What You Need To Know About Ants And Apartments
There are over 13,000 classified species of ants that inhabit almost every part of land mass on the earth. As much as these pests may be seen as a nuisance, they are extremely beneficial for our ecosystem. Ants play an important role by spreading the seeds of native plants, removing waste from our environment, and reducing insect populations. Of course, nobody wants to deal with them in their living space so to help you here is what you need to know about ants and apartments in the Portland and Vancouver metro area.
Ant colonies range in size from a few dozen to millions of individual ants that can develop into highly organized social environments. Large colonies consist of various wingless females which typically operate as workers, soldiers, and other specialized groups. Almost every colony has fertile males known as drones and one or more fertile females known as queens. Each ant plays a vital role within its colony allowing them to function as a unified, collective organization.
When ants leave their colonies it is typically to forage for food or water sources. The ant’s that people typically see around their living spaces are the worker ants which leave their nests during the sunset hours in the spring and summer. Larger ants are known to travel up to 100 yards from their nest in search of food and if necessary will continue to be active in the winter if it is warm enough.
Ants are omnivorous which means that they eat everything that nature provides both dead or alive. This is one of the many ways that they benefit our ecosystem. That being said, they will also go after your pantry foods, crumbs on the kitchen floor, and even your picnic spread. Though most ants are opportunistic, some ants do have preferences like the popular sugar ant. In the wake of foraging for food ants leave pheromone trails so that other ants in the colony can go directly to the food source.
Why Do Apartments Always Have Ants
Apartments provide a smorgasbord of food options for ants to forage through but keep in mind that not all apartments are the same. For some, keeping a tidy living space is their first priority while for others, it’s the last thing they get around to. Keeping your living spaces tidy helps to keep ants away but it doesn’t necessarily mean that cleaner homes never experience ants either.
Ants can easily get into just about anything and that includes common pantry products. The moment something is opened is the moment ants have an opportunity to get into it. Since most people do not keep all their pantry products in sealed containers it’s more likely ants will get into them. For instance, things like cereal are a huge attractant for ants because they are full of sugar but if that cereal is stored in an air-tight container they are less likely to be attracted them.
Ants are also attracted to moisture since they require water to survive. If an apartment complex has leak issues or is surrounded by obvious water sources then it’s common to have ant colonies nearby and lets face it, ants live pretty much everywhere anyway. Addressing leaks is one way to prevent ants from becoming a problem but if nests are already present in the area, then its likely you’ll see them within your apartment complex in search of food. The only real way to get rid of ants is by destroying the queen of the colony. Killing only the visible ants that are active within your living spaces will not keep ants away.
How Do You Get Rid Of Ants In An Apartment
- Prevention is important when it comes to keeping pests away and that goes for ants too! Since we know that ants are attracted to food and water the best piece of advice is to start there.
- Remove over-ripened foods from your counter space
- Keep your counters free of crumbs, trash or unsealed foods
- Wipe down common surfaces as often as possible
- Remove trash as soon as possible and keep trash bins wiped clean
- Sweep and/or vaccum on a regular basis
- Place foods in air-tight containers where necessary including pet food
- Keep pet bowls rinsed and clean when not in use
- Have your apartment manager check for cracks and crevices that may need to be resealed
- Always report any leaks in your apartment both inside and outside
- Ask your neighbors if they notice any ants and report it to your apartment manager
- Planting peppermint in pots inside/outside your apartment can be used as a natural deterrent
Spring is a season where many people start to see ant activity within their home. If that’s something you are experiencing don’t hesitate to give your local Porltand and Vancouver pest control company a call. They are fully knowledgeable and equipped to handle any and all ant infestation issues.