A sudden ant infestation in homes can surprise you, especially when you disregard the early signs of ant invasion.
Starting from the late spring, ants appear out of nowhere and take over your entire home, including your kitchen and pantry.
This guide will reveal the six reasons why ants suddenly appear.
You’ll find out their points of entry and the hacks you can use right away to prevent them from invading your home.
And a lot more. Keep reading.
Here’s Why Ants Suddenly Appear In Your House
Let’s face it. Bugs like ants don’t appear suddenly.
Their infestation builds up slowly for weeks. And when the infestation hits the peak, you notice these ants overrunning your home.
Here are the six reasons why ants suddenly appear in homes.
Ants Are Out Of Hibernation
The most common yet underrated reason for a sudden ant infestation is that ants have come out of hibernation.
During winters, many homeowners notice a sudden disappearance of ants.
They think that ants have quit their home.
That’s not the case. The ants went deep inside the colonies they built inside your home to hibernate during winter.
With the arrival of spring, these ants have become active and marauding your home in search of food.
That’s the time when you notice these ants.
Therefore, you must get rid of ants in your home from the source. That includes destroying their nests.
Failing to do it makes matters worse as these ants return to their nests during winter.
The colonies become dormant during the winter, only to become active with the arrival of spring.
Therefore, you must hire a pest controller to eliminate ants when the ant infestation worsens.
Your Yard Or Garden Has A Massive Ant Infestation
Another cold hard truth about ants appearing suddenly in your home is their presence in your yard or garden.
In a house, ant infestation always begins outdoors.
Your yard or garden gets run over by ants. And when their numbers increase, ants look for alternative supplies of food and nesting places.
That’s the time when ants make a move towards human homes in search of food and shelter.
Ants Have Discovered A Food Source In Your Home And Kitchen
Ants will eat anything that humans eat. That makes your kitchen their prime real estate to attack.
But ants prefer sugary foods and protein-rich foods more than foods like stored grains and cereals.
It begins with a solitary random ant scouting for food in your kitchen.
That ant leaves behind pheromones, a scent trail, for the ants to follow.
That’s why you may notice ant trails moving towards your home. That ant trail is moving towards a food source or a new nesting place.
The Weather Outdoors Is Too Inclement For Ants
Like most bugs, ants thrive in moist and damp places.
So, ants will search for new moisture sources when outdoor weather becomes too hot or dry.
In doing so, they enter homes in droves.
They’ll target places like the bathroom, basement, laundry room, and kitchen with high dampness.
The temperature in these places is also mild compared to outdoors at the peak of the summer.
The same thing happens when the weather outdoors gets suddenly wet after rains.
Heavy rains can flood the ants’ nests. That causes the ants to move out of their flooded colonies and look for dry and safe places to live.
That’s the time when ants enter homes in large numbers.
It’s common to notice ant trails on patio decks, windowsills, and crawl spaces, moving inside your home after heavy rains.
Some common places where ants will hide are nearby sinks, in the gaps and cracks on the walls and floors of these places, and near the food source like the shelves of the kitchen pantry.
Failing to notice the arrival of ants in homes is the root cause of the ant infestation going over the roof.
If you act at this early stage of ant arrivals in your home, you can ward off a massive ant infestation without hiring a pest controller.
Ants Spillover From Your Neighbors
Like hibernation, this is an underrated reason why ants suddenly appear in homes.
And that’s quite common in apartment blocks where pests like ants, bed bugs, and fleas spread to other apartments if one apartment has them.
In a neighborhood with an ant infestation problem, it’s normal to have many homes in the area have an ant problem.
Ants will swiftly spread to other homes looking for new sources of food.
And ants become widespread if homeowners in the neighborhood don’t get rid of ants in their homes.
Poor Garbage Disposal Systems
Pests and filth go hand in hand. Homes and neighborhoods with poor garbage disposal systems invite bugs like ants, roaches, flies, and mosquitoes.
Trash bins full of decaying food wastes, rotting pieces of wood and tree stumps in the yard, damp mulch beds, and decaying leaves are all responsible for drawing ants to your property.
