ANTS (1)


Ants are one the most successful survivalist insects in our world today.  There are thousands of different types of ants all over the world. They are carpenter ants, pavement ants, black ants and citronella ants. Carpenter ants are the only ant that will cause serious structural damage to your home. Other ants may hitch hike up from the south which is not uncommon but will die off during the winter months.

Number wise ants out number humans 1.5 million to 1. All ants start outside in a colony designed for the local environment. They find food such as other insects and water near their colonies or homes. The problem starts when they invade our homes. This happens because all ants forage for food and in doing so communicate with the other ants by means of a pheromone scent, a chemical left behind to tell other members of their colony what they were doing, bringing food back or still looking. If during the foraging one finds a morsel of food they alert the rest of the colony and within a short period of time your can have hundreds of ants in your home.

So what’s the best method in controlling ants in your home? Never letting them in to start with. These are some best practices for keeping ants in general at bay:

  1. Keep your floors free of food crumbs and wipe up spills especially fruity or sweet children’s drinks.
  2. When you are cooking outdoors make sure you don’t leave food on the grill, clean it like you would your kitchen.
  3. Make sure you do not leave dirty dishes in the kitchen sink at night. Make sure the water around the sink is wiped up also.
  4. Wipe the outside of a sticky (sugary) container like a bottle of honey before you put it away.
  5. Fix leaking pipes. How many times have you pulled wet items from under the kitchen sink? Wet from leaking drains or sinks missing caulk.
  6. Seal openings in your foundations when you see small piles of dirt from ants working their way in.
  7. Repair door sweeps so ants will not walk through the front door.


  • Carpenter Ants
  • Citronella Ants
  • Little Black Ants
  • Pavement Ants

Keeping Ants Outside

There are things you can do outside your home to minimize ant populations close to your home. Instead of piling bark mulch up against your home and over the basement windows scrape some off each year. Bark mulch holds moisture and is a great place for ants to colonize. Make sure the gutters drain away from your foundation. Redirecting rain water is a great way to keep your basement from collecting all the roofs rain water. Ants love shade so keep your shrubs and other items trimmed back away from your foundation and allow the sun to keep the foundation dry.

Can I Treat Ants Myself?

Treating ants can be very tricky. Depending on the species of ant and the way it reproduces. Incorrectly treated you could end up splitting the colony into fragments and each new fragment will then rebuild to the numbers it was originally.

There are a lot of natural home remedies that include applying cinnamon or peppermint oil around your baseboards and counter tops or coffee grounds around your foundation available online. The best thing to do is use soap and water in areas you are see the first foragers. If they do not make it back to the colony and their pheromone scent is cleaned up you may be able to ward off the invasion of the rest of the colony.

Never use a can of pesticide labeled for ants inside your home, worse yet in your kitchen on the counter top. The best thing to do is contact your local pest management professional such as JEM intercontinental Services and ask for home inspection. They will explain all you options and go over ideas that will change the environment in and around your home so ants will not find it inviting.


Facts About Ants

  • There are more than 12,000 species of ants all over the world.
  • An ant can lift 20 times its own body weight. If a second grader was as strong as an ant, she would be able to pick up a car!
  • Some queen ants can live for many years and have millions of babies!
  • Ants don’t have ears. Ants "hear" by feeling vibrations in the ground through their feet.
  • When ants fight, it is usually to the death!
  • When foraging, ants leave a pheromone trail so that they know where they’ve been.
  • Queen ants have wings, which they shed when they start a new nest.
  • Ants don’t have lungs. Oxygen enters through tiny holes all over the body and carbon dioxide leaves through the same holes.
  • When the queen of the colony dies, the colony can only survive a few months. Queens are rarely replaced and the workers are not able to reproduce