The short answer? Food, of course. This is the one room in the home where the creatures have the easiest access to food sources. While twelve-thousand species of ants abound in our world, the most common found in the kitchen include thief ants, pharaoh ants, odorous house ants, Argentine ants, and pavement ants.
These species hold a high attraction to sugars that are contained in various foods. Additionally, they are able to successfully scout out water sources in the kitchen – especially in and around the sink area. Continue reading to learn more about ants in the kitchen and how you can get rid of them – once and for all!
How Do Ants Invade the Kitchen so Fast?
Ants are social creatures and tend to gather together, but why? Few people know it, but the insects leave behind trails that include a special scent. This serves as a type of guide for other ants. The scent contains chemicals that are identified as “pheromones”.
By understanding this fact, you will quickly gain an understanding of why ants often march in lines – one behind the other. This allows you an edge in determining exactly where the insects are coming from and will allow you to achieve a higher level of success in eliminating infestations that have found their way into your kitchen.
Are Any Kitchen Ants a Danger to My Home?
While it is true that ants in the kitchen are a nuisance, very few pose any level of significant danger to your home. However, there is an ant – if found in the home – may result in structural damage.
This is the carpenter ant. These ants are typically larger than other ant species and are blackish-red in color. These are so named because of the fact that they burrow through wood.
Signs of an infestation include wood shavings and piles of what looks like sawdust. They are known to nest near wood beams. These may cause structural damage and fast. If you observe these in your kitchen or other areas in or near your home, immediate professional pest control services must be administered.
Why are Ants Attracted to the Kitchen?
The following outlines the most common reasons why ants are attracted to the kitchen area of the home:
- Most people use regular containers to store foods and ingredients in the kitchen. Many of these actually result in a poor seal. Any ant can detect smells from very small spaces and find their way into these areas. To avoid complications, seal all food and ingredients in only airtight containers as these are designed to not emit any smell and the seal is completely solid.
- If a dishwasher in the kitchen fails to completely drain or has loose-fitting connections, the ants could make their way into the kitchen due to the readily available water source. If there is a leak in the system, even small scrapes that are cleaned from the dishes in the unit may attract ants. Simply inspect your system regularly. If you notice any issues, get them resolved immediately.
- Faucets that drip or sink pipes that have even the smallest leak may attract ants. Once again, it is mostly the water source in these instances; however, food scrapes that make their way down the drain of a sink may result in an odor that attracts ants – especially any type of sugar. You should check your faucet and all associated pipes of your sink regularly. If you observe any leak or moisture, dry it up immediately and call the appropriate professional to resolve the problem.
- If you have a garbage disposal, the smells that stem from the unit in between cleanings could attract ants. Be certain that you clean this regularly. If you notice ants in the kitchen, you should clean this unit more than normal.
- If any type of residue makes its way onto your garbage can in the kitchen and is left for any period of time, this could attract ants. Wipe down your kitchen garbage can regularly to avoid any issues.
- Most people will place dirty dishes in the sink or stack them on the counter until it is time to either wash them or load them into a dishwasher. Unfortunately, the crumbs and residue left behind from a meal or a sweet drink is enough to attract ants. Simply wash and dry your dishes immediately. If you place them in a dishwasher and wait for a full load to run it, make certain that you completely rinse off all dishes before leaving them in the unit.
- Any type of crumbs in any area of the kitchen may attract ants. These include those near toasters, on counters, in the corners of the floors, or anywhere else in the kitchen. Sometimes, crumbs are so small you cannot see them, but the ants are capable of smelling them. Just make sure to wipe counters and appliances often and sweep and mop the kitchen floor regularly.
- If any food or drink spills in the kitchen, it could attract ants. The most common area for ants in a kitchen is right around the stove. This is because most stoves are positioned in-between counters, but have a small space on either side where food and other substances may fall. This mostly happens during food preparations. To avoid issues with spills, clean them immediately. Pull out any appliances in the kitchen regularly and sweep and mop the area.
- Do you use plug-in or battery-operated air fresheners in your home? What about candles or wax warmers? If you answered “yes”, you may be surprised to know that a lot of those scents being placed in the air attract ants! While hard to believe, it is true! It is okay to use these products but go for scents that are not so sweet-smelling, like those that smell like wood, musk, or deeper smells. If you use candles or wax warmers, make sure that they are covered when not in use or disposed of properly following use.
- Finally, many ants make their way into your kitchen for the simple fact that they have direct access to your home. You may have a crack or hole in your wall, your floor, a damaged screen in your window, a small crack in a door frame near the kitchen, or a similar issue. Simply take note of all of your walls, doors, windows, and even the areas where electrical and plumbing components enter from the outside of your home. If you notice any cracks, holes, or gaps, fix them immediately!
Contact Us Now
Are you struggling with an ant infestation in your home? Are you ready for those little nuisances to be gone once and for all? If you said “yes” to either of these questions, contact us here at All Pest today. It does not matter how big or large your infestation is, what type of ants you have, or where they are located – we can handle the issue safely and efficiently! Simply call one of our specialists today.