It pays to have an experienced professional deal with ants, particularly if they present a threat to your health or property. If you're in Phoenix, connect with us today for service. We look forward to helping you find the right solutions for your home and family.