Sometimes it seems like no matter what you do, you are still seeing ants in your home. These tiny little creatures are so innocuous from afar, but when they are in your home, they are anything but. Short of barricading the doors and sealing off all possible entry points, there are few things you can do. Read on to learn why you are still seeing ants.
Like any other species on the planet, ants are drawn to your home for something that they need to survive. This usually means food or water. If you regularly leave out leftovers, that is an issue. Even for a seemingly short amount of time, ants can be drawn in by the irresistible smell of food. To prevent ants from treating your kitchen like an all-you-can-eat buffet, make sure to clean after spills. Store any leftovers in airtight containers in the fridge. Make sure that anything left on the counter is well sealed. For pantry staples like flour or sugar, add bay leaves to the containers as the smell is a natural repellant for ants.
As we said before, ants come into your home looking for food or water. Sometimes there may be a water source that you are not even aware of. If you see a sudden increase in the number of ants in your home, look around for a water leak. Check the pipes in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Also check around the faucets to make sure there is no standing water in the sink or on the countertop. Do not forget to check around the toilet too.
A less common draw for ants is greasy, sticky surfaces. This could be the stovetop that you have not gotten around to cleaning for a while or the sticky residue on the lid of the honey bottle. These may seem like trifles, but to ants these are a gold mine of free food. To help keep ants under control, make sure that you are regularly cleaning and degreasing your countertops, sinks, stovetop, inside the microwave, et cetera. Also make sure that you wipe off the sides of the maple syrup jug or the jam jar after every use before putting it away.
One household task that no one likes doing is cleaning the inside of the garbage bins. Whether they are inside or out, garbage cans are yucky and smelly and sticky. But the smells and residue left behind on garbage cans are a huge draw for ants, so it is crucial that you are regularly cleaning and disinfecting the inside of your garbage cans.
One thing you can do to make the job a little more bearable is to make sure that nothing goes into the can without first being tightly wrapped or in a sealed container. This will prevent loose food particles from sticking to the sides of the can and will keep smells under control as well. When it comes time for a good scrubbing, use a mixture with bleach and water to spray the inside of the can, let it sit for half an hour, then use a stiff bristle brush to scrub the can inside and out, rinse, and you are done.