The Top Five Reasons for Household Ant Problems

carpenter ant

When it comes to pest control, not all people know how to get rid of ants in the house. It seems that these insects know numerous ways to get in your house: holes in walls, floor and foundation, crevices in the ceiling, basement and attic. Knowing what attracts ants to your home can be step one in preventing an infestation.

Here are the top 5 reasons you have ants in your home:

1: Your home is offering them food:

Ants have specific conditions and situations that they find particularly inviting. Moisture levels, food accessibility, and adequate shelter are each concerns for nearly all of the ants you’ll find in Dundas, Ancaster, Oakville, Hamilton and Burlington. If ants in are your home it could be because the environment is too perfect for them.

Many foods (sugary foods in particular) will attract ants, so keeping your food in places that are difficult for ants to access is a great way to keep ants from being attracted to your home. Refrigerators with a good seal, high cabinets, and sealable plastic containers are each excellent storage spaces. It is also a good idea to remove garbage from the house frequently during the spring and summer when ants are most motivated to prowl for food.

2: The outside of your home is acting as a bridge into your home

Any variety of vegetation that is situated too close to the base of your home or one of its many ant-sized entry ways can be a significant factor in the likelihood of ant infestation. Ants use vegetation for shelter and food and because plant life holds onto moisture, these little bugs feel right at home among its leaves and branches. Any plant, grass, shrub, or even tree that is growing close enough to your home to have physical contact is, therefore, a bridge between the ant’s natural habitat and yours. Trim plants away from the home and remove any that actually come into contact with the structure; this will reduce the chances of an ant (and soon enough, a few thousand of its friends) being lured into your house.

3: Your DIY approach didn’t work

Here at Truly Nolen we been called in more times than we can say to help Oakville-area homeowners who have tried anti-poison pods and DIY sprays only to realize they have made the problem worse. Sometimes they end up even attracting more ants, and of a different kind.

Another common DIY error seen by our pest control experts in areas such as Ancaster is the use of old wives’ remedies. Many seemingly natural “organic” products, such as Boric acid and orange oil, are actually more toxic than the commercial pest control preparations we use.

4: You’re not sure what you’re dealing with

Identifying the kind of insect you’re dealing with will help you decide if you should call in a pest control service to assist with ant control. With carpenter ants, for example, simply spraying scout ants can lead the colony to scatter and set up satellite nests in order to survive. If this happens, you’ve just quadrupled your problem.

Here’s an overview of the kinds of ants seen by our pest control experts in Hamilton and the surrounding areas:

  •        Black carpenter ants are the most common in Ontario. Black and dark red or entirely brownish-black, both kinds have elbowed antennae and measure from 6 to 25 mm long. They may have wings at mating time. Carpenter ants like to build their nests in decaying wood in moist places in the home. If you have a carpenter ant infestation, professional pest control is recommended. One of our Burlington-area ant control teams can assess your situation and suggest an extermination plan.


  •        Pavement ants set up colonies outdoors under landscaping bricks, pavement, cracks in driveways, etc. They may enter buildings to forage for food. Light brown to reddish, and about 2.5 to 3 mm in length, they don’t bite but can sting. Their calling card is a little pile of dirt next to an excavated hole or tunnel.


  •        Pharaoh ants are pale yellow to reddish and small, about 1 to 2 mm in length. They don’t bite or sting but commonly set up in homes, factories and hospitals and are hard to get rid of without the help of a pest control professional.


5: It’s That Time of Year

Cool weather can drive newly awakened outdoor colonies inside to look for moist wood for nesting or to forage for sweet or greasy food. If you see carpenter ants inside your home in the spring, it could be a sign that their nest is inside the building

If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed Truly Nolen Canada Pest Control Professional at 888-832-4705 to book your free inspection to identify and treat the problem.