How to keep ants away from your porch
Ants are a common pest that invades homes and damage a wide variety of items. Usually, ants will travel through cracks in your foundation or doors into your home. Once inside the structure of your home, they’ll often follow paths that have been established by prior ant infestation. Your best defence against ants is to keep them from entering your home or laying eggs near it.
Here are some tips on how to keep ants away from your porch:
First, make sure there aren’t any cracks in the foundation where spiders can enter and form webs that attract insects like crickets and roaches, which ants eat, as well as an easy path for ants into and out of your house. Spiders also eat other bugs such as ants, so they help to regulate and manage ant populations.
Seal any cracks or holes in your porch floor and foundation with weatherproof caulk. Ants are known to make their homes outside of human structures, but if you seal off access points, the ants will travel elsewhere looking for food. Sealing up potential entryways is one step toward getting rid of existing ants and preventing future infestations.
Clean the area around your home regularly by picking up fallen leaves, pruning bushes that hang over the exterior of your house, and trimming tall grass away from the foundation using a lawnmower set very low to cut off an inch or two at most. This may reduce the number of places where ants can hide and makes it easier to spot where they’re gaining entry.
Create a border of crushed eggshells, wood ash, or diatomaceous earth around the foundation of your home. Some scouts will inspect the area when they first come across it, but ants do not like crossing over these barriers because it irritates their feet and legs, so they stay clear out of irritation. If any ants happen to cross over this barrier, they’ll leave behind a trail for the rest of their colony to follow-which means you have an infestation on your hands.
Fill excavations away from buildings with gravel or other debris that doesn’t fit into the opening Ants don’t like walking over eggshells, wood ash or diatomaceous earth. You can also try using mint oil around windows and doors to keep ants away. Mint has a powerful scent that makes life uncomfortable for ants.
Cinnamon is another favorite. Don’t use cinnamon oil because it can be toxic to pets and children when ingested, but chewing on a stick of cinnamon has the same effect as the mint and will keep ants away naturally.
-If you see an ant in or around your home, slow down its food supply by throwing out any uneaten pet food and cleaning up all spills and crumbs from throughout the house immediately; these attract other insects, which in turn attract ants. Also, take out the trash regularly and wipe up any liquid that may drip into entry points, like cracks in doors or windowsills.
-Do not leave outside drinks sitting for long periods of time; bring them indoors every night if possible. This includes bringing pet food inside during the night versus leaving it out all day.
-Find and fix leaky spigots, valves, and pipes outside because they attract ants with their sweet moisture.
-Inspect your garden for anthills before using any non-organic pesticides that will kill not only the ants but also other beneficial insects like bees and butterflies that help pollinate plants.
Ants found in or near your home will be scouts looking for a food source, so eliminate their path of entry by sealing off openings around doors and windows with weatherproof caulk or screen material. Next, keep an eye on where ants appear from day to day, so you know if they’re indoors or outdoors, watching for trails along baseboards and doorways where a line of ants may be marching in a straight path between the outside and inside. Finally, keep an eye out for any changes in activity, noting when you see more ants, fewer ants, or new trails.
Ants don’t eat wood, but they do chew on it to build nests and tunnels, which can weaken structural elements, so keeping these spaces free from their bite is one way to get rid of them. Using diatomaceous earth around the foundation of your home will help prevent ants from entering through these openings as well by cutting into their outer shells and dehydrating them until they die. You can also use natural repellents like cinnamon oil, or dried mint leaves to keep ants away without harming beneficial insects because not only do they dislike the scent, but eating the leaves can cause them to die from internal bleeding.
-If you have a faucet that leaks inside, be sure that it’s dripping into either an open container or bowl; if necessary, use an old rag under your sink to catch drips while you replace worn washers and gaskets.
-Keep dishwashers and washing machines clean to eliminate any food particles that attract pests like ants.
-Thoroughly dry all cups, plates, cutlery, pots and pans; steam cleaning your oven will also help remove leftover crumbs inside for easier cleanup in the future. Also, keep pets’ dishes emptied after feeding time at night, so there are no leftovers for these insects to find their way to your door.
-Place outside trash cans as far away from your home as possible to further prevent the ants from finding their way indoors. If you must keep your cans close by, be sure to tightly secure lids and wash out containers regularly to eliminate any residual food smells that may attract other insects and eventually ants.
Keep outdoor areas around your home free of piles of dead leaves or twigs where these ants like to build nests and take up residence. Using a rake and leaf blower will also help get rid of any existing ant hills in your lawn; note that not all species make mounded nests but instead tunnel through soil underground, so if you don’t see an anthill, watch for trails between grass blades instead -or places where leaves look like they’ve been pushed aside.