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 In Ants, Pest Control Tips, Pest Prevention

Ant infestation inside home. Antworks Pest Control serving Portland OR and Vancouver WA talks about why ants are invading your home.Ants are a common household pest. In fact, they’re the number one nuisance pest in America. But they don’t belong in your home. If you have an ant infestation, you’re likely asking yourself, “Why do I have ants?” And we’re here to answer that.

Ant Behavior

First of all, to understand why you have ants, it’s important to familiarize yourself with ant behaviors. Every ant in its colony has a job. And it’s the worker ant’s or scout ant’s job to find a reliable source of food, water, and shelter. This is why sometimes you only see one ant and not hundreds. Once the scout ant finds a good place to establish a colony, it will release a pheromone trail to alert the others who will then follow. This is why you commonly see ants marching in a single line.


Ants are attracted to what they need to survive including, water and food, especially foods with sugar and salt.

  • Sugar: sugar gives off a sweet odor that attracts ants. It also has a high amount of carbohydrates they need.
  • Salt: some ants prefer salt over sugar, especially when they live in a salt-poor environment. Ants, humans, and people need salt to help maintain their water balance as well as their nerve and muscle activity.
  • Water: water is essential for many living things, including ants. This is why you often see ants in kitchens and bathrooms. Carpenter ants are especially attracted to excess moisture and damp wood because they’ll excavate through it in order to build their nest.

Preventing Ants

Ants typically emerge in the spring and will invade your home if given the opportunity. So to help make your home less attractive to ants, here are some simple steps you can take to reduce an infestation.

  • Eliminate water sources: inspect your home and repair any leaky pipes. Pay special attention to your air conditioner and beneath sinks.
  • Seal food properly: store your food, especially food that attracts ants, in airtight containers. Don’t forget your pet’s food. Ants will eat just about anything.
  • Maintain cleanliness: wash dishes, wipe down counters, sweep, and vacuum regularly to help remove small crumbs that may attract ants.
  • Seal off potential entry points: use a silicone-based caulk to repair any cracks or crevices in and around your home, including the exterior. Don’t forget those spaces where utility pipes enter.
  • Trim back shrubs and bushes: trim back shrubs at least 18” away from your home. Ants sometimes use branches as a gateway to your home.

Professional Ant Control

Getting rid of ants can be difficult, especially if you have a large infestation. You’ll have to find the ant’s nest and eradicate it. If you have an ant problem, contact a licensed pest control company, like Antworks. We specialize in ants and know how to effectively treat them.