How Ant Infestations Start In Chicago Homes
There are a few reasons why ants get into Chicago homes. While all ants get inside simply because they can, it is important to understand the factors that increase your chances of a troublesome ant infestation.
Here's what you should know about Chicago ants.
How Ants Behave
Chicago ants don't come into your yard and immediately get into your home. They will establish a nest near your home first. When they do this, their workers can accidentally enter your home as they search for food. When a worker finds a food source, it will return to the nest and let the other ants know about the food it found. It does this by laying down a chemical trail of pheromones. One by one, the ants of the colony follow the trail to the food. Most of the time, this is why you find hundreds (or thousands) of ants in your home.
Most ant species won't establish an interior nest, but the ant species that do create interior nests can start to be a serious problem. You're likely to know if you have a nest in your home as you'll have ants frequently appearing in large numbers. Carpenter ants are an exception. These ants are nocturnal and sometimes get into homes only for harborage, never feeding on food sources inside.
You might have to look for the appearance of frass to detect these ants.
If you have lots of ants around your home, you'll have a greater chance of ant troubles inside your home. Ants come near your home for a few reasons.
Let's break them down:
- What we eat is not necessarily what ants eat. It is important to know what food sources attract ants to your yard.
- Do you remove your trash weekly? We hope you do. The scent of a dirty trash receptacle can be a strong attractant for some ants. If your receptacles have a smell, disinfect them to remove the odors.
- Do you have bird feeders? If you do, those feeders could be dropping seeds on the ground. These can be a tasty treat for some ant species. If you have hummingbird feeders, these can lure ants to climb up your exterior wall to get to the sweet liquid in your feeders. We recommend putting bird feeders at least 20 feet from your home.
- Do you put recyclable items in your garage? The scent of recyclables can attract ants. Many ant species are drawn to decaying organic matter because it has a strong scent.
- Do you like to have cookouts? An ant will go to town on a hotdog, hamburger, or the condiments you put on those items. Make sure you clean up after you have a cookout and dispose of the items in the trash.
- Do you have trouble with aphids? The honeydew created by aphids is a sought-after food source for many ants. It is important to address aphid issues as quickly as possible.
Water is a building block of life. Many ant species are drawn to water sources and damp habitats. Carpenter ants are particularly drawn to moist conditions because dampness promotes wood rot, and these ants chew tunnels in decaying wood to create their nests. Hopefully, they don't choose your Chicago property as their home.
Here are a few ways you can have moisture problems that attract ants:
- Clogged or broken gutters can lead to a damp perimeter because water can spill over or spill out.
- Dense landscaping can trap moisture. Keep your landscaping trimmed, remove weeds, and create a space between your plants to allow the air to flow freely and dry your topsoil.
- Water your plants in the morning and only give your plants what they need. Overwatering can make your plants unhealthy, which attracts aphids, and also provides a damp habitat for ants.
Ants want to be where they can thrive. Some ants can live out in the middle of your yard in the open sun. Some prefer to live under rock pathways, driveways, concrete slabs, and other structures made of hard materials. And, of course, carpenter ants prefer to live inside wood.
Here are a few ways you can make your yard less habitable for ants:
- Rake or blow leaves away from your exterior and out from underneath the structures on your property.
- Remove lawn clutter, especially objects that sit on the ground near your home.
- Seal gaps and cracks in your exterior to make it harder for ants to get inside and establish nests in the voids of your walls, floors, and ceilings.
At Aerex Pest Control, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our customers have to say about working with us.
Mark arrived early after calling to let me know we could start earlier if that worked with my schedule, it did. He was friendly and thorough.- Meredith C.
Mike is very friendly, cooperative. He knows our house well as to where there are concerns for critter control. We are very happy with Aerex.- Judith N.
Mike showed up on time and was friendly with our crazy dogs and familiar with the house, even though he hasn’t been here in a while. Can’t ask for more for a semi-annual service and serviceman.- Cissy G.
We've used Aerex for 20+ years at 2 locations. They are prompt, courteous & effective. Our regular service person, Wally, listens to current problems & applies the correct solutions to the problem. If needed within 30 days, a second visit is schedu- Harry S.
Great company with professional people - such a pleasure working with! We have been using Aerex Pest Control at our properties for 10+ years and we couldn't be happier with the choice we made. The team from the office is always friendly, ready to help. The- Mi B.
Jordan our technician was great. He’s very helpful and willing to assist us with dealing with our problem. He explains our issues and helps in determine what needs to be done.- Gary B.
I have been using Aerex for over 20 years. Every tech that has come to our house has been incredibly knowledgeable, kind and respectful. They get the job done efficiently and always go the extra mile. They are all dog lovers too so that works when my dog g- Sheila B.
I especially like Tony who has been doing my house for over 10 years. He is very very trustworthy and clean and pleasant. Please let him know what l say here.- Linda T.
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