Regardless of the season, if the conditions are right, then your home and property run the risk of a sugar ant infestation. Also known as “odorous,” “stink,” or “coconut” ants, these small insects thrive on moisture and sugar, making your home — most specifically areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms — prime locations for sugar ants to set up nests and expand their colony.
HOW DO I EXTERMINATE ANTS IN HAPPY VALLEY?
Of course, here at Aspen Pest Control, we consider ourselves experts on the subjects of pest control and extermination; but we also understand that sometimes scheduling a service soon isn’t soon enough. So, for you DIY-ers and folks who need a quick solution before calling on trusted professionals (ahem!), here are some tips and tricks we suggest you consider:
- GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM: Though it seems logical to kill ants wherever you’re seeing them in the home — after all, you’re creating fewer ants, right? — this is actually a very ineffective method for eradicating sugar ants from your household. “Spot treating” for ants is akin to tending to the symptom vs. curing the disease. You see, sugar ant colonies range in size from several hundred to many thousand, and can include several nests with multiple queens. This means the expansion of the colony can grow very quickly and killing on contact will only encourage the queen to produce more worker ants. In order to stop the growth of the colony and rid your home of ants, you need to find the source of where the ants are coming from and treat that area accordingly.
- KEEP THE KITCHEN CLEAN: This rule rings true for all areas of the home where food is stored, prepared, and consumed. Sugar ants thrive on, you guessed it, sugar! Sugar ants possess highly sensitive receptors on their antennae that detect their most prized food source, even when in small amounts. When you’re storing glucose-rich foods (in cabinets, pantries, basements, cellars, etc.), make sure that the packaging is sealed appropriately or its contained in airtight containers. Now, when it comes to food preparation and consumption, we highly recommend that you keep surfaces clean, wipe up spills, and keep your floors regularly swept. Even the tiniest spill or crumb will “call out” to the ants infesting your home, drawing them directly to your kitchen. Wash and dry your dishes or rinse them thoroughly and place them in the dishwasher, running the appliance as quickly as possible. The reason we’re making this recommendation on timing when it comes to dishes, is this situation creates two factors that attract ants: food and water. A wet sink full of dirty dishes or a humid dishwasher filled with dishes waiting to be ran is a virtual Shangri-La for the ant set. Bottom line: keep your dishes clean, your dishwasher empty, and your sink wiped out if you want to create fewer reasons for ants to invade your kitchen.
- MAINTAIN TRASH, COMPOST AND RECYCLING: When it comes to keeping your kitchen ant-free, we encourage our friends and neighbors to keep trash, recycling, and composting as sealed as possible, and taking it to outside storage containers as frequently as is reasonable. If it contains moisture and/or food waste, then the ants will do their best to find it. One important task within all this is thoroughly washing or rinsing your recycling — cleaning soda cans and bottles, food containers, etc. This not only helps keep the ants at bay, but is a helpful task for your recycling center as well.
- REMOVE STANDING WATER FROM YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY: Much like sugar, water is an essential element to the growth and expansion of Sugar Ant colonies. Moisture rich areas to be on the lookout for in (and around) the home include laundry rooms, bathrooms, garages with utility sinks, and, of course, kitchens. Regularly review these spaces in your home for leaks, condensation, or standing water that might be sitting in sinks or other spaces. Have pipes that are regularly covered in condensation? Check the joints for leaks and, if discovered, plumbers tape can be a quick fix to prevent further leakage until proper repairs can be made. If pipes are covered in condensation, use an absorbent pipe wrap insulation. Of course, when it comes to plumbing, we urge you to speak with a professional or seek advice from representatives at your local hardware or home-building center before getting to work. Another common but commonly overlooked area for standing water that is attractive to ants? The garbage disposal. This is a typical attraction point for sugar ants as waste and water can amass unnoticed, making it the perfect place for Sugar Ants to gather nutrients for the colony.
- FIX CRACKS, SEALS, AND OTHER ENTRY POINTS INTO THE HOME: In order for Sugar Ants to set up shop in your home, they need to find a way to get into the home in the first place, right? It doesn’t take much. Just a small crack in your home’s foundation is all it takes for an ant to enter the home. The ants will then emit a pheromone to attract even more ants from the colony into your home, creating an infestation that could be difficult to manage if not contained properly. Much like reviewing your home for potential moisture or standing water, periodically checking the exterior of your house for cracks in its foundation, poorly or broken sealed windows or doors, or openings where utilities are fed into the house are perfect areas for Sugar Ants to gain access. For experienced DIY-ers, these can be easy fixes for the most part. (And they’re also important for energy efficiency!) For those less experienced, we recommend speaking to a professional like a respected home contractor or a representative at your local hardware or home improvement store.
In summary, much of keeping a Sugar Ant infestation at bay centers on prevention. Find the sources where ants can enter the home, seal those entry points accordingly, keep your home clear of standing water, and make certain that all food is stored appropriately and that all food waste is removed and disposed of.
CONTACT A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL
We’re in full support of DIY-ers when it comes to pest control, but we also know full-well that many pest control situations in Happy Valley can go beyond their capabilities. That’s what we at Aspen Pest Control are here for. To give you one less task on your to-do list, and give you the confidence and peace of mind you deserve so you can go on living your life without having to worry about ants or other infestations. We offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, because eradicating ants from your home isn’t an event — it’s a process. We’ll continuously examine your home’s “problem areas” and apply the same proven methods we’ve successfully used for your friends and neighbors in the Happy Valley and greater Portland areas. These ants don’t stand a chance!
Ready to live a pest-free life? Contact Aspen Pest Control to get rid of your sugar ant problems, and any other infestation your home might be experiencing. Call today!