How Can I Keep Ants Out of My Kitchen?

household antsNo matter whether you have carpenter ants or common household ants, ants are persistent insects. They will send scouts into your kitchen in search of food and water. If they find what they are looking for, then you may start to see a steady stream of ants coming into your kitchen. There are steps that you can take to stop ants from becoming a problem before they start to come in.

1. Treat the Exterior of Your Home

Treating the exterior of your home with an inspect spray can stop the ants from coming in through cracks around your door or through your foundation and up into your home. Usually the treatment will need to be applied a few times a year. Since it is outside, you do not need to worry about it affecting your family.

2. Seal up Cracks

Check your window frames for any cracks. Consider adding caulking around the edges of your windows and seal any cracks that you see. There is stripping that you can add to the bottom of the door if it is not fitting tightly which can also deter ants from getting in.

3. Fix Any Leaks

Ants will come in looking for water, and if you have any leaking pipes, this will soon become a steady source for them. Check your pipes periodically to make sure they are not leaking under the sink or in other areas where you may not notice them. Be sure that the area is thoroughly dried after you make the repair.

4. Do Your Dishes

Ants will eat food that is left on the counter on dirty dishes or even what is left on the sink. As soon as you are done eating, take the time to do the dishes and wipe down the counters and tables. Sweeping right after will clean up any crumbs and deter ants from coming in looking for food. Be sure that dirty dishes are not left in other rooms of the home and try to keep all of the food in the kitchen.

5. Take Out the Trash

The final step is to take out your trash each night, especially trash in your kitchen or that has food in it. This will stop the ants from finding it or looking to it as a steady source of food. It takes just a few minutes to empty the trash and it is much easier than trying to kill an established colony. Sometimes no matter what you do you just can’t get rid of the ants in your home, and that’s when you should call the ant control experts at EcoTek to eliminate the ants in your home forever!

How Are Termites and Carpenter Ants Different From Each Other?

Termites and carpenter ants are two different insects that can cause damage to your home. These wood boring insects can affect the property value of your home and can cause significant damage to your home. The treatment method is different for each of them and it is important to correctly identify them.

Characteristics of Termites

termitesTermites tend to make their nests outside and come into your home looking for wood to eat. You may be able to spot a termite mound near your home or see mud tubes along your foundation leading up to your home. Termites are black with segmented bodies, but they have thicker waists and look nearly uniform in size. The workers and guards look a bit different from each other. Termites come in a variety of colors from beige to black. When the termites swarm they have wings. These wings are about twice the length of the termite and are uniform in length. The antennae are straight.

Characteristics of Carpenter Ants

carpenter antsCarpenter ants do not eat wood, instead they make their nests inside of the wood. This does mean that they may chew up the wood to make their nests. They may also take advantage of any damage left behind by a previous termite colony. Carpenter ants look like a household ant except they are quite a bit larger. They are entirely black which makes them different from fire ants. The carpenter ants will have two sets of wings with the back wings being a bit shorter than the front wings. The antennae are bent. Either pest can be a problem in your home and cause significant damage. In fact, one termite colony can chew through a pound of wood a day. This adds up quickly. If you suspect any of these issues, you should contact a professionals at EcoTek for a free inspection and free estimate for how much it will cost to exterminate ants in or around your home. Learn 8 Facts About Ants

Life Cycle of Ants

life cycle of antsAnts are fascinating insects. They work together in colonies and can build extensive tunneling systems. Ants form a unique society structure working together. Many people are fascinated by the building that they do and may have an ant farm to watch it happen. Here are the four stages of an ant’s life

Eggs

Ants begin as eggs. The queen will lay all the eggs for the colony. There are workers that watch over the eggs and protect them. The eggs are very small and a queen can lay up to 300,000 eggs in just a few days.

Larvae

Once the eggs hatch, the ant larvae emerge. These are small soft insects. They are about the size of a period when they are first born. They will molt and grow several times as larvae. They will eat food that he adult ants chew up for them and give them.

Pupae

Once the ants have matured, they will spin themselves into a cocoon and develop into adult ants. At this stage, they are called pupae. Not all species will spin the cocoon. During this time, the ants will darken from white into black or brown. They will develop legs and antennae during this stage, but they are folded against the body.

Adults

Adult ants will continue to darken as they get older. The ants will be divided into workers, male ants or queens. The worker ants will take on specific jobs in the colony including foraging, building and caring for the younger ants. Most worker ants will live between one to three years. The male ants will mate with the queen for a few weeks, and then they will die. The queen will lay all the eggs for the colony. Usually a queen is larger than the other ants and will live much longer—up to fifteen years. While ants are fascinating creatures, they can lose their appeal when they are invading your home and kitchen. If you notice an ant in your home, more are likely to follow as they seek out food and water to sustain the colony. To solve your ant problem, you must kill the entire colony. The experts at EcoTek Pest Control can help eliminate the ant colony and stop the ants from coming back. Contact EcoTek for a free inspection and estimate, or learn more about ant extermination