Poor drainage systems with leaky pipes also dampen the home’s floor and walls.
That leads to damage to the walls and floors because of excessive moisture.
Cracks develop, and those cracks become the entry points for ants in your home and, even worse, nesting places for ants.
So, shabby waste disposal systems and leaking pipes draw ants to your home. They also play a significant role in ants suddenly appearing in your home and property.
How Do Ants Get Inside Your House?
Now that you know what causes ants, it’s time to find out how ants get inside your house.
Knowing their entry points will help stop these critters from getting inside your home.
Gaps And Cracks On Your Home
The crevices that develop on your home’s foundation walls, windows, and door frames are the most common entry points for ants in your home.
The worker ants exploit these gaps to sneak inside your home and find food sources and nesting places.
Once they do, other ants ensure by following the pheromone trails that the worker ants leave behind.
Tree Limbs And Branches
Tree limbs touching the roof of your house act as a bridge for ants living in trees to enter your home.
Ants will crawl through the cracks on the roofs and shingles to enter your home.
Also, overgrown bushes and shrubs along the home’s perimeter touching the windows are pathways for ants to invade homes.
These ants will crawl through the gaps in the windows to enter homes.
Many tiny bugs use windows and doors to enter homes. Ants are one of them.
Through The Holes Where Utility Lines Get Inside Your Home
The electricity, water, cable, and gas lines enter through holes in the walls of your home.
These holes are the hidden entry points for ants inside your home.
Things You Bring Inside Your Home
You can also be responsible for accidentally introducing ants into your home.
Things like firewood and potted plants you bring inside your home can have many bugs latched onto them, including ants.
And a few ants inside your home is a precursor to a thriving ant colony or multiple ant colonies.
You can also bring many ants through furniture, cardboard boxes, pipes, and groceries.
Through The Floors
A sudden infestation of ants in homes can occur through the floors. And ants entering from the floor is one of the sneakiest ways an ant invasion can happen.
Ants, like termites, are great tunnel diggers. They dig tunnels underneath the soil’s layer to travel from one place to another and build their colonies.
And when it comes to infesting homes, ants can dig tunnels underneath the floors to show up in your home.
They’ll build routes underneath carpets, tiles, and hardwood floors to sneak inside homes.
Subfloors are most susceptible to ant damage. Subfloors consist of layers of plywood that ants can easily chew through and enter homes.
How To Stop Sudden Appearance Of Ants In Your Home?
Now that you know how ants enter your home, it becomes quite straightforward to stop them from invading it.
Step#1 – Seal The Entry Points
Begin with sealing the entry points of ants in your home. And these entry points are cracks and gaps in your home’s walls, foundation, windowsills, floors, and doors.
Seal the gaps on holes of pass-through utility lines too.
If your home is old and the walls need repair, do it. It’s because damaged walls are easily penetrable by ants.
Use weather strips to close the gaps between the window panels and frames and doors and the floor.
Ants crawl through these gaps, so it’s essential to close them.
Most importantly, do not let cracks develop in your kitchen and bathroom walls and windows.
The kitchen and bathroom are the go-to places for ants to infest and build colonies.
Step#2 – Control The Dampness Inside And Outside Your Home
Ants are moisture bugs. They’ll chase sources of moisture and will nest around them.
And the sources of moisture are leaky pipes. These leaking pipes make your home damp.
Check for water leakages inside your home. The plumbing area underneath sinks in the kitchen and bathroom has water leakage problems.
Fix water leakages if you find any.
Other damp places in your home are your bathroom, laundry room, and basement. These are prime real estate for ants.
It’s because these places are damp, thanks to leaking pipes, and there are many bugs in these places for the ants to hunt.
So, keep these places clean and dry by fixing any water leakage issues.
Don’t ignore your yard. If your yard is damp, then ants will be there too. And from there they’ll enter your home.
So, fix the water leakage issue in your yard too. Ensure that there are no waterholes in your yard.
Waterholes and old tires with stagnant water are a source of mosquitoes.
Plus, do not let trash bins in your yard store decaying food and organic waste for days. Keep discarding them often.
