When it comes to ants, the perimeter of the house can be key to both prevention and management. Whether a species nests outdoors and comes in to forage, or prefers to nest right in the house, the perimeter offers you opportunities to stop ants in their tracks. Perimeter-focused IPM programs incorporating structural modifications, the elimination of conducive conditions, and often pesticides can be so effective that indoor treatment becomes minimal or even unnecessary.
- Keep trees, shrubs and other vegetation trimmed so that they do not touch the house.
- Remove potential nesting sites/harborage. Stacked lumber, bricks, stones, leaf litter and brush should be cleared.
- Seal cracks and crevices around the foundation.
- Repair any leaks in the roof.
- Replace worn weather-stripping.
- Repair holes in door and window screens
- Repair leaky pipes and address other areas of excessive moisture.
- Be diligent in sanitation measures throughout the house – regularly cleaning counters, floors and other surfaces, for example.
- Store pantry and pet foods in sealed containers.
- Take the trash out often, and keep trash cans away from the house.
- Clean up frequently after pets in the yard.
Finding the nest is key to successful ant control, but following ant trails in pursuit of a colony is frequently easier said than done.
-Dennis Mastrolia, Dennis the Mennis