If you spot one ant in your Atlanta home, chances are that many more are lurking around the corner or inside a cupboard. While you certainly don’t want to encourage an ant infestation, there’s no need to panic. Learn what’s attracting ants to your home and find out how to keep them away.

Seal Cracks and Close Entrances

No matter what’s attracting ants to your home, one of the best ways to deter them is to do your best to keep them out in the first place. Most homes have a number of cracks and tiny openings that ants can use to enter your home. If you seal these, you’ll make it much harder for ants to enter your home, which could encourage them to search elsewhere for food.

When you spot ants indoors, track them to see where they enter your property. Then use caulk to seal the opening, especially if it’s a crack near a door or window.

Keep the Kitchen Tidy

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Most ants live outdoors, but they may enter your home to forage for food. If you tend to leave food out in the open or you keep loosely sealed cooking and baking ingredients out on the counter, you may unknowingly be welcoming ants into your home.

To show ants that they aren’t welcome, make a point of sealing food and ingredient containers tightly. Always put leftovers away as quickly as possible and compost or throw away food scraps as soon as you’re finished preparing a meal. If you live with messy eaters, clean the kitchen table, countertops, and floor after each meal to remove all traces of food.

Clean Your Home Regularly

While the kitchen tends to be the hotspot for many ant infestations, it’s far from the only room where ants will look for food. If you have big family dinners in the dining room or you tend to snack in the living room, you’ll need to clean these areas thoroughly, as well. Since ants need water to survive, bathrooms can also be problem areas.

A few times a week, wipe down all hard surfaces to remove traces of food and beverages. Vacuum or mop the floors, and use an upholstery attachment to remove crumbs from armchairs and sofas. Move all garbage and recyclables to an outdoor trash area several times a week to deter ants from searching for crumbs and scraps in empty food containers.

Call a Pest Control Expert

If simply deterring ants doesn’t solve the problem, don’t wait to get help. Since these insects multiply rapidly, it doesn’t take long for an ant infestation to get¬†frustrating. They can also contaminate your family’s food, which can become costly.

While natural remedies like using borax and essential oils can help tame a minor ant problem, they aren’t always effective against a major infestation. Call a pest control expert for a solution that will keep ants out of your home for good.

Worried that you’re accidentally inviting ants into your home? Follow these steps to discourage ants from coming to dinner, and don’t hesitate to call an exterminator for professional help.