Do you welcome insects like ants? Of course, when it comes to serving as a snack for children or “logs” oiled with peanut butter. But if you find ants in your kitchen, the problem starts to gain momentum.
We should be realistic and admit to ourselves that the appearance of ants is inevitable. Even if homeowners keep their home perfectly clean (or even if the home is brand new), unfortunately, they will have to come face to face with these tiny creatures.
The appearance of ants, especially in the kitchen, is due to a whole complex of reasons and conditions, which often do not even depend on us and cannot be controlled. Unsurprisingly, people faced with this problem immediately try to find ways to get rid of the ants in the kitchen. The list of methods for dealing with these pests is quite wide, ranging from home and natural remedies that can be found in any store, to calling in a team of professionals.
In this guide article, you can find out proven ant control remedies and tips. After reading, you will understand in which direction you should act and which method you should choose depending on the species of ants, observing them and other aspects. We will help you get rid of unwanted insects permanently (at least those that are not intended for snacks)!
Reasons Why Ants Got In My Kitchen
Many pests appear where a certain environment is created for them. Ants are definitely no exception. They exist as one of the most social creatures on the planet, with a developed sense of smell and hormones that report their movements to the other part of the colony and determine both their habits and behavior.
These reasons will partly help answer the question “Why are there ants in my kitchen?” Getting rid of ants is a long and difficult process that is impossible without accurately determining the cause and source of their appearance in the kitchen. Without clarifying these factors, it will be much more difficult for you to get rid of them directly.
There are some of the most common reasons why species of ants such as black, sugar, and carpenter ants invade your kitchen:
- change of seasons;
- stagnant water in your home and kitchen;
- leftover sugar or starchy foods;
Let’s take a closer look at each of the above reasons.
Change Of Seasons
If we are talking about the season, then most often ants invade houses in late spring or early summer. Often, weather and climatic conditions explain some of the mating patterns of ants.
Just at this time (approximately from April) oviparous female ants actively begin to search for a mate. In the remaining warm months, when a couple is found, the ants look for a home to settle down there and start a family in a place comfortable for them.
Some scientists working in this field even named this process as the “nuptial flight”, including the stages from finding a partner to finding a suitable habitat for the couple and the entire colony.
Fortunately, the formation of ant colonies and their further habitation takes place outside, however, many cases are known when ants make their way inside the house. This situation carries a lot of dangers, if only because the colonies are constantly expanding. More and more reproductive females are born, laying eggs. And in their chosen habitats, these females will strive to create more and more new colonies.
Homeowners living in areas with an excessive number of anthills will, unfortunately, have to face this problem and experience the difficulties of moving existing and newly established colonies into their own homes.
Stagnant Water In Your Home And Kitchen;
Ants, due to their relatively small size, drink little water. But large colonies need to somehow quench their thirst, and for this, the detached “ponds” of your own homes, from where it is easy to get water, are ideal. These can be sinks, kettles, bathtubs, or even ordinary glasses that you accidentally left on the counter.
Scavenger ant colonies secrete pheromones and therefore have a specific odor, which is a kind of signal for the rest of the colonies. As soon as ants find a suitable freshwater body of water in your home, they begin to use this signal and release pheromones along with the feeding trial (like a kind of breadcrumb trail).
This signal, caused by a hormonal hike, also responds to other efficient ants from the colony.
Thus, this is the most common and frequent occurrence when people find ants in different parts of their home, and especially in the kitchen. It all can start with the fact that you see only one tiny and innocent ant in the kitchen. However, be prepared that this will be the first notification of the possible presence of a much larger number of ants.
Leftover Sugar Or Starchy Foods
Food is the finest and most famous ant bait. Therefore, they appear most often in the kitchen. Ants have hypersensitivity, developed a sense of smell, and have a habit of constantly picking up trash and other debris. Even if you leave the slightest trace of food on your table or floor, it will still attract ants, and they will run to this food.
