Some ant species will prefer the home, while others will be driven or drawn indoors by various factors. When inside the home, most of these species will try to set up inside the walls.
Why ants choose the walls
Some ant species are naturally drawn to the walls and wall voids. For example, carpenter ants will target the walls if they are made out of wood. These ants are similar to termites in this way, and if left untreated, they will cause serious damage to the home. Other ant species will be on the lookout for food, water and protection. If there is a leaky pipe in the wall, or if the weather is too extreme, the ants will enter the wall void to enjoy the protection and benefits offered. Some of the other species that target the wall void are the fire ants, pavement ants and pharaoh ants.
When ants set up inside walls and wall voids, the control efforts become more complicated. For one, it is impossible to use direct application insecticides on these colonies, which would make quick work of the infestation within minutes. Instead baits have to be used, which while extremely effective, can take a long time. The control process can be further complicated when dealing with pharaoh ants which build colonies with multiple queens and satellites.
Preventing ants inside walls
There are several ways to prevent ants from entering the walls. To start, you can remove one of the three major incentives that they have for entering the home. This incentive is food. If you store all the food into sealed containers, you not only remove the incentive for ants, you also remove it for a wide variety of other pests. Then, you want to make sure that the pet food and the contents of the garbage can cannot be reached, because the ants will eat these as well. Finally, try to keep spills and leftovers to a minimum, because ants enjoy everything from sugar to protein and fats, and if these are out in the open, the ants will try to forage them in whatever shape they come.
After the food sources have been removed, a pro can use various products to keep the home safe from ants long term. These products include baits, broadcast insecticides and residual insecticides. For more information about how ants are prevented and controlled, or if you have an ant infestation in your walls, contact us today.