As the weather gets warmer, you can count on one thing: the possibility of an insect invasion. In fact, one of the biggest causes of the ant insect invasion is a changing climate, especially dry, hot weather that will cause ants to seek shelter indoors.
Since homeowners normally air condition their homes when it’s hot outside, it creates the perfect environment to attract ants to come in and stay awhile.
Even worse, if you make the mistake of leaving food out on your countertops, including decorative fruit in a bowl, you better believe that ants will be likely to set up shop in your house.
Warm Weather Awakens Ants
If you’re wondering why ant invasions and warm, dry weather go hand-in-hand, it’s because scorching weather is known to “wake up” ants and bring them out in masses.
Even worse, as the rainy season subsides and the weather becomes hot and dry, ants are likely to invade a home to find some source of moisture, especially if a leak has created standing water.
Once ants have made their way indoors, watch out: they’ll start to gnaw on woodwork and create nests in hidden areas that are difficult to detect, including the foundation of a home. After ants make a nest, they can wreak mass havoc on a residence.
If ants are detected early on, they may not have time to do serious structural damage to property. But if an ant problem is left undiscovered and untreated for a long period of time, severe damage can occur as ants gnaw on damp wood and decaying materials that may have been caused by a leak.
A large ant colony can weaken joists, studs, and structural timbers in a home. When this is coupled with outside stress on a property caused by damage from snow or wind, a structure may be more likely to give out as wood deteriorates and moisture builds.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home
When dealing with an ant infestation, it’s important to understand that ants are social insects. They live in colonies in large groups. If several ants have been detected, you can bet that a large colony lies nearby.
That’s why it’s critical to consult a professional at the first sign of an infestation in order to eradicate the “home base” and exterminate the ants completely.
A professional exterminator will normally start out with an inspection to follow ant trails and find the colony. Since ants leave a chemical trail of pheromones in order to signal to other ants in the colony where to find the food supply, these chemical trails must be eliminated with a pesticide or neutralizing agent like vinegar.
A professional exterminator will then inspect doors, windows, carpet edges, and the kitchen to find out where an ant trail leads to locate the main colony.
Once the nest has been identified, it can be treated with professional pesticides or bait, if necessary, to control an infestation and prevent ants from returning.