Spotting an ant in the house here and there isn’t something to be overly alarmed about at first. However, ants making consistent appearances is a huge red flag. Thousands of homeowners have gotten stuck wondering what attracts ants and why are ants in my house?
The better question to ask is, can ants smell? Only a few reasons ants make their way into our homes, and taking care of an ant invasion is crucial. These tiny critters may seem harmless, but they work their way into our homes through small crevices on the exterior of the house.
There are around 16,000 ant species, and knowing what type of ant colony you’re dealing with is the most significant helping hand when tackling an ant infestation. A majority of these types of ants get crossed off the list once you realize that only a few types consistently work their way inside.
Why are Ants in my House?
When learning what causes ants in the house, your main question should be, what are ants attracted to? Ant invasions are most likely to happen during the warmer spring and summer months.
The most common species are black ants. The next most common species are carpenter ants, fire ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. When faced with a full-blown ant invasion, identify what the ants are attracted to and remove the source to eliminate the ant problem.
The worker ants are the only ones who forage away from the nest. They produce a pheromone scent trail that alerts the rest of the colony to follow once they have found what they’re scoping out.
What Attracts Ants?
Four main things attract ants to your home. If you’ve ever wondered, can ants smell, you’d be amazed at how well they do.
Do ants like flour? Ants are born to sniff out even the smallest crumb, so keeping their food source out of reach is usually the main reason for an ant problem in the first place.
Can Ants Smell Food in my House?
Every food that humans eat is likely eaten by small ants as well. While they love all foods, sweets are their favorite. High-sugar foods are extra appealing to them, which makes eliminating a food supply with lots of sugar even more urgent.
Check for ants in the kitchen and on countertops. Don’t forget to check your trash cans for rotting food, either.
Sugar ants are most likely looking for food, so knowing what kills sugar ants helps eliminate the problem quickly. If you spot ants working their way through your kitchen or garage, food may be the main issue.
Is Water attracting Ants?
Like all other living animals, water is essential for ants to live. Ants not only drink the water, but they carry it back to their colony for future use. Check for ants in sink areas or ants in bathroom locations and find leaky pipes.
Check the roofs and caulk the spots that may have water leaks or be letting outside water sources inside. Excess moisture or standing water in homes is a cause for concern, especially since damp wood attracts termites, which requires an immediate call to a pest control company.
Are Ants attracted to Plants?
While this is less common, some ants are attracted to the smells of your indoor plants’ and flowers’ sweet nectar. Keep a watchful eye on your houseplants to make sure no pests are hanging around.
On the other hand, what attracts termites in the house? Most termite types are drawn to wood, so keeping wood chips away from the foundation of your home is helpful.
Have Ants made a Nest in my Home?
Ants may have decided that your home is the safest place for their nests to be.
It’s highly unlikely that you’d be able to find all the entry points to the nest, but caulking all potential areas with gaps both inside and outside of your home makes an excellent home remedy for fire ants and other species that creep indoors.
How to Deter Ants
In most cases, taking ant control into your own hands is better than calling the exterminator right away. Most ant problems are eradicated with a little ant bait and a homemade repellent.
How to keep ants away from pet food involves keeping the area clean, especially after your pets finish a meal and don’t leave food out all day.
Spray Citrus around Your Home
The best way to keep most species away is to deter them with smells. What smell do ants hate most? Citrus scents, like orange and lemon, and peppermint oil, are excellent for pest control.
Squeeze some juice into plastic containers and set them near your home’s entry points to keep the ants away. Orange essential oils also prevent ants on hummingbird feeder and keep pesky bed bugs outside of the house.
If you don’t have any essential oils, you can spread a line of salt around doors and windows to deter them. Does salt kill ants? Salt by itself does not kill them, but it will if mixed with water and they either drink it or drown in it.
Make a Homemade Ant Trap
Ant traps are available at hardware stores but are cheaper and easier to make at home. Using sugar, or other sugary foods like corn syrup, attracts the ants to a trap filled with acids that kill them.
To make this Borax recipe for ants, poke small holes in a plastic lid that fits on a container. Make sure the holes are big enough for ants to crawl inside.
Mix the Borax, sugar, peanut butter, and some warm water in the container for a simple homemade ant trap. Secure the lid and place the sealed containers around your home for a simple pest management solution.
There are also many recipes for how to make an ant trap without Borax if you prefer to use something else.
Calling professional pest control is always recommended if you are unable to get the ant infestation under control. If you think the job is more severe than you can handle, it’s always better to get a pro’s opinion before your home suffers damage.
Knowing what attracts ants is the only way to protect yourself against pests and stop wondering, why are ants in my house?
If you were able to take care of your ant problem by knowing what attracts ants, share this information on ant infestations on Facebook and Pinterest.