8 Ant-Proofing Tips for Your Home

Sweeping your floor is one of the best ways to ant-proof your Marysville WA home. Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestAnyone who has had an ant infestation will tell you how frustrating they are. Ants are notoriously difficult to control without an ant exterminator, which is why it’s so important to learn how to prevent them in the first place. With the weather warming up here in the Marysville WA area, ants are coming out in full force as the worker ants leave their nest in search of food and water. Now is the time for ant-proofing your property! Here at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest, we’ve prepared our top ant prevention tips for you to keep ants out in the coming months.

What Are Ants Drawn To?

Like most types of pests, ants are always in search of food and water. Kitchens in homes tend to be a hot spot for ant infestations. If you have crumbs on your counter tops, stovetop, or floor, you can be sure ants will find them. They are also attracted to excess moisture problems–if you have a leaky faucet or pipe that causes a surplus of humidity or moisture, ants will likely be drawn to the area. Usually, ants get indoors through tiny cracks and crevices in your foundation. Once inside, they will gladly take up residence should you give them a source of food and water!

Ant-Proofing Tricks and Tips

Along with info gathered from the NPMA, we’ve compiled a list of ant-proofing tips and tricks for homeowners. Implement the following into your spring cleaning routine this year to lessen the chance of getting ants:

  • Inspect the foundation of your home and seal any cracks or crevices using a silicone-based caulk.
  • Keep any pet food bowls clean and always clean up after messes and spills. Pick pet bowls up off the floor after meal times.
  • Make sure downspouts and gutters are all functioning properly so that water is flowing away from the foundation.
  • Regularly check under sinks for excess moisture problems and repair leaky pipes promptly.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery in your yard to be at least 6 inches away from the home.
  • Wipe down any countertops and sweep floors regularly to clean up spills and remove crumbs.
  • Store food (including pet food) in airtight containers and refrigerate ripe fruit.
  • Dispose of garbage on a regular basis and use trash cans with a tight-fitting lid.

You Have Ants–Now What?

If you’ve done everything you can to prevent ants and implemented the above ant-proofing tips but still find yourself with a growing infestation, it’s time to call the team at Western Exterminator. Our ant exterminators know how to get rid of ants and make sure they don’t come back. Give us a call today to learn more!

How Are Termites and Carpenter Ants Different?

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites in Everett WA - Learn more from Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestAs wood-destroying insects, termites and carpenter ants share a lot of similar behaviors. They even look quite similar in the swarmer stage of their life. However, these two pests are quite different. Termites are responsible for the most destructive pest infestations across the nation, and are dangerous for being silent destroyers. So how do you tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants? Read on for info from the experts at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest!

What do Swarming Termites and Carpenter Ants Look Like?

As swarmers, termites and carpenter ants can look very similar. There are a couple key differences that help differentiate the two:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers
    1. Black in color, with an occasional red tint.
    2. Measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
    3. Wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant.
  2. Termite swarmers
    1. Very dark brown to black in color, and measure 3/8″ long (including the wings).
    2. Wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color.
    3. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy way to tell them apart from carpenter ants!

Winged ant vs. termite in Snohomish County WA - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest

Behaviors of Termites and Carpenter Ants

As wood-destroying insects, termites and carpenter ants share many similar habits. Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids. When you notice the damaged wood, the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded. Although they destroy wood, the damage caused by carpenter ants does not amount to the potential damage of a termite infestation.

Termites, on the other hand, often make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, porches, or any other area of the property in contact with soil. Grown colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. With this growth rate, termites are considerably more dangerous than carpenter ants.

Professional Termite & Carpenter Ant Extermination

Wood-destroying insects are any property owner’s worst nightmare. Because infestations are often found late when considerable damage has already been done, it’s recommended to get annual inspections from a professional exterminator. The team at Western Exterminator can thoroughly inspect your Everett WA property for signs and risks of these insects. Our goal is to keep you, your family, and your property safe from wood-destroying insects year-round.