What to Do When Ants Just Keep Coming Back
March 20, 2018
Getting rid of ants can be a challenge. Sometimes no matter what you do it seems the ants just keep coming back. If you’re having an ongoing ant problem, it may be that you aren’t really treating the problem. It may be time to call in a pest control expert.
Getting Rid of Ants
We’ve all been there. You notice some ants in your home. So you pull out the bug spray and try to get rid of them. It works for a little bit. But then you come back and there they are again. So you try something else. Maybe you try cleaning up, in the hopes that somehow there is some mess that is attracting them. You scrub the counters, Clorox everything, wipe every surface clean. But then they’re back again.
If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, you’re not alone. The truth is that an ant infestation isn’t always about the cleanliness of your home. And depending on where the ants are coming from, spraying the ants you can see may be doing almost nothing.
But what can you do to get rid of them once and for all? And why are they there in the first place?
Why Do I Have Ants?
Ants are just trying to stay alive. They spend their time looking for sources of food and water. They need to eat to survive, plus they need to bring food back to the nest to feed their young. While you may think that your house is so clean that no ant could find food there, it is very hard to achieve that kind of clean. Even a few grains of sugar or a crumb behind an appliance is a feast to an ant.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t clean. Vacuum regularly, including around baseboards. Keep surfaces clean. The harder it is for ants to find food, the more likely they will skip your home and try somewhere else.
But if a colony has made its home right next to yours, you may be the most convenient source of food and water, no matter how clean you keep your home.
Does it Matter What Kind of Ants I Have?
Yes. Different species of ants have different behaviors and different nesting strategies. If you see a line of ants crawling across your kitchen counter, you are probably dealing with tiny black ants. If you see larger ants, you may be dealing with carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants can be the more difficult of the two to get rid of. That’s because they make their nests in moist wood. If there is moist wood in your home, that’s probably already a problem area, even without ants. A leak in a wall or ceiling or damage to a foundation or basement could be the culprit, and that requires pest control plus some handyman work.
If you’re dealing with tiny black ants, you’re dealing with a colony that is most likely located just outside your home. If you follow the trail of ants you may even be able to trace it back to the nest. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with. The nest can reach deep underground, with the queen at the very heart of the nest. You can use ant spray, powders, or other ant control products available to the regular consumer, but that may not be enough. You might kill a lot of ants, but as long as the queen is alive, the colony will repopulate.
So How do I Control Ants?
Tiny black ants move in lines or trails, and that’s no coincidence. The way the ants find a food source is by following a scent trail. A few scout ants may enture out on their own, looking for food. But once they food is located, a scent trail is laid down, and that’s how the workers know where to go.
If you want to disrupt the flow of ants, the first step is to clear away the scent trail. Using disinfectant wipes can help to clear away the scent trail. But try to avoid squishing the ants. A smashed ant actually gives off a scent signal that draws other ants.
Once the scent trail has been wiped away, take a look around to see if you can find the food that drew the ants in the first place. Make sure that food is stored in watertight containers. It can be hard to achieve a level of clean so thorough that there is no food for an ant, but the harder it is, the more likely the ants will go elsewhere.
What if They Keep Coming Back?
Sometimes nothing seems to work. You spray, you clean, you seal off your food, you wipe away scent trails. But after a little while they’re back. It can be incredibly frustrating.
If this is happening to you, chances are you are just too convenient a location for the ants to ignore. If you have a nest just outside your home, the ant scouts may keep coming back, forming new trails and bringing more worker ants. The only way to stop them is to get to the nest and kill the queen. But that may not be possible using consumer products. It may be time to call in the professionals.
When to Call in Professionals
If the ants keep coming back no matter what you do, you may need to call in the experts, like the professionals at People’s Pest Control.
The first thing a pest control professional will do is to determine what species of ant you are dealing with. That will make all the difference in how the infestation is treated. Once the pest control expert has determined the type of ant, they will move on to forming a plan to kill off the infestation at its source.
If you have tiny black ants, the pest control professional will make sure that they have found the source of the problem, the local nest. Once the nest is in sight, the pest control expert will use tools that are not available over the counter. Even if the queen is located deep inside the nest, professionals like the experts at People’s Pest Control have ways of getting to her. Once the queen is dead, the colony will collapse and there will be no more ants to infest your home.
If you are dealing with carpenter ants, the pest control expert will also have to find the source of the ants. Once the source is located, the pest control expert can treat the nest to keep the ants from coming back. They may also suggest some corrective work to fix the damage that attracted the ants in the first place.
Are the Ants Gone Forever?
Unfortunately, you can never really guarantee that ants won’t come back. There are a lot more of them than us and they’ve been around a lot longer. Ants will always find a way. But if you stick with People’s Pest Control, we can make it very hard for ants to find their way in your home. And if they do come back, we can treat them right away to avoid a full fledged infestation.
People’s Pest Control offers ongoing pest control service plans to ensure that your home stays pest free. But we won’t ask you to sign a long-term contract. We know that you will be satisfied with our work, so we just don’t need to come up with other ways of keeping our customers. You can hear some reviews from our many satisfied customers here. So go ahead, call People’s Pest Control today to start keeping your home pest free.