Ants serve a vital function by aerating the soil and breaking down organic material, but you don’t want them in your home. Unfortunately, they can be challenging to get rid of if you don’t know what is attracting them to your house.
Common Ants in Baltimore
- Carpenter Ants: Black ants about a quarter-inch in size that eat wood.
- Fire Ants: Small, reddish-brown ants with a painful bite.
- Pavement Ants: They like to nest under pavement, earth, trees, and basements.
- Thief Ants: They nest near other ants and steal food from them.
How Do Ants Get Into Homes?
Small and resourceful, ants will enter homes through any cracks or crevices they can find, and once inside, they look for easy access to food.
Common access points for ants include open doors and windows or holes in window screens and gaps in door frames.
Ants also enter through cracks in your home’s foundation, through vents, pipes, wiring, and even gaps beneath carpeting, tile, and wood flooring.
What Attract Ants to Baltimore Homes?
Ants are foragers searching for food sources that they can transport back to their nests.
Most ant species will devour most organic matter, including other alive or dead insects. What ants most prefer, though, is sugary foods.
The most attractive foods for ants are:
- Soft drinks and fruit juice
- Baked goods such as cookies and pastries
- Honey or syrup
- Over-ripened fruits and flowers
- Grains such as bread
Ants are also attracted to proteins and fats like meat, cheese, butter, nuts, and even pet food.
To avoid attracting ants into your home, keep food in tightly sealed containers, wipe spills up as soon as possible, and clean your cooking surfaces and appliances frequently.
Like all living things, ants require water to stay hydrated and live. Because ants prefer stagnated, standing water sources, you will most often find them in these areas:
- Kitchen and bathroom drains
- Inside your dishwasher
- On soaked towels and other cloth
- Wet wood
- In damp garages and basements
It is good to wipe up any water in your home and be mindful of any beverages you leave sitting out.
Like many creatures, ants seek out shelter that is warm, dry, and close to a food source. They prefer dark spaces, which is why many species live underground.
In homes, ants often shelter in the following places:
- Inside walls
- Under floorboards
- In attics or garages
- In the outer portion of AC units
How to Prevent Ants
It’s challenging to keep ants out of your home entirely, but you can make your house less inviting for pests.
- Thoroughly clean cooking areas.
- Wipe up spills right away.
- Wipe away ant scent trails using a strong soap or window cleaner spray.
- Keep sugar-based products in containers.
- Throw away rotten fruit and plant matter.
- Fill in cracks in your home’s foundation.
- Apply salt, turmeric, paprika, or ant bait around entry points.