Keeping Ants out of Your Home
Ants will come into a home for one reason – food. Scout ants go looking for sources of food, and if they find it, they will bring many more ants back to gather. Keeping food items covered and stored away is one obvious way to prevent ants from coming into your home in the first place.
The scout ant goes out in search of food, and will meander outside and into homes until it discovers something suitable for eating. The ant eats some of the food, then goes back to its nest. These scout ants observe and memorize markers on the trail to the food so they can plot a route quickly back to the nest. Along the return route, the scout ant leaves a trail of pheromones (unique scents that create a map or guide to the food). The ants can track the scent trail to gather food. By following the scout’s pheromone trail, foraging ants gather and store food efficiently. The foraging ants then follow the path, each one adding more scent to the trail to reinforce it for others. The workers will continue walking back and forth along the line unless the food source disappears.
For this reason, keeping food put away or carefully covered and sealed can help prevent ant invasions. It may also be beneficial to wipe areas where they ant trail was with cleaning solvents and/or bleach. In addition, be sure doors and windows are sealed well, to prevent insects from getting in. Finally, professional pest control can create a barrier around your home to prevent insects from entering.