Ants are a Southwest scourge, with Southern California and Arizona home to what seem like infinite nests that never seem to die out. Residents of Phoenix already have to deal with so many sneaky bugs that there’s no reason to let ants take over your home. Luckily, these are among the more straightforward bugs to control.
Why Ants Come Inside
Ants that come inside are usually looking for food or water, or are trying to escape flooding or excessive heat. They send out small groups of ants, called scouts, to look for food and water, and those ants essentially report back if they find something.
One other reason why they come in is to find missing comrades. Ants give off signals if they are killed so that other ants can retrieve them. This is why so many ant-control sites tell you to clean up after ants with an ammonia-based cleaner and to flush dead ants away. The ammonia erases the chemical trails the ants leave, and flushing them sends that signal far away.
Spraying vs. Baits
A common reaction of homeowners who see ants is to get a can of pesticide and spray it in the room where they see the bugs. These sprays have their place, but they are better used at the lower perimeter of the home and not upstairs or interior spaces. Once the ants get in, all the spray does is block that one area; the ants are free to move to another room.
Baits are much more helpful because they contain a slow-acting poison that ants take back to the nest. However, even baits aren’t guaranteed to stop ants from coming in.
Professional Treatment Is Frontline Defense
What you really need is a professional treatment that creates a long-term barrier around the exterior of your house as well as interior treatments that kill or force out those ants that have already gotten in. It’s also important to have your yard treated to make any nearby nests leave your plants alone. By maintaining these barriers, your house can remain almost ant-free. The barriers can wear down over time and let ants in, which is why you need regularly scheduled treatments.
You do have to keep the interior of your house clean; wrap all potential food sources, including items like cough drops, in sealed bags so that ants don’t have that extra incentive to get inside.
Phoenix’s excessive summer heat, near-constant aridity and flash flooding during monsoon season can all contribute to ants trying to get into your nice, air-conditioned home. Contact Atomic Pest Control to have the best chances of keeping ants out of your home.