Why Ants Invade Milwaukee Homes & How To Keep Them Out
Ants in Milwaukee are a fact of life. There isn't really anything you can do to keep them from coming into your yard—nor should you want to. Those tiny insects have a big job. They help to fertilize your plants and aerate the soil. They also play a role in pollination. Problems usually don't start until ants get it into their tiny heads that it is a good idea to get inside your home. But, if you understand why they get in, it can help you keep them out.
Why Ants Come In
Drought. When the ground is dry and the air is dry, ants start feeling like they're living in a barren desert. This can drive them into your home in search of humid spaces, like your bathroom.
Rain. When we get a lot of rain, the ground can fill up with it. This is why puddles start to form—for tiny ants, that is like a flood situation. They have to leave their home and seek higher (and drier) ground. This can bring them into your home where it is always much drier than it is outside.
Cold. When temperatures drop, ants close off the tunnels to their nests and go into a low-energy state called diapause. But cold temperatures sometimes drive ants inside homes where temperatures are tolerable all year long.
Openings. Ants are small. It doesn't take much of a hole to allow an ant to get into your Milwaukee home. Often, ants get in by accident as they're searching for food.
Why Ants Stay
If ants come into your home in large numbers due to drought, rain, or cold, they may decide to stay, simply because the conditions outside are unfavorable. They would do the same thing if they found a hollowed-out tree, a log, or a cave. When ants get into your home in search of food, they may decide to stay if you provide food for them.
Natural Ant Deterrents
Now that you understand the basics of why ants get in and why they stay, let's discuss two key ways you can deter them. If you roll your sleeves up and do these two things, you can have a big impact on how many ants you find inside your home.
Exclusion — When ants decide to get into your home, for any reason, you want to make it as difficult as possible. If they climb on your foundation walls and locate a gap around a water main, they'll have easy access. If they crawl around your exterior doors and find a gap in your weatherstripping, they're likely to take advantage of it. Inspect your exterior and seal every obvious entry point you can find. Do the same on the inside of your home. Seal gaps around pipes that enter under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Seal gaps around kitchen windows and doors. A caulking gun is a great tool to help you get this job done.
Food Source Control — If you keep things clean and properly manage your trash, you can have a big impact on whether or not ants will come into your home in large numbers, and whether or not they will stay. Don't leave any food out for ants to eat. Put dirty dishes in soapy water. Put pet food down only during meals. And refrain from leaving food out uncovered.
Direct Ant Control
In most cases, you can reduce ants with the tips given above. It is even possible to reduce them to a point where you hardly see them. But, if you have higher-than-normal ant pressures, or ant attractants that can't be corrected, you should contact a pest control provider. A licensed pest control technician can target ant colonies and eliminate them. Fewer ants means fewer problems. If you live in Milwaukee, reach out to Ewert Pest Control for immediate assistance. We can help.