The long, cold winter months can be pretty grim, but they do have a silver lining. The vast majority of insects and other creepy crawlies become dormant or die off once the mercury drops, and you are far less likely to find insect pests in your home until spring and summer come back around.
Having said that, it can be pretty alarming to walk into your kitchen in the dead of winter, only to find ants crawling all over your fittings. If ants feel brave enough to infest your kitchen during winter, it almost certainly signifies a serious problem, a professional pest control service must deal with that.
Why Is Finding Ants In Your Kitchen In Winter So Bad?
Ants store huge amounts of food in their underground colonies. During the winter months, most ants will retreat underground, living off their stored food until they can emerge safely next year. However, ants are responsive to their immediate environment, and if the area around an ant colony is warm and rich in food sources, they can stay active throughout the year.
Finding active ants in your kitchen during winter means that their colony is in a location warm enough to support ongoing activity. This can mean only one thing — the ants are coming from inside the house!
An ant colony that is actually inside your home can be much more difficult to control than ants invading your kitchen from the outdoors. Blocking access routes into your kitchen won't solve the issue. Ants can build their colonies inside wall cavities, in gaps beneath floorboards, and even inside the ceilings of multi-story homes.
If the ants in your kitchen are flying ants or carpenter ants, the problem can be even more serious. Carpenter ants burrow into wooden structures to build their colonies, and can severely damage structural timbers, floorboards, and other wooden parts of your home. Finding flying ants means the colony in your home is ready to breed, potentially multiplying the ants inside your home exponentially.
How Should You Deal With Winter Kitchen Ants?
If you find ants in your kitchen this winter, you should act quickly to deny them access to food. Throw away any contaminated food in your pantry and cupboards, and seal uncontaminated foods in airtight containers made from glass, plastic, or metal. Clean up any spills or crumbs. If you have pets, move their food bowls outdoors if possible, or keep the bowls clean between mealtimes.
Once you have stopped the ants from feeding, you can try to exterminate the visible ants yourself using insecticidal sprays and powders. However, killing these ants will only weaken the colony, and will not destroy it. Until you find and destroy the queen(s) inside the ant colony, they will continue to breed.
Finding the colony yourself can be very difficult, and you may end up tearing up your floorboards and ripping down drywall unnecessarily. To find and destroy the ant colony at its source, you should call in a professional pest control service that specializes in ant extermination. These services can expertly track the ants in your kitchen to find the colony inside your home, wherever it may be.
Once the colony has been located, your chosen service can quickly and thoroughly exterminate it, using powerful commercial-grade insecticides you won't find in your local hardware store. They can also advise you on any structural damage the ants may have caused. If they find any spots where ants may build colonies in the future, these spaces can be blocked off with long-lasting insecticidal foam fillers.
Contact pest control services to learn more.