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Do You Have Interstate 91 In Your Kitchen?

June 9, 2015

ants on tile counter top

In: Residential Pest Control

Ants are one of the most prevalent pest problems in Massachusetts and just about everywhere.  At times, it might seem like I-91 has been re-routed into your kitchen as ants travel back and forth from their nest to forage for food on the floor and countertops.  So what are they, why do they need to infiltrate your home for food and how do you get rid of them?  Keep reading to learn more.

The life cycle of an ant is comprised of four different life stages; egg, larvae, pupae and adult. This metamorphosis takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete. The timeframe varies according to the species and environment. The adult ant is fully grown the moment it evolves from the pupa. The adult ant will be one of three castes. The three castes—queens, workers and males—make up a complete colony. The fertile females are called queens. All other females that are not capable of reproducing are of the caste of workers. The male ants only have one job and that is to mate with the queens during the swarming season.

Of the three castes of ants, the worker is the one most often seen in homes.  The workers have the busiest schedule. They forage for food for the entire colony as well as defending the other ants from intruders. The caravan of ants marching across your kitchen floor, up the sides of cabinets and onto the countertop is made up of those worker ants. These omnivores will eat just about any food that humans eat. Their menu can consist of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, sugars, meats, oils, juice and nuts. However, it is safe to say that most ants will favor any sugary type of food.

The best way to prevent the superhighway of ants from marching through the kitchen is to seal off all entry points. This is difficult and perhaps impossible to completely remove all points of entry because of the tiny size of some ants. However, any openings that are closed will be helpful in managing your ant invasion. Seal all cracks around the foundation, windows and doors. In most cases, a good silicon caulking is very effective, easy to apply and inexpensive. Seal around all utility lines and water pipes coming into the house. Repair or replace any screens with tears or holes. Check all entry doors for worn door sweeps and replace as needed.

Even with a valiant effort to seal all points of entry, some ants can still gain access. However, it only makes sense that ants will not stay where there is no source of food and water. Cleanliness is essential in controlling your ant population. Keep your kitchen spick and span with all floors swept and mopped clean. Remember that even the tiniest crumbs or the smallest spill of liquid will attract these foraging workers. Never leave your sink full of dirty dishes. Trash cans should be emptied daily and washed clean. Inspect under sinks for any faucet leaks and repair, eliminating water supplies.

Following these tips will greatly reduce the ant traffic in your kitchen and home but if you should find that you’re still seeing ants in your home, give us a call.  We’ve been serving Springfield and Western Massachusetts as well as Hartford County, CT since 1913 and are ready to help you with professional pest control solutions.  For proper identification and treatment, please contact us today!

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