Ants in the house

We have been having a lot of calls about ants in the home lately and I must confess, I’ve been seeing them in my house this summer too. We put a kitchen and great room addition on to our house last summer. We made every effort to seal things up tightly to prevent mice and insects from entering. I was sad to see some ants on my kitchen counter today before I came into work. I thought that a bit of research was in order to see just how or where the ants were entering.

The first place to look is in obvious cracks or seams where the wall comes together. This isn’t an issue at my house. Second would be to look at gaps in the foundation. Again, that doesn’t seem to be an issue for me. The article that I looked at suggested that ants may already have spaces under the floor or carpeting where they already have trails established. I know that could be an issue in an older section of the house but I hope that they do not have any trails in the newer parts of my home. Older windows that do not fit tight can also be a point of entry for the ants. Doors that no longer fit tightly will allow ants to enter. The best possibility for ants to enter my home is, I think, the holes that we drilled in the walls to allow electric, phone, cable and gas lines. Another alternative that I don’t like to think about is the possibility that the ants may have been born inside my house.

If I want to keep ants out, there are a few simple steps that will make my home less attractive to the ants. I can seal up cracks and calk around the gas and other lines that enter my home. Keeping things clean in the kitchen, rinsing sticky dishes and being sure that there are no crumbs or pet food available to the ants will help. Ants also look for moisture, so leaky faucets should be repaired and changing the pet’s water bowl often should help reduce the possibility of ants in the home.

I will take a fresh look around my home tonight after work and see just what I need to do to eliminate the ants inside my house before they become a problem.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

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