Homeowners all across California are plagued with ant infestations during the springtime. But what is it about the season that causes so many ants to come marching indoors, and how can owners of residential properties prevent this pest problem from occurring? Keep on reading to discover the reasons why ants come out in spring, what attracts them into your home, the most common type of ants to see in California, and most importantly, 5 proven methods of keeping ants out!
Why do ants come out in spring
For ants, spring is the season of high activity. In colder temperatures, ants can become more sluggish and experience slowed activity. Therefore, as the temperatures increase, so does ant activity, making spring and summer peak times for these pests. However, this springtime swarming can result in potential damage to your home. These ravenous pests can easily contaminate food sources and even chew through important structural material, like wires, insulation, and even cabinets!
What attracts ants to my garden and into my home
Once the warmer temperatures have driven away the ants’ drowsiness and increased their activity, ants begin to search for sources of shelter and food. They can often find these things around your property–both indoors and outdoors, so California homeowners should always be alert for signs of ants. Outdoor areas, like your garden, can provide a great source of sugary food options for ants to snack on. Flower nectar and plant seeds can lure ants in, and leaves can also provide a source of moisture for ants. Likewise, ants can also become attracted to your indoor areas due to potential food sources, such as spills or crumbs left on the floor. Moisture and places to nest can also cause ants to seek out your home.
Ants can act as vehicles for dangerous fungal and bacterial infections, such as salmonella and e.coli, which can result in symptoms ranging from stomachaches to even death in extreme circumstances.
The most common home and garden invasive ants in California
Ants are commonly found all throughout Southern California. There are countless different species residing all throughout the state, happy to forage through your garden and invade your home in search of food. Some of the most common species of ants in California include the:
- Argentine ant
- Carpenter ant
- Harvester ant
- Odorous house ant
- Pharaoh ant
- Southern fire ant
- Red imported fire ant
Images courtesy of University of Florida, Texas A&M, Entomology Today, Gardener's Path, Texas A&M Forest Service, NPR and Alex Wild
With over 12,000 types of ants worldwide and over 700 species living in the United States, there are additional species of ants that you might encounter both indoors and outdoors. However, the ant species listed above are the ones most likely to be found infesting indoor areas and damaging outdoor spots in Southern California.
5 tips to keep ants out of my house
Ants might be small but they can cause big problems around your property. Not only can they contaminate food sources, but they can also damage the structure of your home by gnawing through wires, installation, and drywall. To keep ants out of your home in the spring, be sure to:
- Eliminate sources of food and water
- Block any entry holes
- Use DIY solutions
- Store food in sealed containers
- Keep a cleaning routine
Of course, even if homeowners take a lot of preventative action to keep ants out of residential spaces, these small pests can still find a way to slip in and cause an infestation. If you’re looking to get rid of ants that have already invaded your space, try sprinkling diatomaceous earth, continuing to use natural methods like peppermint spray or tea tree oil, or laying out traps and baits.
However, the most effective method of removing a springtime ant infestation is to call for residential pest control professional help. AIPM is primed to assist all Southern California homeowners in the presentation and removal of ants, for locations in Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Oxnard, Sherman Oaks, Malibu, Woodland Hills, and beyond!
Tiny but mighty, ants are a species of pest that experience a huge increase in activity starting in the spring. Once they’ve shaken off the winter chill, these creatures get to work fast on invading homes in search of food sources for their colony. Ants can cause a lot of structural damage to your spaces, and also contaminate food and transmit disease, making it important to keep them out of your residential property. By taking preventative action and calling a residential pest control professional like AIPM if an infestation occurs, you can help ensure your home stays clean, comfortable, and ant-free this season!
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