Ants are a major problem come summertime – they’re on the move, looking for food, and if they find out you’ve got a kitchen full of it… well, you’re in trouble. One or two ants on the counter may not seem like a big deal, but if they make it back to their nest, they’ll tell everyone else exactly where there’s an abundance of food. Suddenly, 2 ants are 2000.
So, what can you do? Here are 3 ways to keep ants out of your kitchen this summer.
#1 Preemptive Measures: Head Outside
As summer approaches, you can start taking preemptive measures now:
- Move any debris and garden waste away from the house, so they don’t make nests nearby
- Check your kitchen for any openings and seal them
- Start getting in the habit of cleaning up all your plates every night
- Keep pet bowls clean and elevate them if necessary
- Don’t allow standing pools of water (even small ones) near the house
- Check for minute leaks from pipes and taps
Ants have small mouths, so their needs are easily met by the odd crumb or splash of water. To keep them away, make sure you don’t leave anywhere they may want to call home nearby (such as piles of garden clippings) and tidy up after meals.
#2 Just Spotted: Clean Area & Spray Potential Entry Points
So you’ve just seen a couple of ants scampering across your countertop toward a left-out plate. It may seem like they’ve found their way inside accidentally, but they haven’t. They’ve been attracted by the left-out food and even moisture in your kitchen.
Your first step is to get rid of the ants – throw them outside or kill them. Next, clean your kitchen of all potential food sources (make sure everything is put away and in an air-tight container). Then, get a natural anti-ant spray and spray any potential entry points.
You can do this with some fresh lemon and water in a spray bottle or any other strong essential oil or spray. Ants follow scent, so if you can mask any smells, they’ll get confused and go elsewhere. Spray it anywhere you think they may have found their way in – think doorways, around windows, and any gaps in the walls (remember, ants are tiny!).
#3 10 or More: Put Down Natural Ant-Killers
If you’re seeing ants frequently in your kitchen, try some natural ant killers in combination with the steps above. You can put out shallow dishes of water with a sweet-smelling washing-up liquid and some food to see if they’ll drown; you can put out a little honey and put citrus peels near any entry points as an extra deterrent. Spray a diluted water and vinegar solution on surfaces where you’ve seen ants to remove their scent trails.
If you do all of the above and you’re still experiencing problems, it may be time to call in the professionals. Ants are beneficial to the ecosystem, but they should never call your kitchen their own. If you experience an infestation in or near your Arizona home, request a free inspection by our team today. We’ll make sure you’re ant-free so you can enjoy your summer as planned!