To avoid this, you need to regularly clean the kitchen after eating. However, even soap or scrubs cannot completely clean the surface of the dishes. It still contains microscopic food debris, appearing in the form of solid or liquid particles. A particularly vulnerable object in the sink, where a large number of crumbs can accumulate after each wash.
Many of us do not even realize that we are leaving behind some kind of garbage.
Ants are constantly hunting for food, and other objects, such as bags and plastic containers with food leftovers, and loosely closed jars are also attractive bait for them. If the ants find any of this or any other source of water or food, these mischievous scouts will signal the rest of the colony and release their odors so that their trails can be followed.
How to Get Rid of Ants in My Kitchen?
In fact, there are many ways to get rid of ants in the kitchen. For example, some people wonder how to get rid of small ants in the kitchen. Then, some products can be prepared by homeowners themselves at home. However, in more severe cases, you will have to call a team of professionals who will eliminate the source of ant colonies. We offer a large number of ways to solve your problem!
Home Remedies For Getting Rid Of Ants In Your Home
We offer some home treatments that, due to their availability, will help absolutely anyone gets rid of little ants in the kitchen, regardless of the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget. You can buy ready-made products in the store or make them yourself – in any case, the methods proposed to you will solve the problem with ants. Choose the option that best suits the size of your home or the source of the ants. Don’t forget to find the entry points for the ants into your home.
However, it should be noted that these commercial and home remedies are only superficially capable of solving the problem.
Although repellent technology has improved significantly in recent years, most often these products are available in the form of granules or sprays. With their help, you can kill ants by meeting them in person, confuse scavenger ants and hide hormonal traces that scout ants secrete.
To get rid of this problem permanently, you will need to find the source of the ant colonies. Often only experienced professionals can handle this.
- Ant dust. This remedy is one of the most popular. You can spray it around the perimeter of your entire home (for preventive purposes) or only in problematic areas. These types of powders have a pungent, poisonous smell, so they are able to kill ants on contact and prevent new ants from appearing in this area.
- Sprays for repelling ants. This spray comes in the form of a solution to kill the ants on contact. This is a topical treatment to help stop these very important scavenger ants but rarely goes beyond these quick sprays.
- Bait for ants. As many people know, ants, possessing certain characteristics of the organism, cannot digest solid food. Only small doses of fluids can pass inside their body. The passage of other substances into the body of ants encounters obstacles in its path. This fact will help you solve the problem not only superficially. This is the principle of ant bait products that seduce scavenger ants with a sugar-sweet semi-hard syrup.
They bring this syrup back to the colony to decay the larvae into an easily digestible form. The bait can poison the entire ant colony from the inside, so you win (something like launching a virus into ant colonies).Natural Remedies For Getting Rid Of Ants:
- Vinegar. Spray vinegar on problem areas to remove any remaining traces of ant hormones. For example, this repellent is great if you’re trying to treat the spaces between the cracks in the floors or figure out how to get rid of ants in the kitchen counters. However, in order to achieve results, you need to treat problem areas with vinegar several times a day for at least a week.
- Boric acid with honey, peanut butter or icing sugar. Such sweet food additives will be able to lure ants, and boric acid will have a slow-acting poisonous effect. This mixture will be carried back to the colony by the ants, where its complete decomposition will take place.
- Liquid dish soap. We recommend using sprays containing water mixtures and dishwashing detergents. Treat curbs, cracks in walls, doorways, window sills, and other problem areas with the resulting solution to avoid the reproduction of ants and their movement around the house.
If you personally see ants crawling around the kitchen, you can also safely use this mixture.
- Cucumber peel and lemon juice. Certain fruits and vegetables (especially cucumbers and citrus fruits) can release toxic oils and fumes that irritate ants. So if you’re trying to find a natural way to get rid of ants, sprinkle lemon juice directly on cracks in foundations, window sills, or other places where ants can enter. Cucumber peels can also be placed in these areas outside and inside the home to achieve a greater effect.
