Here in Austin, TX we’ve got a lot going for us: booming industry, a thriving music scene, vivid nightlife, and so many amazing food trucks it would take a lifetime to try all of them! However, with all that awesome food comes a hoard of not so awesome ants. The drought conditions that frequent central Texas doesn’t help matters, as the lack of water can drive some ant species to seek out human habitats to get moisture. That can make it even harder than it already is to get rid of ants once they’re established in your home – so prevention is key. Let’s talk about some ways to go about it.
Why Ants Seek Out Your Home
We already talked about the lack of water driving ants to seek out your home. However, there are a couple of other attractants that exist in just about every human dwelling. One biggie is climate control. Some species – like the pharaoh ant – cannot handle harsh winters. While we don’t typically see a lot of severe winter weather here in central Texas, we can have a hard freeze every once in a while that can drive ants to seek the warmth of our indoor heat.
The biggest ant attractant, however, is food. Most ants aren’t all that picky, and they come into your house seeking foods rich in sugar and proteins. You might find a line of ants crawling to your cookie jar or your garbage or any other food storage facility that isn’t properly covered. Ants also love to carry off the food crumbs from pet bowls or pet food containers since dog and cat foods often have lots of protein.
Ant Prevention Tips
Ants can be incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’re established. Ant colonies are vast, complex organizations that stretch sometimes for many yards underground or in the walls of your structure. Some ant varieties propagate themselves by sending out satellite nests or breeding multiple queens to ensure the continuation of the colony. In some ant species, the workers can even raise a new queen from the existing brood if the old queen is killed or sterilized. All this means it’s often very difficult to kill off an entire ant infestation. Most of the time, when you use over-the-counter (OTC) sprays, ant traps, or pellets, you’re only killing part of the infestation and just making room for new nests and queens to move in. That’s why ant prevention is key. To keep ants from establishing themselves in your home, take measures like:
- Keep all indoor and outdoor garbage cans covered.
- Never leave things like cookie plates or fruit bowls just sitting out uncovered.
- Keep pantry foods stored in airtight containers.
- Never leave pet bowls sitting out. Feed your dog or cat and put their bowls and uneaten foods away.
- Seal potential ant access points like gaps in door sweeps, holes in window screens, cracks in siding, etc.
The bad news is even these measures often aren’t enough to keep properly motivated ants out of your home. The good news is help is just a click or call away. Here at Accurate Termite & Pest Control, we’ve been the Austin area’s preferred pest control company for over 20 years. Our pest control solutions include interior and exterior treatment, as well as follow-up services customized to your specific situation. Our specialty services include fire ant control as well as a host of other common Texas pests like scorpions and mosquitoes. So give us a call at (512) 357-3072 or visit our contact page to schedule your home pest control inspection today.