What Causes Ant Infestations? Here’s What You Should Know

July 21, 2020

The summer months are ant season across the United States. It’s important to do what you can to prevent ant infestations in and around your home.

Of course, if you’re actually going to be able to prevent infestations, you need to have a basic understanding of what causes those infestations in the first place. Here are some of the most common causes of ants in central Illinois and what you should know about preventing them from becoming a significant problem in your home.

Interior infestations

By far the most common cause of ant infestations inside the home is ants’ ongoing search for food. Any time you see ants inside your home, they’re almost certainly worker ants on the hunt for food. When they find a food source, they will collect the food and bring it back to their nest.

Ants are particularly attracted to sweet, starchy foods, but they may also be attracted to greasy substances, plant materials or wood, depending on the kind of ants you’re dealing with.

If left unchecked, ants will establish a nest inside your home rather than simply taking the food they’ve scavenged back to their outdoor nests. Carpenter ants especially will look to build permanent nests behind walls, under windowsills, in cabinets, behind appliances, in door frames or in other wooden structures. This can result in some severe structural damage that can be difficult and costly to repair.

For this reason, it’s crucial that you make sure there are not any easily accessible food sources lying out in your home. If ants can’t access food, then there’s no reason for them to come into your home or to build a nest there. Put food away and clean up spills as soon as they happen.

Exterior infestations

In exterior infestations, ants nesting outside the home will be located in anthills on the ground. Ants may attempt to enter your house to get food, and then take it back to the colony in the anthill located outside. Ants might also attempt to create nests in other exterior structures, such as the cracks or crevices in steps, exterior siding, firewood piles, decks, roofs, rotting wood or doorway cracks.

The best tactic for eliminating exterior infestations (as well as interior infestations) is to find and destroy the nest, something that is best done by a professional exterminator. You can find sprays and traps to take care of ants yourself, but in most cases these “do it yourself” solutions will only be temporary. If you wish to get lasting protection from ants on your property, a professional will be your best bet. A pest control expert will be able to thoroughly investigate and analyze your home, inspecting the property for signs of infestation to develop a plan for how to destroy the colony most efficiently.

Interested in learning more about the steps you can take to cut down on some of the most prevalent causes of ants and ant infestations in central Illinois? Contact Crist Termite and Pest Solutions, Inc. today to speak with an experienced exterminator.

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