Imagine one little ant crawling across your kitchen counter. Imagine that little ant discovering a dollop of jelly on a dirty plate sitting next to your sink. In your mind's eye, follow that ant as it travels all the way back to its nest, laying down a stinky liquid as it goes. That liquid, excreted by the ant's exocrine gland, is called a pheromone. The scent the ant creates can last a few minutes or several days, depending on the ant species. As it evaporates into the air, it attracts nearby ants, and as it lingers on surfaces, it can create a pathway that ants can follow by using their olfactory sensors. Within a short period of time, depending on many factors, the pheromone left by the first ant can begin recruitment of other ants. Each ant that follows the trail can add to the scent on its way back to the nest. This is when one ant becomes an ant infestation. Do you see how it works? If you are currently dealing with an ant problem in your Merrimac home, this is one reason why. It can also be a catalyst for continued ant problems.

ants on crackers
ants on dinner plate

Short-Lived Trails

It is possible to see ants one day and then not see them again. This can happen simply by removing the food source ants have discovered. The earlier you remove a food source, the less accumulation of pheromone scent there will be. For ants that don't have a potent scent, the trail will vanish quickly. Easy peasy. No more ant problem.

Long-Lived Trails

Ants that have a strong scent or continually lay down pheromones as they continue to find food sources in your home can be inspired to keep coming into your home. You can resist these ants by cleaning your floors and the surfaces in your home. This removes the invisible trails they're following. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything to remove the trails inside your wall, floor, and ceiling voids. This might not be a problem with some ant infestations, as the trails in your voids will disperse over time. But, you could continue to have ant pressures for a few days after seeing ants in your home.

Outdoor Ants That Become Indoor Ants

If you see lots of ants frequently appearing in your home, outdoor ants may have become indoor ants. They can do this in response to the availability of food in your home. Sanitation is a key factor in preventing or correcting ant problems. Most ants won't damage your home, but they will establish nests inside your voids. But if you see big, black ants, there is a reason for concern. Black carpenter ants create galleries inside wood and may damage your home when they get in.

Other Reasons You Might Be Seeing Ants

The primary reason ants get inside is that they respond to the availability of a food source and alert other ants in your colony, but this is far from the only reason they might get into your home.

Entry Points — Ants explore your exterior. When they do, they can find entry points. They get in through foundation cracks and gaps around utilities. They squeeze through gaps, cracks, and holes around exterior windows and doors. They come in through rotting wood and gaps in the sole plates of your home. A caulking gun, expanding foam and installing new weatherstripping and door sweeps are the tools for sealing these entry points. 

High Exterior Ant Populations — The more ants you have in the perimeter around your home, the more trouble you're likely to have with ants on the inside. It is difficult to seal all of the tiny entry points ants use to get into man-made structures. This is why we recommend exterior ant management methods, such as removing leaves and organic debris, moving stacked wood away from your exterior walls, and cleaning exterior trash receptacles, etc. 

Weather Conditions — Drought, heat, cold, oversaturation, and other conditions can drive ants into your home. It isn't much you can do about this except to target and eliminate colonies around your home.  

Humid Habitats — Some ant species will want to live with you if the interior of your home is ideal for habitation. You can resist infestation by addressing humidity and plumbing issues.

Ant Control In Merrimac, Massachusetts

If you live in Merrimac, you're in our service area. Contact Freedom Pest Control if you're having trouble with ants. Our friendly service team is one of the best in the industry. We can track where those ants are coming from and deploy ant control products that use worker ants against their own colonies. When invading colonies are eliminated, your ant problems will come to an end. Reach out to us today for assistance. 

 

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