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From spraying infested areas to regularly taking out the trash, there are several things you can do to rid your house of ants. Unfortunately, however, ants can be extremely persistent. You may need professionals to handle your infestation to ensure the pesky pests are really gone for good.

In many cases, pests can be extremely persistent and difficult to find. You may need pest management professionals to identify points of entry, locate nesting sites, and implement an integrated pest management program. That’s where our effective and efficient pest control services come into play.

What Attracts Pests?

It’s the age-old question: Why are ants in my house? Ants and other pests enter your home looking for three things: food, water and shelter–with food typically being the biggest motivator. In spring, pests wake up hungry. They need food to sustain themselves and to fuel their spring breeding practices. In fall, pests seek to escape the cold and secure a steady food supply until the thaw. In either season, your home could be tempting.

The first place you probably notice an ant infestation or other pest invasion is in your kitchen or bathroom. Crumbs, spills, and moisture are all strong attractants. But that’s not the worst of it. Unfortunately, many species like ants, termites, and mice communicate their discoveries to others and mark their trails. What started as a scouting mission could turn into a mass pest migration to your front door.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Home

There are a number of actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of ants and pests in your home. We’ve broken them down into four categories:

How do I get rid of ants in my house?

Unfortunately, even with preventative measures, ants can make their way inside your home. Here’s what you should do if these pests invade your space:

1. Seal Entry Points

Ants, and even rodents, can squeeze into your home through a number of small and easily overlooked entry points. Knowing how to find and secure these entries could make the difference between a few rogue pests and a total infestation.

Start with window sills, door frames, and other thresholds. Bugs and rodents often slip through the cracks and crevices between thresholds. Be thorough, as you may be surprised to know that rats and mice can squeeze through openings under an inch wide.

Seal Cracks

To ensure you address all potential openings, here’s a home pest inspection checklist:

  • Make sure windows and doors are installed and placed properly.
  • Test weatherstripping for durability and proper seating.
  • If you can feel a draft, there’s a gap big enough for pests.
  • Use caulk to seal any cracks or gaps you find.
  • Check baseboards, the foundation, insulation, and unfinished walls and flooring.
  • Repair broken windows and torn screens.
  • Cover or seal utility connections and vents.
  • Replace missing shingles or siding.

2. Keep a Clean Kitchen and Home

How do you stop ants from coming into the house? Keep it tidy. Pests are attracted to food, spills, and garbage. Take these incentives away and they’re likely to move on to more enticing stomping grounds.

Here are tips for a tidy and pest-free home:

  • Clean up food and drink spills right as they happen.
  • Don’t leave food or dirty dishes out.
  • Clean countertops and cooking spaces after meal prep.
  • Mop floors regularly.
  • Check under sinks for areas of moisture.
  • Keep fruit in the fridge or in containers.
  • Clean pet bowls and wipe up spilled food and water.
  • Store all food, including pet food, in secure containers.
  • Watch your indoor plants for signs of insect infestation.

Decluttering is also important. Pests like cockroaches, centipedes, rodents, or stink bugs can easily disappear in dirty or unorganized spaces. Not only are they looking to escape the elements, but they also want to avoid predators and competitors. Many pests typically come out at night or in darkness to forage for food by darting between safe places. The safer they feel, the more likely they’ll settle in. Decluttering occurs inside and outside so ensure your yard is landscaped to minimize pest activity.

Here are decluttering steps to follow around your property:

  • Trim branches, shrubs, and other plants regularly.
  • Keep a 3-5 space between the perimeter of your home and ornamental plants.
  • Collect fallen lawn debris regularly to keep it from piling up.
  • Drain areas where water collects.
  • Trim tree branches overhanging your home or roof.
  • Place bird feeders away from your home.

3. Control Moisture

Pests like termites, carpenter ants, centipedes, cockroaches, silverfish, and sowbugs need constant humidity to remain active. These pests look for a warm, humid living space when infesting a property. Pests don’t need much moisture to survive--in fact, many pests survive by absorbing moisture in the air.

Moisture On Windo

Moisture control starts outside your home. Make sure your gutters, storm drains, and downspouts are clear and working correctly. Proper drainage keeps water from seeping into your home and making a mess. Next, ensure that your sump pump is working to transfer excess groundwater away from the home’s foundation. When in doubt, consider investing in a dehumidifier for problem areas. Finally, look for plumbing leaks in pipes, faucets, toilets, and p-traps under sinks. Even small plumbing leaks can attract pests. Check out-of-sight areas like crawl spaces and basements and watch for water damage in walls and ceilings. This could mean you have a plumbing leak within. If you do identify a plumbing leak, call a professional plumber to fix the problem as soon as possible.

4. Manage Trash

Never underestimate the keen senses of the pests that want to get into your home. Rats, mice, and foraging bugs can probably smell your garbage, even if you can’t. In fact, ants have an extremely attuned sense of smell that may be better than a dog. The best way to keep ants out of your house may be preventing them from smelling or getting into your garbage.

Take Trash Out

Keep your garbage and recycling covered or in sealed plastic bags while it’s inside your home. Wash out cans and other disposable containers before you toss them in the bin to minimize food smells. Take particularly pungent pieces of garbage, such as chicken bones or grease, out to your outdoor dumpster directly.

Outside, make sure that your garbage cans are well away from your home, covered, and secure. Discovering an attractive outdoor garbage supply can be the first step a pest takes toward invading your home.

How Do I Get Rid of Ants or Pests in My House?

Unfortunately, even with all the above preventative measures, ants and pests can still make their way inside your home. Here’s what you should do if these pests invade your space:

  • Follow the trail. Your first response to seeing a mass of ants or insects in your home may be to sweep them up. Before you do this, however, see what’s attracting the ants in the first place. Clean up whatever’s drawing them in and prevent them from accessing it again. It’s possible that this is enough to make the ants leave. Other pests may be more tenacious.
  • Spray infested areas. Ants hate vinegar. Create a homemade pest spray with one-part vinegar and three parts water and spray anywhere that you’ve seen ants. This will also work to repel fruit flies and mosquitoes. For other insects, sprays made with eucalyptus, peppermint, and other essential oils.
  • Spray entrance points. Use your spray mixture on entry points like window sills and door frames to discourage pests from entering your space.
  • Set Traps. Ant bait, rodent traps, and cockroach traps can be effective for minor pest issues. However, with larger infestations, many of these pests quickly learn how to avoid traps.
  • Get in touch with the pros. If you’ve followed our tips and tricks but still see bugs in the kitchen or hear rodents in the walls, it may be time to get in touch with the experts at Plunkett’s.

Call Plunkett’s for Expert Ant and Pest Control

Pest prevention can be exhausting. Whether it’s ants, termites, mice or other pests, hiring a professional pest control expert can be a relief when it comes to your home. Let the pros at Plunkett’s Pest Control do the heavy lifting. Our team will inspect your home, identify the species of pest, and get to the root of your pest problem. You can trust our technicians to clear your space once and for all. Get in touch with Plunkett’s today and take back your house from unwanted visitors!


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