The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…cute song when you were a kid, not so cute to see in your house as a homeowner! While the cost of extermination is something you’ll need to address quickly, there are tips you can keep in mind to help prevent re-infestation.
Know Your Enemy
The most common ant types you will find inside your St. Louis area home are odorous house ants, acrobat ants, and the wood-destroying carpenter ants. Odorous house ants (so named due to the unpleasant scent they give off if pressed between your fingers), are very tiny (⅛ inch) and are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms. Sometimes you will notice a line of them heading to a pet’s food bowl. Acrobat ants vary in length from 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch. They have a distinct abdomen, which is shaped like a heart. They can be seen indoors in kitchens, tunneling through foam insulation, and often times near other insects’ nests, as they are predators. Lastly, carpenter ants are the largest of these three types of ants, at roughly a half an inch in length. These ants are going to found on windowsills and doorframes. (Outside of your home, carpenter ants are found around gutters, fascia board or your deck.)
Why Ants Like Your House (and How to Prevent Them From Visiting You)
Ants are most often drawn indoors for food and water. High moisture areas (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will always be most attractive to ants. They also move inside if their outdoor nests get flooded during periods of heavy rainfall. Foodwise, odorous house ants are particularly drawn to sweets, but any food with easy access is going to be attractive to them. Acrobat ants are drawn to any other insects in your home to make them their next meal. Carpenter ants eat outdoors, but tunnel through your moisture-damaged wood to make their satellite nests.
What does this mean for you, the homeowner? It means there are three ant prevention tips to keep in mind:
● Keep moisture in your home to an absolute minimum. (Ensure that all plumbing works properly and that there are no leaks. Keep areas around sink fixtures and drains dry after use.)
● Properly store all food in air-tight containers. (Store food immediately after meals. Wipe up crumbs from all surfaces, including floors. Do not leave your pet’s food sitting in a bowl all day.)
● Keep your gutters clean and remove all leaf debris that gathers around the foundation of your house.
While no prevention can guarantee you will never get ants, following these guidelines can greatly reduce your chance of getting an infestation. Vigilance is important to catch the problem when it begins, so that professional extermination can be brought in as soon as possible to rid your home of the pests.
How the Professionals at Holper’s Can Give You Your Home Back
Many homeowners, at the first sight of ants, run to a hardware store to grab a can of whatever spray looks the strongest and deadliest, thinking that they are saving money on the cost of extermination. But most over-the-counter (OTC) products wind up merely serving as a repellent, driving the ants to other areas in your home, instead of exterminating them. This is to say nothing of the terrible odor that accompanies OTC sprays!
The only way to rid your home of ants, or any other insects/pests, is to have your home professionally treated. The experts at Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions have been taking care of St. Louis homes since 1985 and always use low-impact materials for the safety of you and your pets. What sets Holper’s apart, and contributes to their success, is a three-pronged attack on your invaders: treating the inside, treating the outside, and using bait outside of your home. This service is done quarterly to ensure that your home stays clear of ants and many other unwanted insects. The cost of extermination for the program includes a full guarantee.
To set up your free inspection, please call 314-732-1413 today. You will find the cost of extermination saves you time and peace of mind in the end!