Warm weather is on its way as spring rolls in, pushing old man winter out. As we become more active, other creatures are stirring from a long hibernation, hungry for a snack.

Unfortunately, this reawakening includes some nasty pests that could find their next meal in your kitchen. One colony-building insect can become quite a problem if they find their way inside a home unnoticed.

Small, common, and quiet, ants can often go unnoticed, but they are just about everywhere. Once they get inside, however, they can possibly do a lot of damage not only to your pantry but the structure of your house, too. If you think you may have ants or want to take the steps to protect against them, this handy guide has the answers for you before you need to contact a professional ant exterminator.

the best way to stop ants is to not let them inKnow What You Have.

Ants are a common pest and they can be quite a pain. However, these insects are often confused with a more dangerous pest that can cause extreme damage to your home: termites. Before you brush off your infestation as an “ant” problem, do a little digging and find out what you have. Carpenter ants nest in wood, much like termites, and flying ants can look like termites, If you’ve spotted insects in your home, you can identify the difference between a termite and an ant by looking closely.

The most distinguishing difference between the two insects is that ants have pinched, segmented bodies. Termites do not. In addition to spotting the difference, there is a wide variety of ant species from your common black ant to the more dangerous red ant or destructive carpenter ant. The best course of action is to find out what you have so you can assess your infestation problem and treat it properly.

Seek out Hiding Spots.

As stated previously, ants don’t make much noise. They can quietly slip into your kitchen and you might be none the wiser. However, unlike other pests, they are easy to spot. If you want to stop ants from getting in, you must stop them at the source. To do that, you have to seek out where they are getting in or where they are hiding out. Nests and colonies can be outside, in hard to reach places, and spots that are out of place and out of mind. The trouble is a single colony can produce thousands of eggs. So, a small ant problem can get big fast.

If you happen to spot an ant, follow it and see where it goes. If you see more than one, it’s likely they are coming from somewhere nearby. Check windows, doors, vents, any areas with an opening small enough to slip through. If they are coming from outside, you can put a stop to it by sealing off any openings. If you spot a colony outside, you can pour boiling water on them to get rid of them. Try to find the source, so you can stop them from coming back.

Know When to Call a Professional Ant Exterminator.

So, you’ve spotted a few ants in your kitchen or bathroom. A few ants here and there are no reason to raise an alarm right away. Since these insects are so small, it can be easy for them to sneak inside to do a little searching. Of course, you don’t want them to alert the rest of the colony, so dispose of them if you do see them. However, if you happen to find more or a bunch of them in one spot, you may have a bigger problem.

If you only see a few ants scurrying around, you can try store-bought traps or baits first. They can do the job by eliminating the invaders before they become a problem. Most baits are made so ants will carry back the poison to the colony and destroy it from within. Of course, this plan can work if you have only a few ants. If you have bigger, more dangerous ants, or clusters, you might have to do more than just put down a little trap.

Nests can be difficult to get rid of and some ant species can pose a real threat to your home’s structure. The issue with getting rid of only a few ants is that there’s a whole colony with plenty more. This could end up being a problem, even if the colony is located outside. Ants can also live long lives (up to 15 years), so a colony can continue to grow. Gauge the size of your infestation and seek out ant exterminator help accordingly.

What Can You Do to Stop Them?

The best way to stop any pest is to keep them from getting in. Close off any possible entryways at windows and doors. You should also check chimneys, vents, and other open areas the could lead inside. Inside, keep any areas where food is eaten or prepared tidy. Seal up any open containers, including pet food, to discourage any scouts from returning home. If you have a smaller infestation or a few stray ants, try ant baits or traps. Make sure you set them close to where the ants are coming in and away from kids and pets.

If the infestation is too large, or you are dealing with fire ants or carpenter ants, it may be best to seek out an expert ant exterminator.

Ant Exterminator: DIY Guide to Methods and CostAnt Exterminator Costs.

Depending on who you go with, costs can vary. The average cost overall is $250 for ant extermination, not including fire or carpenter ants.

A visitation and extermination, depending on the type of ants you have and the size of the infestation, is usually from $150 to up to $395. If you don’t want to deal with a sudden infestation, some companies offer year-round protection for a fair price. It’s also possible to get your yard treated to stop any invaders before they get near your home.

The key here is to stop the infestation before it becomes a problem. Be vigilant, perform regular maintenance on your home, and call in the professions when you need them.

Concluding Thoughts

As the warm weather returns, you don’t want to worry about ants ruining your picnic or your home for that matter. Arm yourself with the knowledge needed to spot the issue and take down these pests before they eat you out of house and home. With this handy guide, you can safely identify your issue and give it the attention needed.