It’s March. It’s raining. The ants are March-ing 2 by 2… 3 by 3… 32 by 32… Whatever mathematical combinations they use to come into your home—it’s no hoorah.
Why Ants Invade Homes After it Rains
We love spring rain to green our grass, but ants don’t find it quite so nice. Think that scene in A Bug’s Life where rains send panicked ants scattering for shelter—If you haven’t seen the movie, you just might need a 2-year-old to open your eyes to the wonders of education by Disney, Dream Works, and PBS Kids—worked for us.
As you probably know, ants build a highly sophisticated network of tunnels underground. Most of the time, they live pretty comfortable lives here in Southwest Idaho. But when spring rains come it can flood their homes and drive them up out of the ground. If the rains are really bad, the entire colony might need to relocate. They will look for areas unaffected by flooding—places ant FEMA won’t require the colony to carry flood insurance. Prime ant real estate is close to your home—and if they can find an unsealed crack—inside your home.
There is nothing worse than coming home to a trail of ants trooping through your kitchen or bathroom. And “ick” alert…ants are not that clean. They don’t go around the gross stuff. They walk over dead and decaying animals, through feces, and other outdoor materials you don’t want indoors. When they come into your home and march over your kitchen counters, they may be trailing behind remnants of these materials.
How To Get Rid of Ants After the Rain
Even if it’s just an ant or two you find wandering about…it usually isn’t just one. Ants travel, work, and live in large colonies. So if you find one, you know there are others lurking about somewhere.
Ant invasions are one of the most common calls we take at PURCOR, especially after the rain. When you find a trail, you can temporarily disrupt it with a mild solution of vinegar and water. However, it will likely require some professional help. If your home is infested by ants, call PURCOR to discuss your personal ant solution.
How To Prevent Ants From Coming Into Your Home
Getting rid of ants after it rains can send you seeking help. But there are steps you can take to prevent them from coming in—or from coming back.
Seal Cracks and Gaps
Like most bugs, ants will find gaps around doors and windows, cracks in your home’s foundation, tears in screens, and openings around electrical outlets or plumbing. It’s always a good idea to check these areas each spring, and seal any new openings that winter, or time, may have caused. If you have a trail of ants that has already made its way in, follow it and make sure you caulk or repair their entrance.
Check for Hitch-Hikers
When you bring in something from outdoors, always check for hitch-hiking insects. As we start to do our spring clean-up and planting, we bring in things like boxes from the garage, fresh-cut flowers, potted plants, and supplies or purchases that may carry hidden ants (or other pests). Give things that have been outdoors for any period of time a good once-over before bringing them indoors.
Don’t Give Ants a Free Lunch
We know that ants are seeking one of three things: food, shelter, and water. So don’t make it easy on them. It can be frustrating to keep up with all that might attract ants inside—we know, that adorable 2-year-old referenced earlier loves to leave sticky ant-treats in secret places. But taking these measures can help:
- Check your kitchen and bathroom for water leaks or condensation
- Keep your home clean and free of clutter
- Clean all kitchen surfaces regularly, especially after meals
- Wash dishes daily—dirty dishes are a clear ant-vitation
- Store food in tightly sealed containers—never leave uncovered food out
- Vacuum, sweep, and mop floors regularly
- Routinely clean out your microwave, oven, and other appliances
- Keep garbage and recycling closed and remove from the home daily
Apply a general insect barrier: PURCOR offers a general pest control barrier that is an important step in preventing ants from entering your home.
When Prevention Fails
As home and business owners we work hard to keep things clean and comfortable. But sometimes our best efforts fail—especially when flooding drives them out. To get rid of ants after the rain or any other time, PURCOR can help.
Our technicians use pet and child friendly sprays for immediate relief from ants. But sprays are only a temporary solution because it doesn’t impact the nest. For your best long-term solution, we also leave (and teach you how to use) an Ant Gel Bait.
Baits get to the heart of the problem. Worker ants feed and take the bait back to share with the rest of the colony. It is important to continue using baits even after spraying because baits are delivered into areas our insecticides can’t reach.
Contact PURCOR for Your Ant Solution
Ants do serve an important purpose in our planet’s ecosystem. Left alone in nature they have many benefits. However, when they come inside they can be a big problem for home and business owners.
The PURCOR Pest Solutions specialists provide effective ant solutions for your home or business. And we help you take steps to prevent them from coming back. Call PURCOR today for your personal ant treatment.