Why Are There Always Ants in My Kitchen?

ants crawling on bread

While they may be one of the less threatening varieties of pests that can take refuge in your home, ants are often among the most frustrating to deal with because getting rid of an ant infestation can seem impossible.

While one or two ants may not seem like a big deal, ants are social creatures, which means there’s almost always more to follow. When one ant finds its way into your home, other members of their colony are sure to do the same!

If you’re tired of battling ants in your kitchen only to have them return a few weeks later, it’s time to learn what might be attracting them to your home and what it will take to get rid of them for good.

Ant Species Found in the Triad

Here in North Carolina, we often have a rather mild climate with high humidity -- which means a perfect environment for pests to breed. Most homeowners will have to deal with a pest infestation at some point throughout the year, with ants being among the most common. The Triad area specifically is home to an array of different species of ants, including:

  • Acrobat Ants
  • Argentine Ants
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Little Black Ants
  • Odorous House Ants
  • Pavement Ants

Most of these ants live in the soil on your property or make their nests in decaying wood sources. When they end up in your kitchen, it’s because they are looking for reliable sources of food or water. If they find any of these in your home, they’ll likely return with more worker ants!  Find out more about the types of ants in NC.

So, What Attracts Ants to Your Kitchen?

Could you unintentionally be making your ant problem worse? The answer is probably yes without you even realizing it. Here are some of the most common offenses when it comes to attracting ants to the kitchen:

  • Piles of crumbs under the kitchen table
  • Spilled food or drinks 
  • Dirty plates stacked in the sink or left out on the counter
  • Poorly sealed containers of food
  • Dripping faucets or leaky sink pipes
  • Dishwashers that don’t completely drain
  • Leftover residue in your garbage cans​

Even if you work hard to keep your kitchen clean, you might be prone to ant infestations simply because ants can find easy access into your home. Cracks or holes in your walls, damaged screens, and cracks in window or door frames provide easy entry for ants to get inside. Landscaping or outdoor furniture that touches the side of your home can also act as a bridge for ants, inviting them right inside!

Why Do Ants Keep Coming Back?

Before you can completely eliminate ants from your home, it’s important to understand the nature of an ant infestation. The life of a worker ant revolves solely around protecting the colony and finding food. These are the ants that you’re likely to spot on your countertops or climbing up the wall in your kitchen – but they only represent a small percentage of the total colony.

Spot-treatments, sprays, and baits can be effective at stopping the ant activity you see in your home, but the nest with the rest of the colony may be yards away. To completely stop ants from making a reappearance, you have to reach the source of the infestation.

At the center of each colony are hundreds or thousands of worker ants and a queen, who reproduces rapidly. No matter how much time, money, or energy you spend trying to treat the ants that you see in your kitchen, the queen will continue to produce more worker ants to explore your home looking for food.

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Ants?

While many homeowners attempt to get rid of ants with DIY treatments such as poison, baits, and traps they can buy at the store, these often fail to provide long-term protection. The best way to get rid of ants for the long-term is to let a professional handle it. With the expertise, tools, and access to the best products on the market, professional exterminators like the ones at Terminix can get to the root of the problem. We can help eradicate ant activity in your home for good by:

  • Identifying and sealing common exit and entry points
  • Spraying the exterior of your home to prevent ants from getting inside
  • Applying pesticides that will kill off the entire colony
  • Treating your home regularly to prevent future infestations

Keeping ants out requires ongoing maintenance. With our pest control program in Greensboro and throughout the NC Triad, we can also keep your home protected against other common household pests like spiders, roaches, silverfish, beetles, and more. If you're tired of dealing with an ant infestation, see how Terminix Triad can help!

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