Now that spring has officially sprung, little armies of ants are out in droves. It’s time to shape up and get to work preventing these pests from invading your home! Take the proper precautions to prevent ants or else your property could become home and feeding ground to thousands of them. Luckily most species of ants common in Oklahoma are just considered ‘nuisance’ pests; like red pavement ants, odorous house ants, harvester ants, Formica ants, and big-headed ants. However, we do get carpenter ants that can damage your home and, unfortunately, imported red fire ants can also be found in the area. Fire ants are by far the most dangerous species in Oklahoma, with a painful sting that can cause allergic reactions.
Fortunately, by following some of our preventative tips below, you can hopefully avoid an invading army of ants this year.
Examine Your Home’s Exterior
This requires a “walk-around” of your home’s exterior. Inspect any areas of known previous insect activity. Scour the outside perimeter of your entire home looking for cracks in the foundation, gaps in bricks, holes around doors, and tiny fissures around windows. Ants are especially diligent about continuously finding new entry points, so you may need to conduct this tour a few times a year to ensure that all of your pest-proofing measures have remained intact.
Seal All Cracks and Crevices
By eliminating any openings found in your home’s periphery, ants will have a difficult time entering. Use silicone caulking to seal up cracks and crevices smaller than half an inch or a foam sealant to fill up openings and holes that are larger. No light should penetrate underneath or around any exterior entry points. If it does, install new weather stripping on doors and windows or a new rubber seal on the bottom of your garage door.
Cut Plants Away From Your House
Think of plants as small bridges that ants can cross to enter your home. Leave a barrier of around 12 to 18 inches of space between plants and your home. Prune shrubs and tree limbs that come too close to your house to maintain a plant-free zone. Don’t allow mulch, grass, leaves, or other clutter to be right against your home’s foundation. If you have a stack of firewood outside, make sure it isn’t next to any walls, preferably stored off of the ground if possible.
Keep Food and Trash Contained
Human food and pet food alike need to be stored in sealed containers; preferably airtight canisters as some ants can find their way into ordinary jars by following the thread. Keep fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator or freezer instead of on your counter. Take a good look at your trash cans and recycling bins as they are a common weak point in pest prevention. They should have tight-fitting lids or should at least be stored inside cabinetry.
Do Your Spring Cleaning
Ants are especially vigilant about locating food left out in the open. Some ants can even discover a few grains of sugar, small crumbs, or little grease smears. So plan to do a thorough spring cleaning to keep them away. Wipe down your counters, cleaning under any appliances or items that are located on countertops. Clean out cabinets and keep a clean floor by sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming. Don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink for long periods of time and immediately clean up spills.
Schedule a Professional Inspection
Keep in mind that pest prevention and pest control work best when deployed in conjunction with one another; after all, it’s much easier to prevent an ant infestation than it is to battle a full-blown invasion. A final step when preparing your home for spring ant invasions should be to schedule a free professional inspection from Emtec Pest Control.
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.