Else, they’ll attract not just ants but also flies and roaches.
Step #3 – Keep Your Yard Clean
A clean yard is critical for an ant and pest-free home. Apart from keeping your yard dry by fixing water leakages, you must keep it clean too.
Get rid of any foliage, rotting wood, and trash in your yard. If the mulch bed needs replacement, change it with mulch that repels bugs.
These things attract bugs that ants eat. And termites are one of them.
So, if these organic wastes are in your yard, there will be an entire food chain of bugs.
And many of them will invade your home too.
Check for ants’ nests in your yard. They’ll be like little mud mounds in your yard and grass lawn.
Red fire ants’ nests are mud mounds without a crater or opening on the tip.
Other species of ants, like the carpenter ants’ mud mounds, have a crater at the tip. They use it to enter and exit the colony.
Pour boiling water into these mud mounds to destroy the ants’ nests in your yard and kill the ants living there.
Caution: Red fire ants are aggressive and severely bite and sting to defend their nests. So, wear protective clothing while pouring boiling water into their nests.
Step#4 – Use Ant Granules Around Your Home’s Perimeter
Ant granules work wonders when it comes to stopping ants from entering your home. Ant granules also help in killing ants.
All you’ve to do is dig a ditch an inch and a half deep around the perimeter of your home’s foundation.
Scatter the ant granules in the ditch around your home and pour water into the ant granules. You don’t need to pour water into some brands of ant granules.
These ant granules sink into the soil and kill ants hiding underneath the layer. They are also ant repellents that stop ants from sneaking inside your home.
Step#5 – Trim Any Overgrown Bushes And Chop Tree Branches Touching Your Home’s Roof
Another overlooked step many homeowners fail to take is to trim overgrown bushes and shrubs around your home’s perimeter.
Ants use bushes and plants to crawl up to your windows and sneak inside your home through the cracks.
The same is the case with the tree branches touching the roofs and eaves of your home.
Ants in trees use these branches to crawl to the roofs and gutters. Then they use the cracks in these places to invade homes.
Step#6 – Keep Your Home, Especially Your Kitchen, Clean
And finally, to deter ants from entering is to keep your home and kitchen clean.
Food spillovers, trash bins with food wastes, a poorly managed food pantry, dirty kitchen countertops, and kitchen cabinets attract ants.
Ants feed on sugar like syrups, jams, jelly, sweets, and protein-rich foods.
And if they’re lying around in your kitchen without proper storage, then your kitchen will be a haven for ants.
So, besides keeping your kitchen clean, store your food correctly. Ants can pick up the smell of stored food from afar and infest your kitchen pantry and cabinets.
So store your dry foods, including pet foods, in robust airtight jars and containers.
Do not leave plates and utensils stained with food waste in your kitchen sink overnight. That attracts ants and roaches.
Most of the time, ants invade the kitchen first. And from there, they spread to other areas of your home like your bedroom and bathroom.
As a preventive step to keep ants away from your kitchen and home, use peppermint spray in your kitchen and other home rooms.
Ants and bugs hate the strong smell of peppermint, which keeps them away.
It may seem that ants suddenly appear in homes, but the truth is that the infestation takes time to develop.
The six factors that play a role in sightings of ants everywhere in the house suddenly are –
- Ants are out of hibernation
- Your yard or garden has an ant infestation
- Ants discovered a food source in your home and kitchen
- The weather outdoors is too inclement for ants
- Ants spillover from your neighbors
- Poor garbage disposal system in your home
Ants enter homes through various channels. And one of the most common entry points is the cracks on your home’s walls, windows, and doors.
This guide revealed the six steps you can use to stop ants from entering your home.
Follow those six steps, preferably in late winter or early spring to ward off a sudden ant infestation in your home.
Dr. Thomas Orbert, the Microbial Maestro, dances with the tiniest of creatures as an entomologist extraordinaire! With a PhD in entomology, his passion lies in unraveling the secret symphonies of insect-microbe interactions. From minuscule marvels to captivating complexities, Dr. Orbert unveils the hidden world of bugs, igniting curiosity one buzz at a time!