While it’s never a good thing to have ants in your kitchen, some cause bigger problems than others. Most ants forage for food inside your home but then return to their nests outside. Carpenter ants are different because they make nests in wood. If they make a nest in your home, they can cause significant property damage unless you call for carpenter ant pest control in Kitchener as soon as possible.
Like most animals, carpenter ants prefer to make nests that are close to a reliable food source. Here are some things that may be attracting them to your kitchen.
1. Sweet Foods
Carpenter ants are like termites in that they can infest the wood of homes. However, unlike termites, they don’t eat the wood any more than human beings eat the dirt they remove when they dig a foundation to build a new house.
Carpenter ants love sweet, sugary foods. In the wild, they may eat honeydew, which is a sugary substance secreted by aphids. In a home, they may be drawn to sugar, jelly, syrup, or honey. You can keep these things in tightly sealed containers to keep ants from getting in. It can be hard to clean up spills of these foods because most of them are sticky, but if you do not clean spills thoroughly from counters and floors, it is kind of like leaving out a buffet for the ants.
2. Pet Food
Sweet foods give ants energy, but they also need protein in their diet. One easy way to get it is often from pet food. It often comes in flimsy paper bags or cardboard boxes. Carpenter ants are able to chew through wood, so these materials are no problem for them. However, they don’t even necessarily have to try to get through the packaging because people often leave pet food sitting out overnight.
To avoid attracting carpenter ants, store pet food in tightly sealed containers rather than in the packaging it was sold in. Control your pet’s portions to avoid leftovers. Dispose of any uneaten wet pet food after 30 minutes. Uneaten dry food can be stored for later. Clean up the floor of your pet’s feeding area.
Carpenter ants are particularly drawn to sugary and protein-rich foods, but they can feed on just about anything in a pinch. A few crumbs can be a feast for them, so be sure to clean off countertops and sweep the kitchen floors often.
Garbage often contains sugary residues and protein-rich drippings that carpenter ants love to feed on. Ants are able to scale smooth vertical surfaces, so merely placing your garbage in a receptacle is not enough to deter them.
Ants locate food by smell, and rotting garbage typically puts out a strong odour. Covering your garbage by putting it in a trash can with a lid helps to control the odour, making it less attractive to ants.
It is not only food that attracts carpenter ants to your kitchen. They are also looking for sources of water. In addition to needing water to drink, they also prefer to make nests in damp wood because the water softens it. Therefore, in addition to fixing dripping faucets and refilling pets’ water dishes often, you also have to inspect pipes under sinks and behind walls to make sure that they are not leaking and dampening the wood. Plumbing leaks can also lead to other structural problems if left unchecked for too long.
Call Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Pest Control in Kitchener
If you see carpenter ants in your kitchen, it probably means that you have an infestation. However, their nests are often hidden within walls and therefore hard to locate. Our technicians pinpoint the location of the main nests and any satellite nests in the vicinity for complete removal. Find out more about our process as well as more prevention tips to keep ants out of your home.