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Key To Effective Ant Control For Phoenix Homes

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Every Phoenix yard has ants, but not every Phoenix homeowner has ant pest control issues. Why is this the case? Because some homeowners know what to do about ants, and they meticulously work to prevent ant problems by removing attractants and sealing entry points. We call this green ant control because it is 100 percent eco-friendly. If you'd like to know how it works, you're in for a treat. Today, we're offering up our five best eco-friendly ant-prevention tips, which will include details on how you can remove attractants and seal gaps, cracks, and holes ants commonly use to get inside. If this sounds like too much work, you can always take ACTION and contact ACTION Termite & Pest Control. We provide effective ant control and general pest control in Phoenix. Let our service team members do the heavy lifting and get the results you want. If you want to do it yourself or you just want to learn more about common ants in Phoenix, read on. You're sure to find some helpful tidbits here. 

Species Of Ants That Commonly Invade Phoenix Homes

There are many pests that can present issues for you in your yard and home. It helps to know what kind of ants you're dealing with so that you have some idea of food and nesting preferences.

  • Argentine ants are best known for their ability to make supercolonies. These tiny brown ants are 1/9 to 1/12 of an inch in length, but don't let their size fool you. They are not to be trifled with in your yard.
  • Carpenter ants are the largest ants you'll find in your home, but they have major and minor workers. The minor workers are small enough that you might mistake them for other small black ants. Depending on the species, carpenter ant workers range from ¼ to ⅝ of an inch long.
  • Crazy ants are recognizable by their crazy movement patterns. You may not need this clue to tell that you have crazy ants. They can enter your yard by the millions. If it looks like the ground is moving, you probably have a crazy ant infestation. Each worker is 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long and is dark brown to black.
  • Fire ants, as you might expect, are red ants. Some species have a dark abdomen. When fire ants move into your yard, you'll likely notice their ant mounds. Fire ants create their mounds in sunny locations. A fire ant worker is ⅛ to ⅜ of an inch in length, depending on what species you find in your yard. 
  • Odorous house ants are known for their unpleasant smell. If you crush these ants, you're likely to notice a rotting coconut scent. If you need more help identifying these ants, or you don't prefer to crush them to figure out if they have a bad odor, an odorous house ant worker is 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch long and is dark brown or black.
  • Pavement ants are often confused with little black ants because pavement ants are little black ants by definition. At only ⅛ of an inch, they're definitely little, and they are typically black. Pavement ants create tiny mounds near stone walkways, pavers, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Pharaoh ants are disease-spreading ants. While only a mere 1/16 of an inch long, these little ants are often big trouble. They are attracted to rotting organic matter, particularly carrion.

All of these ants are commonly found in yards and may get into your Phoenix home. If you find one and properly identify it, check entomology webpages on the internet to learn more about them.

The Problems Ants Can Create In Your House

As you set your mind to getting control of ants, it is good to understand the risks they present to your health and property. We're not going to spend much time on this, but you should know that ants aren't harmless. It is well worth your effort to roll your sleeves up and do the hard work of ant control, or you can contact a pest control service provider.

  • Ants pick up harmful bacteria from dumpsters, trash bins, carrion, feces, and more. When they get into your home, they can leave these invisible organisms on surfaces, dishes, and in your stored foods.
  • Some pest ants spread diseases, but this is rare.
  • Ants can clog machines and cause electrical outlets to short out.
  • Certain ants chew on the coating on wires.
  • Carpenter ants create tunnels in wood and can cause structural damage, over time.
  • Fire ants sting and present a danger to individuals with a stinging insect allergy.

It is best to not allow ants to enter your home. Let's turn our attention to five eco-friendly ways you can prevent ant infestations and guard against the problems ants cause. 

Five Eco-Friendly Ant-Prevention Tips For Your Home

When ants encroach upon your home, you can deter them from being active near your exterior walls or prevent them from accidentally getting inside your home. The secret is understanding what ants are looking for and how they get in.

1. Ant Food

You're going to have problems with ants if you provide food sources for them. What do ants eat? Lots of things. Some of them may surprise you.

  • Ants eat fresh food and rotting food. Keeping your trash in scented bags, storing trash in covered containers, and keeping containers free of strong odors all work to deter ants.
  • Ants eat insects, both alive and dead. One way to reduce insect activity is to replace white lights with yellow, insect-resistant lighting.
  • Ants eat honeydew. If you have aphids, whiteflies, or scale insects in your landscaping, you're likely to invite an ant problem.
  • Ants eat nectar. When weeds take over your lawn, ants will take over next. It is common to find lots of tiny ant mounds forming in weed-ravished areas of lawns.
  • Ants eat pet food. If you feed your pets outside, you'll also feed the ants.
  • Many ants are strongly attracted to sweet liquids. While soda, juice, and the sugar water in hummingbird feeders aren't food, they're definitely an attractant. Ants can pick up and carry droplets of liquid.

Remove food options and keep food debris and juices cleaned up to make your exterior ant resistant.   

2. Moisture

While moisture is definitely a water source for ants, it plays a greater role. Moisture causes fungus and mold issues, which can attract certain ants. Moisture increases humidity, which attracts certain pests that ants eat. It also attracts certain ant species that have a high moisture requirement.

  • Clear out your gutters so that rainwater can flow freely.
  • Keep your landscape vegetation dry by watering plants in the morning.
  • Remove unwanted grass and weeds in your landscaping to prevent moisture from getting trapped in the vegetation.
  • Fix exterior plumbing issues.

You can't do anything to stop the rain, but you can prevent your property from remaining wet long after it rains.   

3. Remove Routes

Ants can scale walls. Perhaps you've noticed. But it is not commonly understood that ant problems can begin with a tree branch or shrub that touches the exterior walls of a structure. Trim trees and vegetation away from your exterior walls to remove these routes. It will have a big impact. 

4. Common Ant Entry Points

Ants get into your home through the tiniest of gaps and cracks. While it is impossible to seal them all, sealing what you can will make a difference.

  • Seal gaps around pipes, both outside and in the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink.
  • Use expanding foam to seal any accessible voids behind joists or to fill in holes in wood.
  • Replace weatherstripping where needed, and install door sweeps if you don't have them.
  • Use a foundation repair kit to seal foundation cracks.

Expanding foam, a caulking gun, and a foundation repair kit are the tools used for excluding ants from your home. 

5. Indoor Food And Liquid 

When ants get into your home and they find food or liquid, they may lay down a pheromone trail as they return to the nest. This will lead other workers to enter your home. You can prevent this by doing the following.

  • Clean and deep clean your kitchen.
  • Clean your couch and living room furniture.
  • Consider only eating in your dining room and kitchen.
  • Buy a smaller kitchen trash receptacle so you are forced to remove the trash more frequently. It will prevent food from decaying in your trash and creating a scent that attracts ants and other pests.
  • Put pet food down only during meals.
  • Put dirty dishes in soapy water until you have the time to wash the dishes.
  • Keep pantry foods in sealed containers.
  • Clean up spills
  • Address plumbing issues.

Controlling foods and liquids is at the heart of all-natural pest control. It can seem daunting, but once you create the habits necessary, it isn't so bad.  

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

If you want the best ant control in your house and around your home, it pays to hire a pest control professional. A pest control technician will evaluate the conditions that allow ants to infest your home, properly identify the ant pests you are dealing with, and apply products and methods that are known to work. If you live in Phoenix, contact ACTION Termite & Pest Control for help with ant problems. We provide industry-leading solutions and can guide you toward the right solution for your needs.