Do you want to get ants? Ok, first of all: why? Actually, wait. Don’t tell us. What you do with your ants is your own business. Maybe you’re trying to become Ant-Man or something. Stand in your truth, Ant-Man. Anyway, if you, for whatever reason, wanted ants to come into your home and take up permanent residence, these are a few foolproof steps to getting them.
If, on the other hand, you absolutely don’t want ants, then definitely don’t follow the tips in this blog. In fact, if you don’t want to get ants, you should do the exact opposite of what’s below. We don’t know what you want, ants-wise, but there’s something here to learn, either way.
Leave Bread Out
Ants come into a house for one reason: food. Ants are team players. They’re not just out here eating for themselves; they need to provide for their whole colony. That means they’re looking for an easy-to-access, consistent source of food. Bread is their favorite. Crumbs are easy to handle, plentiful, and provide a great source of sustenance.
The #1 thing you can do to get ants is leave bread out in the open. Leave loaves of bread out on your counters. Don’t wipe up any crumbs that fall off your bread when you’re using it. If you give them easy access to bread, ants will show up in force in no time. Hooray?
Now, in theory, if you don’t want to get ants, it means you have to do the opposite. It’s very important that you always keep your bread either refrigerated or high up in a cupboard or cabinet. Always keep bread tightly air-sealed in its original bag. Twist-ties always work better than the twist-and-tuck method. Ants can scamper up surfaces and squeeze through gaps, so countertop containers like bread boxes don’t work. Make sure you wipe off your countertops whenever you’re handling bread. Keep an especially close eye on your toaster; those things kick out tasty crumbs like crazy.
Don’t Wipe Tables After a Meal
Everyone knows ants love a picnic. Have you ever considered why? It’s because picnics are messy. Food naturally drops onto the picnic blanket or the ground around it. Ants love nothing more than to take care of those leftovers for you. See, it’s leftovers ants really love, not necessarily the picnics themselves.
If you’re trying to get your hands on some primo ants, it’s as simple as leaving your dining table unwashed after a meal. Just leave all the crumbs, spills, leftovers, and residue out on the table. Ants will be more than happy to help you “clean up.” For even better results, don’t wipe down your countertops after making the meal, either. You see, ants and countertops go way back. Counters are one of the best places to find leftovers, after all.
If you’re not crazy about ants, you’ve got to thoroughly wipe down your countertops and tables after every meal. Consider using disinfectant about once a week; just make sure you thoroughly wash it away after using it. Collect crumbs and other residue in a washcloth and rinse that washcloth in the sink. Scrub down your table and counters until there is no evidence of your recent meal. This should be an after-dinner routine as regular as doing the dishes. The ants will be disappointed, but your home will stay fresh and clean.
Leave Dirty Dishes in the Sink
You’re not fooling anyone--when you say you “need to let these dishes soak for a minute,” you know deep down you mean you just don’t want to do them right now. Well we’ve got good news for ant lovers: our eusocial friends would like little more than to lick your plate clean.
Leaving dirty dishes in the sink--especially overnight--is a surefire way to get ants. Not only do they want your leftovers, but they’re also highly attracted to sources of moisture--ants need to drink, too! Leaving a nice crusty plate out in the sink after pasta night is a great way to get ants to come a-knockin’. Don’t worry--ants will head over even if the dishes are fully submerged or soapy!
For those of you who aren’t looking to take on any six-legged boarders at this time, you know what this means. Always do the dishes immediately after a meal. Scrub them down with dishwashing soap and a sponge or brush until they’re sparkly clean. Even if you have a dishwasher, it’s a good idea to do a cursory scrub down, particularly on dishes with hard buildup. After the dishwasher is finished, make sure it did its job effectively. Finally, dry dishes thoroughly before putting them away. If you put the dishes back in the cupboards with food or moisture on them, ants will find them for sure.
Leave Trash Out Overnight
It’s surprisingly easy to think of the garbage can as a magical portal to the landfill dimension. Everyone tends to do it. You throw out a half-finished candy bar or the remains of a meal and don’t think about it again. But unfortunately, the garbage can is not a magical portal to landfill land. The food you drop into it doesn’t disappear. And you know who is thinking about it? You guessed it: the ants.
Ants will go just about anywhere in search of food, including into your cupboards and up into your garbage can. If you leave food, drinks, or virtually any form of household trash in a can or bag over night, the ants will find it. If you really want to get ants, use a paper bag for your garbage bag, and maybe put it under the sink for the ants to find. Not only is the garbage edible, the container is, as well!
Simply taking your trash out every night will go a long way toward keeping ants out. Use a plastic or aluminum can with a disposable plastic bag liner. Consider taking the liner out and replacing it with a fresh one every night. If you’d like to conserve the plastic liner until the garbage is full, you could also simply take out the can and leave it outside overnight. Rinse and scrub out the inside of your trash can once every couple of months, too.
Ant lovers, we hoped this helped! Ant loathers, we… also hoped this helped! We just want everyone to be happy, really, regardless of your personal opinion on ants. Oh, and ant loathers: if you do end up with ants, give us a call and we’ll help take care of the problem. Ant lovers: don’t worry, Plunkett’s uses only the most effective, non-invasive, and sustainable methods of ant prevention. See? Everyone’s happy!