Springtime in Tennessee is a beautiful time of year. Everyone is able to get out and about, and everyone is ready for a new season of fun in the sun. Your yard has been cleaned up, and all your spring cleaning is done for another year. Now it is time to play, right? Unfortunately, no! Homeowners across Knoxville are noticing a common occurrence in their kitchens this spring – the ants have come out of hiding, and they may be headed straight for your pantry.
Springtime for ants, as with many other pests, is the time when they emerge from their nests after a long winter. Food to feed the thousands of their nest mates waiting for them is their first order of business, and second is to find a new nesting spot for their overcrowded kin to move into. Ant colonies can number in the thousands! When the number grows to an unmanageable level, the queen will produce swarmers, which are winged ants, who then go out to establish a brand new colony. After they find their new home, the swarmers lose the wings and will breed to populate their new home.
It is not unusual for swarming ants to be attracted to homes that may be nearby. The average human habitat can provide a large colony of ants with everything that they need to help their new family grow. Food is always readily accessible, whether it is sugar from the bowl on the table or that loaf of bread left on the counter; and shelter is not a problem either with plenty of room in the walls of your home to fit even the largest colony.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help keep ants out. While you are out working on projects around your house, pay close attention to the foundation, doorways, and window areas. Are there cracks in the foundation? Screens or weather stripping around doors and windows ripped? Those are all key entry points for ants. Make sure that you take the time to seal the cracks in your foundation all the way around your home, repair screens, and add weather stripping where it is needed. Also, make it a habit to keep the grass and shrubbery trimmed away from your home to discourage ants from wandering too close. Inside, it is essential that anything that can attract ants, namely staples in the pantry, fruits, and bread that is stored in bags and boxes, be sealed tightly in plastic containers. Make sure that any spills are immediately cleaned up. Keep dishes done every day and make sure that crumbs and grease on floors, the refrigerator, counters, and stove are all cleaned regularly.
It is still possible that ants might find their way in. If that is the case, it isn’t likely that relying on over-the-counter traps and sprays will have any effect on an ant colony that has moved in. Because of the sheer size of the nest and its inaccessible location, DIY products probably will not completely eradicate the entire colony. You might get rid of some, but there can be thousands more deep within the colony to replace those ones each and every day. Working with a professional pest control company can not only help get rid of any infestation that might already be present, but it will also ensure that your home is protected throughout each season. Give Russell’s Pest Control a call today and find out why we should be your partner in keeping ants and other pests out all year long.