Bridgewater Pest Control: Keeping Carpenter Ants Out Of Pet Food

Bridgewater Pest Control: Keeping Carpenter Ants Out Of Pet Food

With the holiday season here, it is often a time to indulge in food. But if you have carpenter ants in your home, they may also be taking an opportunity to feast throughout the festivities. Carpenter ants can often stay active during the winter months inside a home thanks to the warmth and readily available food sources. So, if you have noticed increased activity in your home, contact our Truly Nolen Team in Bridgewater to learn more about carpenter ant control services. 

How They Find The Food

Understanding how ants find food is the first step in preventing them from getting into your pet dishes. There are two main ways ants find food – by accident or smell. Ants have extremely poor vision, but their innate sense of smell makes up for this sense. A recent study from Vanderbilt University discovered that ants have an impressive 400 odour receptors. This is twice as many as a honeybee or mosquito. 

Even though ants have this strong sense of smell, they don’t have a nose. They use their antennas to smell. In fact, their antennas do double duty; they use them to smell and touch. This is why you will often see ants brushing their antennas against the ground or objects. Due to these great antennas, they can smell your pet’s food from far away, and their odour receptors can guide them straight to the bowl. 

Ants not only use their incredible sense of smell to locate the food, but they can also be used to find scent trails left behind from other ants. When ants find food sources, they use a foraging signal to lead other ants to the food. When one ant finds a food source, they take as much as possible and return to the nest. It then lets the other ants know that it has found food and gets others to follow it back, using the scent trail as a guide. 

Keeping Them Out

Knowing how the ants get to the food is only half the battle. Keeping them out of the food is the end goal. A few easy steps can be followed to help reduce the chance of carpenter ants finding your pet’s food bowl. 

Keep it clean – Keeping your home clean and tidy of clutter is always an essential step in reducing the chance of pest infestations. If ants enter a home and find food and water sources, they will notify their colony, and you may find an army of ants crawling across your floor. If you have a spill, clean it up immediately, especially sugary ones. 

To help deter ants into your home, clean the floor and countertops regularly with diluted vinegar. Ants do not like the smell. Even though you can’t smell it, they can and don’t want to be around it. 

Keep it inside – If you notice ants near or in your pet’s food bowl, it is only a matter of time until they find the packages. Keep all open packages in air-tight food containers. If you have large bags of pet food, you will need a large container or split it up into smaller containers. 

Once the ants have found the food source, it is hard to get them to stop coming. The only option is to seal the food and clean the area around the sources with diluted vinegar. 

Keep their bowl clean – Your pet needs to eat too, so it isn’t an option not to have food on the floor. But, you can pick up the bowl once they are done eating and clean it thoroughly. Simply picking it up off the floor isn’t enough. The ants will still find it on the countertop as long as there are still some small particles of food left in the bowl. 

The Carpenter Ant Lifespan

The carpenter ant lifespan is approximately 6 to 12 weeks, depending on weather and living conditions. However, the queens can live up to 7 years. Queen carpenter ants only have one role; to lay eggs.. A larger, stable colony can take about 3 to 6 years to develop, so it isn’t an option to simply wait for them to die off in your home. 

If you have noticed carpenter ants in your pet’s food or other areas of your home, contact us for carpenter ant control in Bridgewater today. Our trained specialists can help remove a colony and prevent them from returning.