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There are many ways to address ant control problems. Some work better than others. Some don't work at all. Some can actually make your problems worse. Let's dig into this topic today. We'll examine why ant control is important, what to do when you see ants around your home, the challenge of using ant pest control products, and how to solve nuisance ant problems by outsmarting ants. You may find it surprising just how simple it is to control ants. By simple, we mean that it is simple to understand. It is hard work to keep ants out of your home. If you'd rather have someone else do the hard work, jump to our contact page for ant pest control in South Portland. Our licensed technicians use advanced methods and products to stop ants in their tracks.

Regular Ant Control Treatments Are Very Important 

Ants are persistent pests. They are continually entering your yard, and continually exploring your exterior. They're bound to find a way in at some point. Routine treatments apply counter pressure. A liquid barrier treatment applied to your exterior makes it hard for ants to live right next to your home and explore cracks and crevices. There are many products available for this purpose. Unfortunately, there are just as many pitfalls to using these products.

There is a current trend toward organic pest control materials. It is a great idea, but the technology hasn't matured. If you apply organic materials around your home, they may only last a few days before weather conditions make them ineffective. On top of this, they smell pretty bad. So, while green ant control is definitely nice, you won't have much success with it if you don't apply the products frequently and correctly. 

Ants bait works great because there is no smell, and they rarely impact non-targeted animals, but bait won't work if you use the wrong bait on the ants in your yard. You need to know how to identify ants so that you select the correct bait. The challenges don't end there. Not only do you have to select the right bait, you have to apply the bait correctly. Putting bait down in the wrong locations can cause them to become ineffective. It is also possible to put down too much bait. Doing this can make your pest ants bait averse. When ants start turning their nose up at baits they would normally take, they're more difficult to control.

Traps are similar to bait. You can select a trap that contains a food source your ants will take, but fail to control ants with them. Traps contain a mixture of food and insecticide. Improper application of traps can exterminate ants too quickly. Ant colonies with multiple queens can split into two or more colonies in response to a threat like this, making your problem worse. 

Professionals use a mixture of products to get the best results, and they monitor the success of the treatment programs to make alterations where needed. Pest control is rarely about the products used and more about the scientific method applied.   

What To Do If You Spot Ants Around Your Home

The world is filled with ants. It should not surprise you to find ants around your home. But too many ants, or ants in the wrong places, are all signs of trouble. It helps to know how to evaluate ant activity like the professionals do.

Too Many Ants: When you start to see lots of ants or ant mounds, it is a sign that something in your yard is attracting ants. It is probably food. Increased ant activity in your yard will increase the chance ants will enter your home or create a nest inside your home. What do ants eat?

  • Nectar: When little, flowering weeds take over your lawn, ants aren't far behind. Many ants have a sweet tooth. They'll grow an army in your yard if you don't take steps to get control of weeds. 

  • Honeydew: Another sweet food source ants love is honeydew, which is an excretion left on vegetation by aphids, whiteflies, and scale insects. You can monitor and control these plant-damaging, honeydew-producing insects by using yellow sticky traps. 

  • Nuts: Several ants are drawn to nuts as a food source. Do you have nut-producing trees in your yard? Stay on top of raking those nuts up and store them away from your exterior—perhaps in a large plastic bin.

  • Insects: Ants eat insects, both alive and dead. You can reduce insects by keeping lights off at night, or by altering light conditions. Insects can't perceive yellow light, so consider replacing your exterior lights with bulbs that cast yellow light. You may also consider installing motion-sensitive light fixtures. These are great for entryways where you want lots of light while going in or out, but you don't want insects hanging out near your doors.   

  • Fungus: Plant health is critical if you don't want ant problems. Overwatering plants and perimeter moisture problems can dampen your vegetation and promote fungus, mold, and algae. Clear your gutters of any obstructions, repair gutter breaks, and consider thinning out your landscape vegetation to provide better airflow between your plants.  

  • Garbage: Ants can smell a dirty trash receptacle from a distance. While washing and deodorizing your receptacles is essential, it is a lot of work. You can prevent that work by using scented bags, and by getting your trash to the curb weekly. Missing a week of trash pickup is often what leads to a stinky trash receptacle.

Ants In The Wrong Places: You can expect to see ants in your landscape vegetation. It is actually good to have some ants in there. When you start seeing ants all over your back deck, you may want to take a closer look at them. Carpenter ants target rotting wood and will excavate galleries inside the wood. These are common and destructive pests in South Portland. It is a good idea to learn how to identify carpenter ants. When you detect carpenter ants, it is a good idea to contact Big Blue Bug Solutions for an inspection and treatment evaluation.

Is It Safe To Spray Store-Bought Ant Spray Inside?

If your effort to control attractants around your home is not enough to stop ants from getting inside, it is time to consider how ant control in your house can stop ants from getting in. Some South Portland residents get store-bought ant sprays to deal with ants. Are these safe to use indoors? It depends on the product. Some are perfectly fine to use indoors. Others are harmful to people and pets, not just ants. Read the label carefully if you use these products. But, before you turn to store-bought ant sprays, you should know three important facts.

  1. You can make an effective ant spray by using vinegar and water. No harmful materials are required.

  2. Sprays only address the symptom of your problem. They won't do anything to address the queen ant(s) that are creating workers and sending them into your home.

  3. You may stop ants simply by finding the food source in your home that has brought them in.

Sanitation is a great way to deal with ants. Those pests typically get in because they've found something unsanitary. Clean your home thoroughly. It is far better than using ant control products.     

Solving Nuisance Ant Problems In South Portland

Ants can get into the cleanest of homes. So, sanitation can fall short if used on its own to stop ants. We recommend combining sanitation with a few other key ant control methods.

  • Using expanding foam and caulking to seal gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior. 

  • Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps if you see gaps around your exterior doors.

  • Address plumbing leaks, such as leaking faucets.

  • Rake leaves and remove dead branches that are near your exterior walls.

  • Move wood piles away from your exterior.

  • Reduce ant food options around and inside your home.

It is possible to get complete control of ants with these tips. Unfortunately, it takes effort. At the end of a long day, you may not want to put in the effort. Remember, you're not alone. 

Year-round pest control provides layers of protection that repels ants from your home, stops them from getting in through tiny entry points, and significantly reduces insects as a food source for ants. If a particular ant species is causing trouble, your pest professional can use targeted control methods to eliminate ant colonies and arrest activity. Along with providing proactive ant control around your home, your technician also keeps watch for carpenter ant problems and guards your home against damage.

Are you in South Portland? Reach out to Big Blue Bug Solutions. We have the experience and professionalism to provide you with the best pest and ant control for your home. Plus, our service is backed by our pest guarantee. If pest problems arise between your routine service visits, we come back to your home and deal with those pests for free.      

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