Learn more about ant biology, what you can do to protect your home from ants, and how Smithereen Pest Management solutions can reduce your risk from ant invasions.
Why do I get ants when it rains?
Many of our customers call when it is raining or soon after a good rainfall; their concern is that they now have ants! The ants are everywhere and they didn’t have any the day before.
All insects, including ants, have the same basic needs as us: ants want shelter and food. When it rains, ants that live on the ground surface or underground are at risk of drowning. Therefore, the workers pick up eggs and other immature ants and seek out shelter in a dry place. Sometimes, that just happens to be your home.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants In My Home After A Storm?
If this is the first time you’ve seen ants in your house, homemade or store-bought remedies are often enough to fix the problem. Remember that ants often relocate the colony in cases of heavy rain or flooding. Killing the ants directly with a spray isn’t recommended because it doesn’t remove the queen. Instead, use a bait that the worker ants will take back to the colony and, more importantly, the queen.
Repeated instances of ant invasions after a storm can be a sign of a more serious or chronic problem, typically in the form of poor building maintenance or treatment. If the problem persists, you may need to contact a pest removal service that can look for potential causes – and solutions. Get in touch with a Smithereen exterminator today, to make sure ants don’t find their way back inside your home.
How Do I Prevent Ants In My Home After Rain?
Now that you know why ants invade after it rains you might want to know what you can do to prevent such a mass invasion. Let me share a quick story about my dad.
Twice a year, in the spring and fall, my dad grabs his tool belt and ladder and does a complete perimeter check around our home, including:
- Checking the window and door frames looking for cracks and crevices and filling them with caulk
- Checking the foundation for cracks that need to be patched
- Removing vegetation that is touching the house
- Walking around the front and back yard removing trash, piling leaves and grass cuttings around trees, and
- Removing any wood debris in the yard
When I was younger I didn’t understand this routine habit but now that I’m an entomologist I know exactly what my dad was doing. Sealing the gaps prevents access to the house and maintaining the yard particularly close to the foundation reduces the habitat and chance that pests can gain access to the house. The most important part about my dad’s habit is my mom; she hates insects in the home but doesn’t have any current complaints because my dad does such a good job keeping them out.
To be fair, my mom also plays a role in reducing insect pests around the home by:
- Keeping the kitchen clean of food debris
- Making sure that trash is quickly removed from the home, and
- Ensuring that anytime food is consumed outdoors that the food is kept sealed and quickly picked up from the ground
My mom made sure that at an early age I learned to pick up my trash and put it in a trash bag or can. These behaviors, along with my parents’ commitment, helped keep our home free from insects, including ants, throughout the years.
How Pest Management Can Help Reduce Ants In Your House
I’m sure that you are thinking that my parents go through a lot of work to reduce the likelihood of insect invasions, and you would be correct. Putting in this amount of effort isn’t always possible for every homeowner, nor is it full-proof.
While the Smithereen Pest Management professionals won’t clean your kitchen or carry out your trash, we will do a complete inspection of your home’s exterior noting any conditions in the home or the landscape that could lead to pest issues inside the home. After the inspection, we will communicate our findings and provide recommendations on pest removal services. For example, in the spring we typically recommend applying a barrier treatment around the exterior of your home to reduce the number of ground nesting insects from entering your home.
If you already have ants inside your home we will perform an interior inspection and identify how the ants are gaining access and/or where they are living. Then, we’ll use either ant bait or dust to reduce the ant population. This combination of inspection, structural repair, chemical options, documentation and communication is all part of an Integrated Pest Management program.