Ant on countertop

Ants may be coming into your home or business for several reasons. To stop them, you need to know why they find your dwelling attractive and where they’re most likely to be found indoors.

 

What do ants want?

Like all animals, ants need three things: food, water and shelter. They may come inside to escape heavy rain and saturated ground and to avoid extreme heat and cold. During a drought, ants may enter to find water. Most often, though, ants come indoors because they smell food.

 

How do ants smell food?

Ants have odor receptors on their antennae, and this helps them locate food from far away. Ants seek out different foods at different times of the year, but generally they are attracted to sugars (carbohydrates), fat, and protein. Outdoors, such foods may be sweet honeydew (made from plant sap by aphid, mealybug and scale insects), seeds, and live or dead bugs. Indoors, these foods may be anything from spilled juice or pop to cooking grease to pet food.

 

How do ants get in the house?

Ants are small and crawl easily through gaps, cracks and holes in your building. Common entry points are

  • where pipes and wires enter the structure, such as for cable TV and antenna wires; electrical wires and conduit; plumbing, natural gas and air conditioning piping
  • under doors where door sweeps have worn out or don’t exist
  • through cracks in concrete slab foundations
  • around windows and vents where caulk is cracked, missing or pulled away
  • weep holes in brick buildings 

 

Where do you find ants indoors?

Ants most often are found where food is prepared and stored and where water is available, such as near sinks and bathtubs. Carpenter ants prefer places where wood is wet or water damaged. Knowing where to find ants, both indoors and out, ultimately will help you choose the best ant killers (ant bait stations, insecticide sprays, dusts) to achieve an ant-free home. Get expert tips for how to inspect for ants.

 

Also read:

5 Steps to Get Rid of Ants for Good

7 Common Ant Pests in Canada

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

How to Inspect for Ants

How to Follow Ant Trails

The Best DIY Ant Killers in Canada

How to Keep Ants Out

How to Get Rid of Ants Outside

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