With winter approaching, Sacramento residents gear up for some chilly, rainy months ahead. We look forward to snuggling up in a warm, dry, and comfortable home to shelter us from the dreary weather outside. Imagine now, you’re as tiny as an ant. Rain drops combine to become a massive overhead assault. antswarmOPT

Though cleanliness does influence the likelihood of an ant infestation, a clean house does not always mean ant prevention. Ants are looking to survive by seeking dry terrain, food, and preferred climate. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, ants can enter through the tiniest cracks, crevices, ducts, and even pipes. And as the rain hasn’t quite begun to fall here in Sacramento, our Sacramento pest control team recommends a preemptive strike:

– Caulk and seal any known cracks and around pipes and baseboards.

– Investigate any areas that have had previous ant invasions and clean them thoroughly, ridding them of any possible food sources.

– Plug drains of sinks or tubs that are not commonly used.

– Search your immediate home surroundings for ant activity, including patio, garage, sidewalk, driveway, garden, etc.

As with most pest control, sprays tend to be the most dangerous and sometimes least effective form of treatment. Not only are they potentially harmful to your pets or kids, sprays tend to offer little permanence when it comes to ant invasion. Even when professionally applied to the perimeter of your house, sprays only work on active trails and not against the actual colony.

Baits are a popular alternative as they are less dangerous and more long-term, but may take days and even weeks to get the full effect. Treating ant hills with baits at this time of year may be helpful, but still requires close monitoring if pets and kids are around.

If, however the ants’ survival skills are high enough to still break in, best to have your plan of attack ready! For immediate control, UC Integrated Pest Management suggests vacuuming and soaping down areas where trails have been. Ants leave behind a marker scent that communicates to other ants where to find food and shelter. It is necessary to eliminate the scent trail. This can be achieved with soap and water, as well as fruit oils (though they can sometimes leave an unpleasant odor). For detailed tips and descriptions of ant control, visit: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7411.html.

In most cases, you’ll probably be dealing with the brown Argentine ants, as they are most common in California (as described in our previous blog. Click here for a more detailed identifying list, including pictures. With the raining winter season approaching, it’s your time to get informed, make a plan, and know what to expect this winter. Earth Guard Pest Control is here to help you get set up and fight back! Give us a call at 916-457-7605 or visit our website at https://www.earthguardpest.com for more information.