In Ireland, we can count ourselves relatively lucky that ants aren’t the massive problem they are in other countries. Ants love warm and dry weather, and this isn’t something that Ireland is renowned for!
However, the flip side is that ants will seek warm and dry places to build their nests, and commonly this means our homes and buildings. While the risk to human health from an infestation is minimal, an ant infestation is a thoroughly unpleasant experience, nonetheless.
This article offers some vital hints and tips about how to prevent ant infestations and what to do if you are unlucky enough to find these little blighters crawling all over your kitchen worktops.
Although there are officially four species of ant in Ireland, if you have found yourself on the receiving end of an infestation, it is more than likely the black garden ant that is the culprit.
Black garden ants, often just referred to as “black ants”, will usually start appearing around January but are rarely noticed until the summer months when winged males and females emerge for mating flights. In Ireland, Dublin is one of the hotspots for black ant infestations.
As already mentioned, these are the ants that are most likely behind an ant infestation in Ireland. But other species that are native to Ireland include Pharaoh’s ant, Roger’s ant, pavement ant, and the ghost ant.
The first thing to note about ant behaviour is that they are attracted to our homes mainly because we present them with an easy source of food. Ants will set up homes close to a reliable food source, and this is just what our homes and workplaces offer them.
Black ants also have a preference for sweet and sticky foods, and once again, this is something that is found in abundance in human habitations. Once ants are established, it can be problematic to get rid of them. They can relocate their entire colony within a single day and have sheer numbers on their side.
Bearing this in mind, prevention is the best medicine, so here are our top tips for preventing ant infestations:
The first thing is to simply remove the temptation of all that lovely human food. This means clearing up food and drink spillages immediately and making sure that food crumbs are swept from beneath kitchen units and appliances.
Properly storing food is another sure way of removing temptation. Wherever possible, store foodstuffs in airtight containers. Once again, this is especially important for sweet and sticky foods, but not exclusively so. The point is to remove as much temptation as possible.
If you are a pet owner, then it is important to clear away any uneaten pet food once the family pet has finished eating. Hygiene rules should be applied here too, and food bowls should be cleaned after every meal.
There are so many potential entry points in buildings that sealing them all is virtually impossible. However, the main points of entry around kitchens and other vulnerable areas are easily identified and sealed.
Cracks around windows and door frames are common access points for ants, and sealing these will greatly reduce the chance of an ant infestation.
Although ants may set up their colony inside a building, it is more likely that the colony is in the garden, with ants only coming inside to forage for food. Hygiene in the garden is important, too – Decaying vegetation, soil mounds, unsealed bins and compost bins and rubble piles all present ants with potential nest sites and access to food.
The steps listed above will help to keep your home ant-free, and in the cases of minor infestations, they may eradicate the problem completely. However, once established, ant infestations can be tricky to eradicate.
For complete peace of mind, it is always best to employ the services of a reputable pest control company.
At Complete Pest Control, we offer a 100% guarantee that we will successfully deal with any pest infestation. If you have a problem with ants, then our trained technicians can quickly, efficiently, and discreetly deal with it.
As with any infestation, time is of the essence, so getting professional help immediately will ensure a quick and successful resolution to your ant problem.