Missy Henriksen: Hi! I'm Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association and today I will be discussing how to prevent an ant infestation in your home.
Left untreated an infestation of ants can become more than simply nuisance. Ants can contaminate food and water and carpenter ants can build tunnels in wood that can cause structural damage to your home.
Red imported fire ants may take up residence in your yard or garage and their stings can cause painful welts. People with allergies to insect stings will have more severe reactions. It's much easier to prevent an ant infestation than to treat one. So take some simple precautions to keep ants away.
First, check around your home for pest entry points. Make sure plants and tree branches are kept back from the house and seal any cracks or holes around the outside of your home. Firewood is prime real estate for ants and other pests. So keep it stacked far away from your house.
Next, make sure your house isn't a hospitable environment for pests. Eliminate excess moisture from structures like leaky water supply lines and poorly drainy downspouts and repair any leaks inside the house.
Keep your kitchen free of crumbs and spills and store sweet foods like sugar, syrups and honey in sealed containers. Take the trash out often and rinse out used juice cartons to get rid of the sticky residue.
If you have pets, keep their food and water bowls clean and check into our potted plants for signs of nesting. If ants are settling down, remove the plant from your home immediately.
If you're faced with an infestation of ants, the best thing to do is call a licensed pest professional to come and take care of the problem. A trained professional has the knowledge and experience to identify the ant species, determine entry points, and recommend an effective and safe treatment for your infestation.