Widely recognized as the top nuisance pest in America, ants are likely to make an appearance in many homes around the country this summer. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to take proactive steps to reduce the likelihood of seeing ants crawling across the kitchen counter in the coming weeks.
“When the weather warms, ants often march inside homes in search of food and water sources,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “They most frequently infest kitchens, but homeowners can also find them in cooler spaces like bathrooms, basements and around air conditioning units.”
Most species of ants are simply a household nuisance, but a few can pose serious threats to our health and property. Odorous house ants are known to contaminate food sources; fire ants attack with a painful sting when disturbed; and carpenter ants can cause severe property damage as they tunnel through wood to build nests.
“To prevent these unwelcome visitors from causing more than just a nuisance, homeowners must take a few proactive steps both inside and outside the home to eliminate ant harborage sites,” added Henriksen.
Specifically, experts from the NPMA recommend the following tips:
- Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately
- Keep food in sealed containers and dispose of garbage regularly
- Keep pet food and water dishes clean and remove any spilled food
- Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk
- Repair holes or gaps in window and door screens
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows
- Keep tree branches and other shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house
- If you see signs of an ant infestation in the home, contact a licensed pest professional promptly.