If you’re having trouble with ants coming into your home but you know there’s no food for them to eat, you’re likely wondering why they’re there. Ants come inside for more than just food, the main reasons being to find shelter, to get moisture, and to escape bad weather.
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
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Here are the three main reasons ants inundate your home even when there’s no food there.
Everyone needs shelter and a place to stay, and ants are no exception. If it’s unusually cold or hot outside or their nest has been destroyed, ants will come inside just to find a place to live.
If your house tends to stay clean, ants know this and will come inside to create a brand-new home. Swarmers – ants whose sole job is to mate with other ants and create new colonies in other locations – especially love coming inside of people’s homes.
Ants love moisture and tend to drink a lot of water. If your home stays humid most of the time, ants will come in looking for various ways to enjoy that moisture and to find something to drink.
If it’s hot and dry outside, these ants creep inside to find moisture and water to drink. There is even an ant called a moisture ant that loves homes that are especially humid.
While the number-one reason for ants to invade a home is to get food, they also do it to escape bad weather. This means that if it’s extra hot and dry, rainy, snowy, or even too cold and wet, ants may come inside to escape these conditions.
If the weather isn’t pleasant outside, there’s an increased chance they’ll come inside to get away from it.
There are numerous ways to get rid of ants in your home, but here are some of the most effective ways that are also all-natural:
1. Use Natural Cleaning Sprays
If you combine water and vinegar or water and certain essential oils, then spray in the location where the ants are found, it does a good job of killing the ants. This worms well for small numbers of ants.
Try essential oils such as tea tree and peppermint for the best results.
When you combine borax, which is toxic, with something ants like to eat, they’ll eat it and then die.
Try mixing it with honey, syrup, peanut butter, Nutella, or something similar. Mix 3/4 teaspoon of borax with 1/4 cup of the food source and set it in a location where ants congregate.
3. Use Cotton Balls Soaked in Essential Oils
If you saturate cotton balls with certain essential oils and place them near any holes, your baseboards, and behind your kitchen appliances, ants won’t be able to dart away soon enough.
Essential oils that seem to work especially well include eucalyptus, lemon, and any other type of citrus oil.
3 Ways to Stop Ants Coming in Your Room
Ways to repel ants and stop them from coming into your home in the first place include:
1. Clean up Food Messes
If you have even a tiny morsel of food in your kitchen or living room, ants will want to go inside and find it.
Make sure all food messes are cleaned up immediately and never let morsels of food fall on your furniture, counter tops, or anywhere else.
2. Make Sure Entry Points are Sealed
If you look for potential entry points and seal them up, ants simply won’t have a way to get inside of your home.
Seal up areas such as cracks around windows, door frames, and in your tiles; your baseboards; and even holes in your window screens.
Just like human food, ants are attracted to pet food, too. Seal up all of your pet food and keep it stashed away, make sure there are no pieces of it on the floor, and make sure it never falls on the ground outside of your home.
If ants are suddenly a problem when they weren’t a problem before this could be due to weather changes, a new entry has opened up so they can find their way in or they are looking for food.
Ants are tiny and can find their way into your house through the smallest of gaps. Ants were coming into my kitchen window daily to collect and carry food scraps outdoors.
If nothing else works, reach for a barrier or insect spray to deal with them once they have made it indoors.
How to Find the Source of Ants in your Room
Ants can travel up to 100 feet from their nests to find food, so anything within 100 feet of your home should be inspected.
Look for ant hills and nests, any warm or damp places, and exit areas in basements or crawl spaces. Once you find the ant nest, you’ll be able to get rid of it once and for all.
Will Ants Go Away if They Can Find Food?
Normally, if ants are looking for food and don’t find any, they’ll continue to search the rest of the home to see if there’s any food there.
They can wander for a long time looking for food, and you’ll likely see them in the meantime, which means you’ll have to get rid of them.
Like humans, ants tend to hate any type of extreme temperatures, including both extreme heat and extreme cold. Both extra-hot and extra-cold rooms are things ants try to avoid at all costs.
While ants mostly come into your home to look for food, they will occasionally sneak in for other reasons. Once you know what those reasons are, it’s a little easier to get rid of them.