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Ant Control Maintenance: How To Keep Your Murfreesboro Home Ant-Free

You'd think that as common as ants are, controlling them would be simple. Unfortunately, it is often far from simple. Those little critters are amazing, in a not-so-good way. You can go after them over and over with ant control products, only to have them continue to appear and even spread to other areas! How do you get ants out and keep them out? Join us today as we break down some simple facts about how ants spread, share some of the dangers those pesky critters pose, and arm you with some effective ant prevention tips to help you keep ants out. If you need help with ant control in your yard or assistance with an ant infestation, remember that your All-American Pest Control service team is here to help. We are your local pest experts, offering industry-leading pest control in Murfreesboro. Give us a call to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable customer care team members. We'll take care of the problem for you.

ants on tile floor

The Life Cycle Of Ants: How Ant Colonies Develop

When ants come onto your property, they don't know that you have food in your cabinets. So, what brings them all the way across your lawn, over your landscaping, up your walls, through tiny entry points, and into your kitchen? It has to do with how colonies develop. Let's start with food.

What do ants eat? It depends on the type of ant. Some ants have a sweet tooth. They find sweet food sources in nature, like nectar and honeydew, and sweet food sources in your home, like jelly and honey. Some ants eat protein. In nature, they eat a lot of bugs. When they get into your home, they're going to look for pet food and leftovers in your trash. The more food a colony can find, the larger the colony can grow. Food attracts ants to your yard, and ants follow natural food sources right to your doorstep. If you have little weeds with flowers, you'll start to see ant mounds in no time. If you have aphids making honeydew in your landscaping, you'll find ants crawling all over your plants. When ants come close, it is only a matter of time before they find their way into your home.

As ants in Murfreesboro move across your yard, they do so one step at a time. A nest is established. Workers are created. Food is brought back for the brood. The colony grows. Winged ants are created. The winged ants leave the nest, mate with each other, and create more nests. Some nests are created entirely underground by wingless reproductives. Slowly, the ants move through your grass and arrive at your landscaping. As nests are formed, ant mounds appear, and ant colonies send out scouts. These worker ants leave the group and hunt far and wide for food sources. When they find a food source inside your home, they let the other ants know.

How do scout ants gather an army of workers to enter your home? They use pheromones. The one little worker lays down a trail on its way back to the nest. The other workers pick up the scent of the trail, follow it to the food, and add it to the trail on their way back to the nest. Within a short time, the scent is strong, and the trail of pheromones becomes a trail of ants.

When ants enter your home to get food, they may get the idea that living with you is a pretty good idea. Not all ant species create indoor nests, but the ones that do can turn into real pests. But are they just a nuisance? Let's look at the risks associated with ant infestations.

Ant Dangers: Understanding The Risks Of An Infestation

There is no doubt that ants are nuisance pests. They drive people crazy, which is likely why they are the number one pest that service professionals are called to eliminate. But there are other reasons to get rid of ants. Let's take a quick look at them.

  • Certain ants eat foods that are long past their due dates or feed on decaying organic matter. For this reason, they are known to spread germs that cause stomach ailments. Fortunately, they aren't efficient vectors for bacteria because they groom each other frequently. Problems typically start when lots of ants are living indoors and have access to unsanitary areas near kitchen surfaces, dishes, silverware, and stored foods.
  • Fire ants are a stinging hazard. Their little stingers cause tiny, fiery wounds. These are mostly an annoyance, but for some individuals, they present a health risk. We recommend checking out resource pages at the CDC for information about stinging insect allergies. Fortunately, fire ants prefer to make their nests in the sunny areas of your lawn, not in the shaded spaces within your home.
  • Carpenter ants are a property threat. In nature, they tunnel into decaying wood and create galleries for their nests. When these ants enter your home, they can cause damage to studs and beams. It takes time for serious damage to occur. If you watch for warning signs, you can catch these ants early. The most common warning sign is the appearance of frass. 

Now that you know a bit more about the ants we have in Murfreesboro and the risks of having them in your home, you have good reason to roll up your sleeves and keep those ants out. We have some great tips and tricks to help you do just that! 

Ant Prevention Is Key: Effective Tips And Tricks

The biggest problem with ant prevention is that most people don't know how to keep ants away. At this point, you're almost an ant expert. You know what food ants are looking for, how they move across your yard, why they enter your home, and how they mobilize an army to invade your kitchen. You also know how unsanitary conditions can make ants more harmful inside your home. Let's bring all the pieces together and look at the whole picture.

  • Weed control can help to stop the encroachment of ants in your lawn by reducing sources of sweet nectar.
  • Insect control can remove another food source from your lawn. One way to reduce insect activity is to install motion-sensitive bulbs. Insects are attracted to light. It is best to keep lights on only when you need them.
  • Addressing aphids, whiteflies, or scale insects in your landscaping can prevent honeydew, which is a highly sought-after food source for carpenter ants. 
  • Apply pest-proofing to your exterior. If ants can't easily get into your home, maybe they won't. The tools for this job are a caulking gun and a few cans of expanding foam. Seal gaps, cracks, holes, and voids.
  • Apply a little home maintenance. When weather-proofing wears out, ants can get inside. Make sure all your exterior doors have good seals.
  • Trim branches away from your walls. Ants often use branches as bridges to get to higher points on your exterior.
  • Clean out debris in your gutters and make sure rainwater is flowing where it needs to flow. Doing this will reduce perimeter dampness, which is attractive to ants.
  • On the interior of your home, keep things clean to remove food debris. Ants aren't picky about what they eat.
  • Consider storing certain foods in sealed containers to keep the scent of the food inside, and those ants on the outside.
  • If you have a dog or cat, consider creating a mealtime. Put pet food down only at the appointed time(s) and then pick the dishes up afterward.

Diligent effort can keep ants out of your home. All you need is a little elbow grease and some determination. These methods work much better than over-the-counter ant control products because misapplied products can make your ant problems worse. Some ant colonies have multiple queens. When a threat is detected, it can cause a colony to split into several colonies. That is not the outcome you want.   

Professional Ant Control: A Great Way To Keep Ants Out For Good

When you have ants in your home, professional ant pest control can target those ants at the source and eliminate them. If you have carpenter ants, getting a treatment you can trust will give you real peace of mind. If you have fire ants in your yard, your service professional will use the right materials to eliminate the mounds and colonies together. But professional ant control is about more than just fire ant control and indoor ant treatments. Ongoing pest control for your property can reduce the insects ants eat, target ants when they start to cause trouble and create a liquid treatment barrier that keeps pests out of your home. If you'd like to learn more, we'd love to have a conversation with you. Reach out to All-American Pest Control for home pest control in Murfreesboro. We'll help you find the solution that works best for you.


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