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Why Ants Invade Mooresville Homes And How To Keep Them Out
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Why Ants Invade Mooresville Homes And How To Keep Them Out

The first step in ant control is determining what kind of ants you're having trouble with on your property or inside your home. While there are many common behavior patterns shared between pest ant species, each is somewhat unique. If you have an ant problem and you're seeing ants gathering in large numbers, contact Lake Norman Home Services for assistance. If you don't have a major ant problem yet, there are ways you can prevent one. Join us as we look at the behavior patterns that bring ants inside, why ants cause trouble in your home, five natural ways to prevent trouble with ants, and how Mooresville pest control fits into the picture.

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Habits And Behaviors Of Common Home-Invading Ants

Ants enter your yard and may have a long journey to get from your property edge to the perimeter around your home. They may not make that journey if they don't find what they're looking for in your yard. Do you know what ants want to find? If you've spent any time watching ants, you know that ants leave their nests, hunt for food, and bring the food home. They can collect quite a range of food sources. Some ants prefer sweet foods, such as nectar and honeydew. Some prefer protein sources, such as dead insects and wildlife. Certain ants eat detritus and decomposing organic matter, while others eat plant sap and healthy plants. It is impossible to remove all of the ant food sources in your yard but reducing food options has a big impact on ants. It stunts population growth, deters nest creation, and resists their spread.

Another common habit of ants is that they are continually looking for suitable habitats. Some create nests in soil, while others create nests in wood. One kind of ant that nests in wood is the carpenter ant. If you have these ants near your home, they may damage the wood inside your home.

As all ants look for a place to live, some will consider living inside your home. They do this by accessing tiny gaps and cracks in your exterior. It is impossible to seal all of the openings an ant may use to enter your home, but it is worth making the effort. You may not realize it, but an ant doesn't prefer to scale your exterior walls, even though it can do this with ease. What typically happens is a large number of ants will enter a home by using branches and other vegetation that touches exterior walls. If you have a tree branch that touches your exterior near a window frame, it is a recipe for an ant infestation.

Another common misconception about ants in Mooresville is that they enter homes in large numbers for no reason at all. Let's take a look at the real reason why ants invade and why they may decide to stay when they do enter your home.   

How And Why Ants Find Their Way Inside

There are a few factors that lead to an indoor ant infestation. If you understand these simple factors, you can significantly combat ant infestations. Let's quickly break them down.

  • Ant nests send out workers in search of food. When workers find food, they lay down a scent trail that other ants follow. Most infestations begin with one ant finding food.
  • Some ants create nests in wood holes. Outside, they nest in trees, stumps, and wood debris. They don't need a reason to live in your home. Your wall, floor, and ceiling voids are perfect.
  • Ants grow their colonies in response to available food sources. If you have a food source near your home, it can invite an indoor infestation. The more ants you have near your home, the greater the chances become of those ants entering your home. Outdoor ant control is critical for preventing an indoor ant infestation.
  • Some ants are attracted to the scent of decaying organic matter. These ants will smell a dirty trash receptacle from a distance. When they climb on a receptacle next to your home, the next step is to come indoors.
  • Some ants eat nuts and seeds. If you have bird feeders or you collect nuts that fall from trees and put them next to your home, these ants can grow a population next to your home quickly.
  • Some ants hunt for insects, both living and dead. They'll explore leaf piles, stacked branches, scrap wood, landscaping, and other organic habitats.
  • Water is a building block of life. Often, an ant infestation will start because a moisture problem exists.

We could say much more on this topic, but you can see how food, moisture, and smells work to attract ants, grow their populations, and lead to indoor infestations. Use these facts to extrapolate other reasons why ants may enter your home.    

Five Naturally Effective Ant Prevention Tips

You know a lot about ants now. Let's use the facts we've shared and connect the dots to help you manage ants. We'll group these ant prevention tips into five basic categories to help you see the big picture.

1. Reduce Food Options

Food attracts ants to your home, inspires colony growth, and invites them into your home. You can deter ants at every point by reducing their food options. Here are some suggestions.

  • Reduce insects that ants eat by keeping exterior lights turned off.
  • Rake nuts and store them away from your exterior.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Use pre-emergent weed control to prevent flowering weeds.
  • Guard your exterior trash and mask the scent of garbage by keeping trash bins covered, and avoid overfilling.

2. Remove Routes

Ants scale trees, plants, grass, and other vegetation. Analyze the potential routes ants may use to enter your home and take steps to remove them. Here are a few common paths. Some may surprise you.

  • Trim tree branches away from your exterior walls.
  • Trim shrubs and bushes near your foundation.
  • Create a one-foot clear area next to your foundation walls.
  • Check wood sources when you bring them inside. Ants sometimes hitchhike on Christmas trees and fire wood.

3. Pest Proofing

You can't control ants by pest proofing your home, but sealing potential entry points will definitely add a layer of protection. When combined with the others suggestions here, you'll have the best all-natural protection possible.

  • Seal all exterior doors so there are no visible gaps.
  • Use a caulking gun to seal around wood frames.
  • Fill in gaps around plumbing.
  • Make sure vents are protected.
  • Repair screens.
  • Repair areas of wood rot or use expanding foam to fill in damaged spots.
  • Patch foundation cracks.
  • Repair damaged window panes.

4. Moisture Control

Damp conditions near your home and humid zones within your home will inspire ants in two ways. Moist conditions directly attract pest ants and indirectly attract them by first attracting the insects they eat.

  • Get gutter cleaning services.
  • Patch broken portions of your gutter.
  • Make sure gutter hoses are properly attached.
  • Remove organic clutter in your landscaping to allow the wind to keep your plants dry above ground.

5. Sanitation

If you place a rotting apple on the ground in your yard, it won't take long for ants to take notice. Trash, juices, grime, crumbs, and other unsanitary things can lead to an ant problem. It is essential to exercise a high level of sanitation indoors and outdoors.

  • Keep indoor and outdoor trash receptacles as clean as possible.
  • Keep trash covered.
  • Refrain from placing filled trash bags on floors.
  • Wash counters, floors, and shelves.
  • Store pizza boxes in a covered plastic bin.
  • Clean recycling items well.
  • Properly mix compost.
  • Clean juice spills up quickly. 

It takes muscles and time to keep ants out. Some Mooresville residents turn to the easy-fix that over-the-counter products promise. Can pest control get rid of ants? Yes. These products can work, which is why people use them. But, if you've dealt with more than one ant problem, it is likely you've learned that all ants don't take to all ant products. You may also know that ant control is a process. There is no silver bullet to stop them in their tracks. If you need ant control in your house or ant management around your home, it pays to hire a licensed professional.

Professional Assistance Is Key To Total Ant Control

Whether you have ants in your home and need effective ant control, or you want to keep your home free of ants, professional assistance is the key to getting great results. We address ant problems in many ways.

  • The food source that brings ants into your home is often other insects. Professional service works to keep these pests out and reduces them around your exterior.
  • Ant infestations require targeted use of baits, control materials, monitoring devices, exclusions, and more. It is a scientific process your technician is trained to apply.
  • Routine perimeter treatments give your foundation the protection needed to keep ants (and many other pests) out all year long.

Contact Lake Norman Home Services for ant pest control in Mooresville. We can help you find the perfect solution to address ants and get the results you want. Contact us today to schedule a service visit and pest evaluation.

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