Spring Training for Ant Prevention in Port St. Lucie
February 27, 2018
Spring is almost in the air, and that means two things for Florida residents: baseball, and bugs. While Port St. Lucie hosts spring training for the New York Mets, St. Lucie Mets, and the Gulf Coast League Mets, it’s also home to a number of pests training for a spring break-in, and ants are one of the most notorious offenders.
Ants can be a major problem for Port St. Lucie homeowners. Florida is home to a wide variety of ant species, and the coastal climate Port St. Lucie is know for unfortunately puts homes in the area at high risk of coming under attack by carpenter ants, ghost ants, pharaoh ants, crazy, ants, big-headed ants, and more.
Keeping ants out is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. Here are some spring training tips for Port St. Lucie homeowners looking to keep ants from stealing their home base:
The best solution to any problem is to stop it from ever happening, and this is never more true when it comes to pest infestations. Infestations of any kind can result in health hazards and costly repairs, so the best investment is always to prevent disaster from happening in the first place.
When it comes to ant deterrents, resource denial should be your first step. Ultimately, all pests break into homes for three key resources: food, water, and shelter (or material to make shelter). Let’s take a look at how we can stop ants from coming inside just by denying them access to these precious resources:
Like any creature, ants need water to survive, and won’t build their homes too far away from a water source. In nature, this can come from puddles or raindrops collected, but any standing water in your home is just as appealing.
First, inspect your home for any standing water sources. Check around pipes and faucets for any signs of leakage, and make repairs where necessary. Beyond ants, this step could also save you from costly water damages.
In addition to hydration, species like the carpenter ant seek out moist, rotten wood to make their nests. As with leaky pipes, removing rotten wood and having the area professionally repaired could save your home both from ant infestation and the other disastrous consequences that come with rotten foundations.
Next, keep any food in your home out of reach of ant invaders. Store all the food in your home (including cat and dog food) in airtight containers and refrigerate when possible. Don’t let pet food or water bowls stay out for long periods of time.
Don’t forget that, to an ant, food straight from the kitchen is no different than food straight from the garbage. Use a garbage container with an airtight lid and take out the trash frequently (once a day if you are already suffering an infestation).
The best way to keep the area free of any leftover food is just by staying on top of household chores: cleaning regularly, washing the dishes, wiping up any spills, and vacuuming. Keep everything tidy and you’ll force those freeloading ants to find their next free meal somewhere else.
Finally, after water and food comes shelter. In most cases, this applies to the nesting materials ants forage for, but particularly destructive species (namely carpenter ants) will take shelter inside the wood that holds your home together.
Just as they’ll harvest sticks, leaves, and other naturally-occurring materials to fortify their own nests, they won’t hesitate to use pieces of paper, cardboard, and other trash to accomplish the same result. As with food, your best solution is to keep your home as clean as possible this Spring.
While you can do a lot to reduce your home’s attractiveness to pest invaders, as long as there are people inside, ants will still try to get in. Luckily, there are some DIY steps Port St. Lucie homeowners can take to reinforce their defenses.
1. Seal Entrances
Inspect your home thoroughly for any holes or cracks ants could be using to get inside. Use caulk to seal these potential entrances, as well as any cracks in the doors or windows throughout your home.
2. Eliminate Trails
Ants communicate with each other using their antennae: as they forage, they release chemical pheromones into the air which other ants can interpret, allowing them to signal for food, water, danger, and more. Once a resource has been identified and marked, other ants will follow the scent trail to and from the colony, forming a marching line of ants.
While these ant trails can be useful for tracing an infestation to its source, once that source has been identified the trails should be removed to stop ants from using them in the future. Try wiping down tables and countertops with vinegar, which will counteract the pheromones and replace them with an scent ants can’t stand.
3. Create a Buffer
Ants are known to get into homes using any means available, including nearby vegetation, so keep at least three feet between your home and any plants or shrubs that ants could use as a bridge. (This step can also help deter other pest invaders like rodents from getting inside.)
In addition to a physical buffer, incorporate a scent buffer as well. Beyond vinegar, there are a number of other scents that ants hate, including baking soda, cinnamon, chalk, chili powder, and more. Choose one (or a combination) and spread in any potential entryways as well as in strategic areas around the house, and turn the ants’ sense of smell against them.
While there are a number of steps homeowners can take to curb ant infestations, eliminating them completely can be notoriously difficult. That’s why, for Port St. Lucie homeowners, your best solution is a professional ant treatment from Nozzle Nolen.
If you’re looking for a lasting solution to keep ants out this spring and beyond, contact us today for a free inspection!
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