Recently, we received a call from a homeowner in Lanoka Harbor, NJ for one of the most common summer pest infestations — ants! When temperatures warm up, insect populations spike. She was finding ants all over her kitchen counters. These ants are not only a nuisance; they can potentially contaminate your food. The foraging ants that you see are just the tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that the ants you see criss-crossing your counters are only 1 to 5% of the entire ant colony. So, killing a few foraging ants won’t resolve the problem.
If you have more than a few isolated ants in your kitchen, a professional pest control service can apply food-safe, non-repellant products that the ants will bring back and share with the rest of the colony. Ants are social insects — they touch each other, share food with each other, and communicate with each other. These products exploit this behavior so that it gets distributed throughout the entire nest. Eliminating the entire colony is the only long-term, successful way to resolve an ant infestation.
Upon arrival, I first inspected the kitchen and dining room areas. I did not find any ants trailing inside the home. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any ants. They just happened to elsewhere, most likely in the nest, when I arrived. Following the interior inspection, I inspected the home’s exterior perimeter. Here, the ants were out and about. I saw an ant trail along the kitchen exterior wall. In all likelihood, the ants were able to enter the holes through cracks in the foundation and through a gap at the bottom of the door frame. Because of their size, ants can get into just about any pinhole crack or crevice. Once I find an ant trail, I try to determine where they are going and where they are coming from. Often, I’ll find the food source or attractant bringing them in the home and I’ll also have a good indication of their nest location.
To resolve this infestation, I flushed the foundation cracks and door frame voids with a residual aerosol. Next, I applied an exterior perimeter treatment around the foundation, windows, and doorways. This product acts as a barrier, blocking the ants from entering the home. I also applied a granular bait around the home’s perimeter. Ants will bring this product back to the nest and share it. These treatments will work together to quickly eliminate the ant infestation. Soon, these ants will be one less thing that this homeowner will have to worry about.