How Ants Get Into Ithaca Homes
July 15, 2021
Ants are small but mighty in the damage they can cause. And while most are considered nuisance pests, no ants are a welcome sight in your home. In Ithaca, you might encounter some of the following types of ants:
Pavement ants: Just as the name implies, pavement ants are most often found living in nests that they build under or amongst cracks in pavement outside. They are usually black or dark brown in color and measure only ⅛ inch. Look to any structurally unsound walls around your property for potential damage and note that the work they do results in piling of dirt on top of pavement. They may also live undersides of stones, patio blocks, or logs.
Carpenter ants: Typically red or black, carpenter ants are easily spotted by their handiwork in or around your home that results in a tunneling effect. They build these structures in wood as they go seeking areas with excess moisture or in spaces that have been softened by fungus. Ithaca homeowners should be cognizant of any rotting wood on their property and either treat it immediately or excise it from the structure entirely.
Fire ants: These pests are very clearly spotted by their notable bright reddish-brown coloring. They are commonly found in nests that they build around newly planted or potted plants and shrubs. Unlike some other ants found in the area, these ants sting, which can result in painful welts.
What Attracts Ants Inside Your Home
Ants come seeking moisture and food and will do almost anything to get to the source. They manage to get inside your house either through weak points in your home’s foundation or in boxes that might transport food items.
Preventing Ant Infestations
Ant infestations are shockingly hard to prevent in your Ithaca home. That said, there are a few tips that homeowners should abide by regardless, to mitigate any potential issues:
Store food and trash properly. The most common spot to find ants inside the home is in the kitchen. Since ants enter the house in search of food and water, crumbs and leaky faucets give ants access to everything they need. Try rinsing cans and jars before tossing them, remove trash on a regular basis and make sure to store it properly in the meantime, clean up any spills immediately and thoroughly, and keep an eye out for any leaking faucets.
Keep a clean bathroom. Though the bathroom is decidedly less tasty than the kitchen, it does provide ants with a surplus of moisture, which they also love. With simple precautionary steps, the bathroom can be a lot less inhabitable to ants: be sure to check faucets, sinks, and toilets for leaks regularly; disinfect each bathroom thoroughly and regularly; and watch for spills from soap, shampoo, and conditioner bottles, as their sweet contents imitate the food items that ants are seeking.
Keep your house sealed. Though the cleanliness of your home is a top priority for keeping ants on the outside, Ithaca homeowners should aim to make sure the barrier to the outside is a hearty one. This includes: repairing holes in windows, sealing cracks in the foundation, replacing any worn weather stripping, and repairing leaking drain lines, downspouts, or hoses. Also remove any outdoor plantings or pots at the first sight of ants, as it is only a quick trip to the kitchen.