Ants: they’re necessary to the ecosystem, but most of us wish they’d keep their distance.
There are over 10,000 species of ants- and they vastly outnumber us on this planet. Knowing what we know, it seems almost inevitable that a few (or more) could end up cohabitating with us in our homes. Still, this doesn’t make the sight of them any less objectionable.
So, where do ants come from? And how do they find their way into the home? Keep reading to learn more about where ants come from and how they get inside your house.
Where Do Ants Come From?
It’s difficult to imagine where the armies of ants come from, especially when you aren’t seeing that many outside. However, just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean that there aren’t thousands within arm’s reach.
Here’s some perspective: a single anthill can house around 250,000 ants. While all you might see is a tiny dirt mound, there is so much more going on behind the scenes.
The goal of the ant colony is to live comfortably with plenty of food. This is what attracts ants to our homes. They’re looking for provisions for the colony, and they’ll travel anywhere necessary in order to get it.
How Do Ants Get Into the House?
If you’re asking “where do ants come from when I have no obvious open doors, windows, or other points of entry?”, there might be unseen spots that you haven’t considered. Ants are attracted to dark, moist areas, and could even be nesting within the walls.
Don’t panic just yet, though- a few simple home repairs could keep the insects from entering in the first place. The following are some of the most common points of entry that ants could use to get into your home.
Cracks/Gaps in the Foundation
Most homes will have gaps and cracks that are large enough for ants to enter through. Since the insects are so tiny, all it takes is the smallest gap and they’ve found their way in.
Yes- if you’re wondering “where do ants come from?”, it could possibly be your flooring. The insects can travel through your flooring, creating paths beneath your tile, carpeting, or hardwood flooring.
Cracks in the Walls
Household ants can get in through any cracks, holes, or spaces where your floor meets the ceiling. They also commonly get in via the spaces around door frames, windows, pipes, outlets, and electrical lines.
Windows and Doors
It’s tempting to leave your doors and windows open to let in the outdoor air, but you could also be letting in household ants. If you can’t figure out where the insects are coming from, this could be a contributing factor.
No, the ants aren’t crawling all over you, but they could be hiding in your clothing. Or, if you have items that you regularly bring outdoors, they could be using these items to hitch a ride right into your home.
What Attracts Ants?
Aside from the vulnerable points of entry to your house, there are a number of things that could be drawing household ants to you. Ants like food and dark, damp places to hide. Any time these things are present, they’re very good at seeking them out.
Many who are wondering “where do the ants come from?” likely have one (or all) of the following ant attractants in their home.
Sources of Food
An ant’s main objective is to find food for the colony, so it’s not surprising that food sources are the main thing that can attract them. Any exposed food or spills should be cleaned immediately to avoid leading these pests right to your home.
Even if you exercise the utmost care in keeping your home free of crumbs, spills, and other obvious food sources, though, it often won’t be enough to keep ants out of your kitchen. This is because ants are clever and resourceful: they are able to find any open food packages you might have around. They’ve even been known to find their way into sealed food storage containers!
Moisture/Leaks/Open Water Sources
Water and moisture can attract a wide variety of insects to your home, including ants. If you’ve got lots of moisture in your home, this could be the reason those household ants keep coming back.
It’s important to stay on top of any leaks or other water sources around your house. It’s also not a bad idea to consider waterproofing your basement to prevent any leaks or standing water.
While they look lovely and can help clean the air in your home, indoor plants could possibly be a hiding place for ants. This is because they like the fresh, damp soil that these plants provide. To minimize the chances of ants entering your home through your houseplants, try not to leave them outdoors for long stretches of time.
Managing Household Ants
Because the number of ants in a single colony can surpass the hundreds of thousands, this makes them incredibly difficult to control. You can kill one, but that still leaves you with thousands more to deal with.
To help reduce the ants you’re seeing around your house, it’s a good idea to check for any cracks or vulnerable points you can find. Repair whatever you can on a regular basis.
It is also important that you avoid having exposed food around your kitchen. Maintain a diligent cleaning schedule and store any open packages in airtight containers.
If the house ants are still out of control, don’t worry. A pest control professional will help you identify the sources of the problem and get rid of it.
Pest Control in Tucson, AZ
Where do ants come from? The answer is “everywhere” it seems.
Nobody likes to deal with ants, but they are unfortunately one of the most common household pests in the United States. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent them from taking over your home. Now that you know more about where these insects come from, you can prepare to get rid of them for good.
If you’re in the Tucson area, our professionals can help you conquer your ant problem. For effective Tucson pest control, contact us today!