Do Social Distancing Guidelines Correlate with More Ants in the House?
Social distancing guidelines were implemented in Long Island earlier this spring. According to a recent article, “Crowds of any size are banned or at least discouraged in most areas coast to coast—especially in Suffolk County, one of the hardest hit counties in the entire country when it comes to COVID-19 cases.”
As a result of the severity of the coronavirus on Long Island and the implemented social distancing guidelines, you’ve probably found yourself spending more time at home! Oddly enough, some sources suggest that social distancing and self-quarantining can actually cause more pests like ants in the house…but how? It all comes down to the needs and habits of ants, and how we “feed” into those needs while we’re hanging at the house.
Where Do Ants Come From?
Ants are a nuisance year-round, but they become particularly active in the spring and summer, which is why you may find yourself with a sudden ant infestation during the warmer months. It just so happens most homeowners are spending more time in and around their houses this year during these seasons.
What Do Ants Eat?
Just like humans, ants are hungry creatures. Ants are always scavenging for food, and once they find an entry point like a crack or crevice that leads to a food source, they’ll tell all their ant friends! Ants also have to feed their young, so they’ll often take food back to their colonies to share. Ants are opportunistic eaters, so if food is available, they aren’t too picky, however sweet foods (ever heard of sugar ants?!), greasy foods, and plain out garbage are some of their favorite meals.
Ants also need water to survive, but not much (ants can often satisfy their biological need for water from the foods they consume). Ants do tend to be attracted to damp wood and excess moisture, though, so you’re likely to find ants in your kitchen, bathroom, or near a water leak, as these areas are usually moist.
Ant Prevention During Quarantine (And Beyond)
If you’ve noticed more ants at home lately, it’s due in part to the alignment of the most active season for ants with the current era of social distancing guidelines. It’s also possible that you’re providing more opportunities for the ants. Have you been eating more meals at home, or learning how to bake bread and dropping some crumbs or spilling some oil here and there? Have you been opening your windows more often to enjoy some fresh spring air? Are areas like your kitchen counters seeing more traffic but still getting cleaned the same amount as before? These are all likely reasons you may have seen an uptick in ants in your house!
Getting rid of pests in your house is never an easy task, but here are a few quick tips on how to prevent ants in your house:
- Keep your house clean and free of food particles. Your kitchen is likely going to be an ant’s favorite room, primarily due to the easy access to food and water a kitchen often provides. Pay close attention to your countertops, floors, pantry, and cabinets. Clean up spills as soon as they happen, and get in the habit of wiping down your countertops daily, especially in these warmer months when ants are on the move and likely to cause a sudden ant infestation!
- Since ants like moisture, add checking pipes for leaks to your quarantine home improvement checklist. Specifically, be sure to check under your sinks and ensure there’s no excess water collecting. It’s also a good idea to check your air conditioning units to make sure they’re functioning properly and not creating condensation that could be attracting ants.
- Ensure your windows and doors aren’t easy entry points for ants by sealing cracks. Ants will find a way in through any crevices you make available to them.
- Seal your food into airtight containers, and make sure any fruit on the counters isn’t overripe or rotting, as the pungent smell will likely attract critters.
- Don’t tackle your ant problem alone. Hire a trusted, licensed Long Island exterminator from Suburban Exterminating’s team of pest management professionals. Our team is experienced in identifying the cause of ant infestations and following ant trails that lead back to the ant colonies, providing your home with guaranteed ant control. Call us at (631) 864-6900 or (516) 864-6900 for a free inspection, and stay safe!