Ants in the house on the baseboards

After getting rid of ants in your home or business, take steps to keep them out. 

How do I prevent ants from returning?

To keep ants from becoming a recurring problem, improve sanitation and reduce ant habitat. It's common sense: If you eliminate what attracts the ants and you make it harder for them to get into the building, the ants will go elsewhere.

What should I do inside to stop ants from returning? 

  • store food in sealed containers and in the refrigerator
  • clean up spills and crumbs as they occur
  • maintain clean countertops, dishes, sinks and appliances
  • empty and clean garbage and recycling bins
  • fix leaks under sinks, near windows and doors, and wherever they occur
  • replace wet and water-damaged wood
  • inspect used furniture and home goods before brining them indoors
  • inspect furniture, home goods and personal items from buildings with known pharaoh ant problems before bringing them indoors

 

What should I do outside to stop ants from returning?

  • trim tree branches and shrubs so they don't touch the building
  • move firewood away from the house
  • remove dead wood, vegetation, leaves, brush piles, and stacked building materials from around the building
  • Replace landscaping plants that attract aphid, mealybug and scale insects, which produce sweet honeydew from plant sap. Honeydew is a favorite food of some ant species.
  • fix leaks caused by missing shingles, damaged gutters/downspouts, missing caulk
  • replace wet and water-damaged wood, such as the trim around windows and doors 
  • seal ant entry points: fix cracks and gaps in caulk seal holes where wires and pipes enter the building, seal cracks in concrete slab floors, install door sweeps
  • Clean outdoor garbage and recycling bins and store them away from the building
  • minimize yard watering
  • inspect shipments of soil, mulch and potted plants for ant stowaways; do not accept these items from areas known to have problems with European fire ants

 

What pest control products will prevent an ant problem?

DIY or do-it-yourself ant killers can help prevent future ant problems. These include:

  • Ant stations – Put these stations where the ants were active before. preferably out-of-the-way like under the sink or in the pet-food cupboard. Any foraging ants that return will take the bait in the trap back to the colony, killing it.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – Apply DE ant power or DE ant dust where ants entered from the outside or where they trailed, like along baseboards. It is a natural desiccant that kills ants after they walk through it by drying them out.
  • Ant repellents – Apply ant repellent to the cracks, gaps and spots where ants entered the building. This will create a defensive barrier that the ants will not cross.
  • Ant monitors – put monitors like glue traps where ants were founded (e.g., under a sink or bathtub) or where they trailed, like along the baseboard behind the sofa. Check traps to monitor for ant activity. This way, if needed, you can employ other control measures before an ant problem grows and becomes and more difficult to control.

 

Also read:

The Best DIY Ant Killers in Canada

5 Steps to Get Rid of Ants for Good

7 Common Ant Pests in Canada

Why Do I have Ants?

How to Inspect for Ants

What is an Ant Trail?

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

How to Get Rid of Ants Outside

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