Ants pose problems that range from a simple annoyance, to down right dangerous. What type of ant problem you may encounter depends on what part of the world you live in. No matter how severe your ant problem may be, at the very least ants are pests, and need to be limited in order to keep you house sanitary and safe. Ants really are, everywhere. Unless you live in Antarctica, the chance that you run into ants in your home is nearly a sure thing.
Accepting the fact that you are going to have to coexist with ants is important for you can never truly prevent ants from entering your home, merely control them. Simple stated, the staggering amount of ants, and their cooperative nature, makes it impossible to prevent them from finding a way into your house. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to limit this problem. This is the single most important thing to know when facing an ant problem- You will not be able to prevent ants from entering your home, but you can keep them under control. Therefore, taking the necessary steps to control or limit the amount of ants that enter you home is imperative in maintaining the integrity of you property.
Although small in stature, ants can pose some big problems for your home and property. The vast amount of species of ants is almost as infinite as ants themselves. A common ant found in North America that can wreak havoc on your home is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants can chew through different types of wood, and can destroy aspects of you home, like your deck. Carpenter ants can also ruin elements in your landscaping by chewing through wood in retaining walls, or compromising the health of you garden.
While other species of ants may not be as apparently dangerous as carpenter ants, all ants can compromise the integrity of your home. This can occur by simply getting into you food and tracking it all over you house, or bringing in dirt and germs from outside you home, in. When ants go either completely unnoticed or are entirely ignored, they can cause tremendous damage.
If ants are allowed to colonize in your basement, they can cause structural problems. The same is true for the pipes in your home as ants can be seen nesting around the pipes in your home. In extreme cases, ants can actually compromise the entire foundation of your home. This occurs when a large enough colony, or colonies exists under you home and literally shifts the soil under your home, threatening the stability of your home.
Now that we have established that ants cannot be prevented, and are dangerous it is also important to note that there are ways in which you can control the spread of a potential ant problem. Your first line of defense is by keeping a clean and tidy house. Other than calling an exterminator this is the best way to help control ants in your home. Cleaning up, in terms of controlling ants, is time sensitive. Do not leave food out, and an easy wipe down of counters, or mopping of the floors will go a long way. Also, ants love to nest in cluttered messy areas. If you have a room full of old furniture or used as storage you may want to clean it out. This will not only prevent ants, but other insects and rodents form entering or nesting in your home.
As well as your home, your yard and landscape can both detour and entice ants. If you have rotted boards in your deck or retaining walls you will want to replace them. Also, making sure there are not piles of debris of any kind lying around your yard is recommended.
The BEST way to control ants is by hiring an exterminator. Only an expert exterminator (link to following article) will have the knowledge and the ability to properly treat the spread of ants in your home.