- Turmeric or cayenne pepper powder. Try sprinkling these spices in areas that are especially attractive to ants (like kitchen cabinets), and the pests will definitely lose access to these areas! Other Treatment Methods:
- Garbage collection and recycling. No wonder ants love to find various sources of water and food. However, if you remove such an attractive source, there will be no ants. Strive to throw out the garbage or give it for recycling more often so as not to attract the attention of ants.
This is a very simple way to help you control everything that happens in the kitchen.
- Use kitchen and home cleaning products with natural healing ingredients. These cleaners may contain lemon juice, citric acid, baking soda, and other natural ingredients that can repel ants.
- See what kind of plants are in your area. Often, many species of indoor and outdoor plants become habitats for microscopic ants called aphids. They produce a sweet secret, thereby attracting ants and using them as their main food source. Therefore, the plants on which aphids appear should be grown outside the house, and not inside. If you are thinking about how to get rid of tiny ants, then you need to regularly wipe the leaves of all your houseplants.
Plus, be careful with sprayers, fertilizers, and repellents you use outdoors. They have certain properties and will unintentionally kill aphids. In this case, the ants will look for a new food source, since the old one will be deleted.
Pest Control Professionals
We ask a lot of questions about what disinfectant does to ants that you cannot do yourself. Many homeowners are wondering if calling a team of professionals home is worth the money. It is believed that workers do nothing other than spraying various chemicals into hard-to-reach places in your home.
In short, the products that you prepare yourself at home or buy in the store will only scare off the ants for a while. To completely exterminate the ant colony, it is necessary to deploy full-scale pest control.
When choosing a way to get rid of ants, think not only about what will be convenient or economical but also what result in you are striving for and what you want to get. If you are not afraid of the return of ants and future infestation, treat surfaces with household or commercial products. For those people who do not want to take risks and want to nip their problem with ants in the bud, the call of the pest control professionals is suitable.
However, there are special cases in which only professional methods of getting rid of ants can help you:
- You have carpenter ants in your house. This ant species is characterized by burying its colonies in moist or rotting wood. There is no doubt that these pests are unwanted guests in your home. Their appearance may indicate other more serious problems with your home (especially, with its structural integrity). Therefore, you should immediately contact an ant control specialist if there is even one sign of the presence of carpenter ants in your home.
- You have children or pets. Keep an eye on which household or commercial ingredients you use, as some are toxic to children and pets. This also applies to adults with a weakened immune system. Hence, it is necessary to take precautions with various chemicals outside and inside the house.
- Nothing else helps. If ants invade your home season after season, year after year, then the problem is somewhere else. Call the experts to deal with the source of the problem forever.
The Types Of Ants You Can Find In Your Kitchen
Of course, if you know what type of ants you are dealing with, namely, what kind of ants are crawling on your countertops, then it will be easier for you to get rid of pests forever. This is because different types of ants look for different food sources, multiply and build colonies in different places. Therefore, the methods for getting rid of ants will differ depending on their type.
Smelling house ants or black ants are the most common type of ants that homeowners encounter. You will recognize black ants in your kitchen by their pungent, earthy odor from killed ants or from large colonies in general.
Why do black ants invade houses? First of all, they look for a source of water, starchy, or sugary foods. However, colonies of black ants most often remain outside the home.
To recognize a black ant, look at its color and size. Usually, this ant species is relatively small, less than one-eighth of an inch long, and has no hairs. Its body color can be from dark brown to blue-black. Black ants especially give off a pungent smell that is unfavorable for your home (directly, like the pests themselves).
Methods for getting rid of black ants: you need to target the ant colony with hard bait and then block all possible passages. If you have the ants kitchen and aspire to change this, it is necessary to correctly determine the places of passage of insects into the house. Then in these zones, you need to put semi-solid baits. It can be a mixture of honey and boric acid, for example. You can also buy similar syrups at the store. Black ants will be able to transfer solid bait back to their colony, where they will be destroyed. To prevent the return of ants, as a final measure, close all the passage points found.
