How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen
With summer in full swing, it’s more likely you’ll spot ants inside your home. But these pests are no picnic to find in your kitchen. While ants are not generally harmful, they can be a nuisance to deal with, and challenging to get rid of on your own. If you’ve seen a tiny army of black ants marching through your home or business, here’s everything you need to know about how these little pests get in — and how to get them out.
In This Article
- Why Ants Come Into Your Kitchen
- How Ants Get Into Your Kitchen
- Methods of Removing Ants From Your Kitchen
- How to Prevent Ants in the Kitchen
- Get Help From Cape Cod Pest Pros
Why Ants Come Into Your Kitchen
Dealing with ants in the kitchen is a frustrating problem, as they seemingly appear out of nowhere. Perhaps a recent infestation has left you wondering, “Why do I have ants in my kitchen?” Ants love the kitchen for the same reason we do — it’s full of food! Ants will usually nest and build their colonies, but they will travel and forage in the area for food and water, and this includes entering your home and finding the kitchen. Unfortunately, ants enjoy many of the same foods humans do, and even a few crumbs or spilled drops on the counter or floor can be a veritable buffet for an ant.
How Ants Get Into Your Kitchen
Most species of house ants don’t live in your home. Instead, they have large colonies outdoors. So, if they live outside, how and why are they getting into your kitchen? When ants establish a colony outside, they will send scout ants out to forage around for food and water. These scout ants leave behind a trail of pheromones as they go, so their route back home is easy to follow. They also leave more pheromones on their way back to the nest, strengthening the scent and making it easier for other ants to follow the trail to the food source.
Once the scouts have left their scent trails, the rest of the colony can follow and find the food. At this point, you may see many ants in a row, seemingly falling in line right into your kitchen. But while this explains how the ants go exploring for food, you may still wonder how these ants gained entry to your house in the first place.
Even with all the doors and windows of your home closed, tiny ants have methods for finding their way in. Because they can scale vertical surfaces, ants can climb walls, looking for any possible entry points. Ants and other pests can locate the tiniest cracks in the foundation, or around doors and windows. Additionally, there may be small gaps around wires and cables entering the home where an ant can sneak in. Ants are tough, smart and seem to have no problem accessing our homes.
Methods of Removing Ants From Your Kitchen
If you have an ant infestation in the kitchen, you’ll want to get rid of these annoying pests as soon as possible. Wondering how to kill ants in the kitchen? Thankfully, you can try various methods, from easy home remedies to calling in professionals. Try these tips for getting rid of ants.
- Find the entry point: Sometimes, you can follow the trail of ants to see where they are coming in. Sealing up any cracks or other entry points with caulking or joint compound can help manage the problem.
- Find the nest: Look around outside, or try to follow the ants leaving your kitchen if possible. They can lead you right back to the nest. Once you know the colony’s location, you can treat the nest with boric acid or insecticide.
- Use ant traps: Whether commercial or homemade, ant traps can work to kill off the whole colony. These traps generally have a poisonous substance that also tastes sweet and attracts the ants. The ants then carry this toxic food back to the nest, killing off all the ants over a few days.
- Get rid of remaining ants: After you’ve tried the above steps, if you see additional ants, use sprays, home remedies or manually remove the ants from your kitchen.
How to Prevent Ants in the Kitchen
One of the easiest methods to keep ants out of your kitchen in the first place is with some preventive measures. And, if you’ve had ants before, you’ll want to try these prevention tactics to avoid another infestation.
- Keep things tidy: Cleanliness is an ideal way to prevent ants and other pests that may be attracted to little spills and piles of crumbs. Establish a habit of regularly wiping counters and floors, and clean up any spills right away.
- Don’t leave food out: Any food items left out on the counters can attract ants. Properly seal all food and put it away — this goes for pet food, too!
- Get rid of standing water: Even a bit of extra water can attract ants. Wipe up spills, and don’t leave standing water out. Do not let dishes soak or leave sinks full of water for too long.
- Keep garbage away: Ants don’t discriminate between fresh foods and garbage scraps. Be sure to take out the trash often, and use garbage cans with tightly sealed lids and no access points for pests.
- Eliminate entry points: Inspect your home inside and out and seal off any possible entry points for ants. Patch up any holes or cracks, and use caulking and sealants around windows, doors and any wires, pipes or cables going into the house. You can sprinkle ant repellents near doorways or other entry points as well.
- Be aware of other factors that attract ants: Fix any leaking pipes right away, as dripping water can be a ready drinking supply for bugs like ants. Trim trees and bushes around your home, so ants don’t use them as bridges to gain access to the inside.
Get Help From Cape Cod Pest Pros
Ants can be challenging to get rid of on your own. If you’ve tried to remove ants from your kitchen and aren’t finding success, perhaps it’s time to call in the experts. When you get help from Cape Cod Pest Pros, you can rest easy, knowing the professionals are taking care of your ant problem. We are proud to offer professional pest control services for homes and businesses throughout Cape Cod, and we can help you get rid of ants once and for all. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a free home inspection.