When you find ants littered throughout your kitchen cupboards or a line of ants marching from your pet’s food dish to an unseen location under your cabinets, there is no question as to why those ants have invaded: they came in to gain access to the plentiful food sources that your home provides. But it can be quite perplexing to find out exactly how those ants got inside. However, in this article, we hope to provide you with some helpful insight that should help to demystify those mysterious ants!
There are quite a few ant species that can be found here in Sacramento. Some of the common ants we see in our area are pharaoh ants, pavement ants, odorous house ants, Argentine ants, and carpenter ants. Each of these ants behave in a slightly different manner but, no matter what type of ant has taken up residence in your home, it is likely that it came in through one of the following ways:
Cracks in Cement
Do you have a cement wall on your home? If so, that just might be how those ants are finding their way inside. Over time, cracks can form in the cement walls of a home’s foundation and those cracked slabs make the perfect entry points for pavement ants, though pavement ants aren't the only type of ant that will take advantage of this vulnerability.
If you have a brick home, an area of broken mortar can sometimes be the entry point allowing ants inside. Ants usually exploit holes that are closer to the ground, but landscaping that touches the wall of a home can provide them with easy access to higher locations such as the mortar in bricks around first-story windows.
There are many ways a door can provide entry points for ants. When door sweeps or weather stripping is damaged or missing altogether, ants can easily find the openings they need to get inside. In addition, when seals are damaged around the outside of door frames, it can provide ants with quick access to your wall voids. Since ants usually stick close to the ground, doors on the ground-floor level and below-ground level are the most vulnerable to being infiltrated by ants. You're not going to have too much to worry about with your balcony door unless the invading ants have found a reason to scale the side of your home. Double doors are also at greater risk because there is more weather stripping and more opportunities for gaps to form, so be sure to check basement double doors closely.
When it comes to ant invasions, it is usually the outside of a window frame that gives ants entry rather than a damaged screen. While it’s definitely important to keep your screens in good working order, it is even more important to inspect around the outside of your window frames and use a caulking gun to seal any gaps you find. Ants can enter straight into your home through gaps like these. If you have windows that are close to the ground, these should be checked first. Second and third story windows aren't as vulnerable to being used as entry points by ant invaders.
The Sill Plate
Just above the foundation wall of a home, there is a vertical timber of wood called the sill plate. This wood can get damaged by water over time and damaged, decaying wood can be damaged further by invading insects and rodents. If you have holes in your sill plate from pest activity, those holes can be used by ants to get into your home. Additionally, some ants such as carpenter ants can create those holes themselves. They tunnel galleries into wood to create a place to establish their nests. This makes them very destructive ants to have in your home!
The Seal on the Garage Door
Many people store their garbage inside their garage until it is time to set their receptacles out by the road to be picked up. However, we don’t advise doing so as this can create a slight aroma within your garage that will be inviting to ants. Because of this attractant, ants will quickly exploit any opening that grants them access into a garage area. And the door sweep on the bottom of the garage door is often the way they get in. It doesn't take much of gap for these tiny pests to be able to squeeze through into your garage.
Gaps Around Pipes
When a pipe is installed, the hole it runs through is usually much larger than it needs to be. This is because installing plumbing is tricky and unforgiving. And this method of installation leaves a gap around that pipe after the installation, which is then sealed up by the plumber. However, if this seal is damaged, it can create a nice gap for ants to get in through.
Are You Seeing Ants in Your Sacramento Home?
If you’re battling ant problems in your home, Pro Active Pest Control is here to help! We use the most advanced methods and products to quickly resolve ant infestations and prevent new infestations from taking root. Get started by requesting your free quote today!