The unfortunate truth is that warmer weather often ushers in some unwanted house guests, such as ants, which may leave you wondering why ants enter the house in the first place. Even though ants are always a nuisance in the yard, they can become a major problem in the summer when we throw open the windows and doors to let in some fresh air, and they flood in by the thousands. The best strategy is to get rid of any food or water sources they might find appealing so they can't come back.
While ants benefit garden residents by recycling organic matter and aerating the soil for soil health, we don't want them having a party in our homes. Ants usually come into the house looking for food, and if you don't deal with them immediately, they may decide to stay. The simplest way to keep them out, especially in the summer, is to keep food sealed in containers and to clean up spills immediately on countertops and floors. Even the smallest crumbs will tempt them, so good housekeeping and cleaning tips are essential.
Ants may appear unexpectedly in the home, searching for food, water, or shelter.
Water is essential for the survival of any colony. An ant's thirst can be quenched for a long time by even a small pool of water. The colony will want to stay close to your kitchen if the water source is reliable.
Make sure to clean up any water spills as soon as possible. Check common high-moisture areas such as underneath sinks, refrigerators, windows, and doors regularly to ensure you are not providing an oasis for these pesky invaders.
Ants forage for food during the spring and summer, sending out search parties to scavenge for whatever they can find. They prefer sugary foods, and we've all had the experience of enjoying a picnic outside, only to turn around and find the little critters feasting on food left on unattended plates.
Several studies have found a link between ant infestations and weather. Infestations appear more common during periods of heavy rainfall or dry, hot, drought-like conditions. The most likely explanation is that they either avoid cold, wet weather or have discovered a water source in their home during dry, hotter periods.
Ants are drawn to sugary foods and spills, but any food remnants left in a kitchen or elsewhere can entice them. Even if windows and doors aren't left open, ants can get in through small holes and cracks in masonry or woodwork, so keeping your home clean is the best preventative measure.
They may be drawn to more than just our food; pet food left in bowls may still provide them with some nutrition, so clean out pet bowls and keep the surrounding area brushed and mopped.