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The key to successful ant control

Ants pose a formidable challenge when it comes to pest control, ranking alongside bed bugs due to their large colony sizes, often comprising thousands of members. A common mistake people make when attempting to manage ant infestations is targeting only the visible ants.

Frequently, what you see represents just the tip of the iceberg – about 10% of the colony engaged in scouting for food. The remaining 90% of the ant population resides underground in their nests or hidden within the recesses of your home, concealed within walls, beneath floors, or even under the foundation.

If you happen to notice ants inside your home, it's crucial to reach out to a licensed pest professional for a thorough inspection and a tailored treatment plan.

Why is a treatment plan necessary?

Complete eradication of a substantial ant infestation cannot be accomplished with a one-time treatment or by solely addressing the interior of the home. All ant infestations originate from the outdoors and will persistently return unless comprehensive measures are taken. It's imperative to treat all surrounding areas, as targeting a single small area won't provide a lasting solution. Insects, by nature, roam freely and will continually return from their nests to re-infest your home.

Ants possess an impressive foraging range, extending up to 91 meters to locate food sources, potentially nesting not only in your vicinity but also in your neighbor's garden, communal areas of a complex, nearby parks, untreated pavements, or nearby fields. When ants locate food, they leave behind an imperceptible chemical trail known as "trail pheromone" as they return to their nest. This trail serves as a direct path from the nest to the food source, guiding other worker ants to the sustenance. Each worker reinforces this trail on their return journey.

Depending on the extent of the infestation, a long-term or recurrent treatment plan must be implemented for both the interior and exterior of your home. Whenever possible, all surrounding areas, such as complex gardens, should be treated and kept under control to effectively manage the ant issue.

Why do I get ants inside my home when it rains?

Ground-dwelling ants can handle a light showers and sporadic rain fall with no problem. Typically, small amounts of water can run through the channels and tunnels without pooling, and once the water soaks into the earth, life in the colony resumes as usual.

However when the rains get heavy, ants that live on the ground surface or underground are at risk of drowning.  Therefore, the workers pick up eggs and other immature ants and seek out shelter in a dry place. Sometimes, that just happens to be your home.

As they search for higher grounds you can expect ants to make their way into your house by any means possible—cracks in windows, gaps between bricks, or doors that don’t seal fully shut, to name a few. So it’s safe to say that recent rains are the most likely culprit for the flood of home invasions by ants; but  as the soil becomes less saturated, the ants should return to their outside nesting sites.

There is no sure way of knowing whether they intend to move back outside or have made your house their new home, so you will have to monitor the situation. Repeated instances of ant invasions after a storm can be a sign of a more serious or chronic problem. If the problem persists, you may need to contact a pest control service that can look for potential causes – and a long term or regular treatment plan.