First, you need to answer the question of what do sugar ants look like. They can often be confused with black ants, but there are also major differences. Both of these ant species tend to find sweet and starchy foods in your home, but sugar ants are predominantly nocturnal. Therefore, you will most likely notice these sweet ants in the evening or at night.
These gatherer parasites will return to their colonies at dawn, carrying their prey with them. And you will face a sugar ant infestation.
It should be noted that nectars, especially secreted by aphids (this has already been mentioned before), are also one of the main food sources for this species of ants.
Methods for getting rid of sugar ants: if you are unsure how to get rid of sugar ants in the kitchen, then we advise you to target a colony with built-in bait. Lure the ants with mixtures that contain syrups and nectars (it’s a good sugar ants killer), but these will have to be brought back to the colony.
If you use a liquid repellent, unfortunately, you will not be able to fix the problem at its source, and will only kill the ants through personal contact. To kill sugar ants, as a final step, place the semi-syrup mixture overnight at the ants’ passageways. After that, wipe the leaves of indoor plants with cold water or a solution that will be safe for aphids. This will be the last preventive measure.
This ant species that you can find in the kitchen is the largest and most potentially dangerous. They are able to grow in size (from a quarter-inch to almost half an inch long), and rotting wood is a food source for them. Because of this, the nests of carpenter ants can be in the most difficult places: inside the damaged and damp wood of the foundation of the house, flooring, terraces, beams. Thus, colonies are formed within the structure of the house.
Methods for getting rid of carpenter ants: first of all, you need to consult a professional in this matter. Colony destruction will not occur as carpenter ants do not bring the bait back to their nests like other ant species do. In this case, repellents will not cope with their task. What’s more, since carpenter ants eat wood, the parasites can structurally damage your home and destroy it.
Call a specialist if you notice the following:
- large light-colored ants in the growing area outside your home;
- small piles of sawdust that appear in different places;
How To Prevent The Return Of The Ants?
To limit or permanently stop the invasion of ants into your home or kitchen, the main thing you need to do is to destroy their source. Don’t worry – you don’t have to go through the endless routine and constantly treat surfaces with different means!
This article provides some of the best tips for dealing with ants, but professionals in the field take a broader approach. They do their best to keep your home safe and, most importantly, to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of re-invasion by ants.
- Take a holistic and integrated approach to ant control. The great thing about this strategy is that it is a set of solutions that work together and at the same time with each other, which will prevent you from making mistakes before the problem appears. These can be external and internal tips and life hacks that range from planting specific types of plants in your garden to using specific cleaners and aerosols. In addition, the use of integrated control is beneficial to the environment by helping to limit the use of pesticides and chemicals.
- Fill holes or cracks in the foundation of your home. For some reason, many people overlook this problem, although ants make their way into houses just through openings in old window sills, doorways, and foundations. Therefore, you need to monitor the condition of your home and quickly eliminate holes if they appear so that insects do not get into your home.
Get a developed pest prevention plan. You may have already received preventive maintenance for your vehicle. So why not pay attention to your home and save it from pests?
Local pest control companies can help you create a personalized pest control plan for your home, taking into account all its features. This plan will include activities for identifying, monitoring pests in your home throughout the year.
Cooperate With Spectrum Pest Control and Forget About Ants In Your Home Forever!
We will find answers to all your questions! The company has thirty years of experience in combating commercial and domestic ants in Pittsburgh, PA, and beyond. We offer a wide range of services: we can advise on any issue or develop a comprehensive year-round plan for the fight and prevention of ants. Your home must be clean, safe, and comfortable for you, and we will help you with this!
Call our team of professionals or check out our existing ant control plans. We will definitely help you answer the question of how to get rid of ants in the kitchen!