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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Fornal

Why Do I Have Ants in My Kitchen?

Why Ants?

Nobody wants to wake up in the morning, take that first sip of coffee and then notice a tiny moving trail crossing the kitchen counter!

Ants! Most homeowners have had to deal with these numerous “nuisance ants” at some point. Perhaps you’ve tried commercial sprays or ant traps to rid your kitchen of these relentless invaders, only to have them return a few weeks later? Learning what might be attracting them to your home and how to deter them may be the key to getting rid of them for good.

Crumbs left behind can attract ants
Crumbs left behind can attract ants

What’s attracting ants to my kitchen?

The answer is a simple one. It’s the same thing attracting us-food and drink!

Ants can easily sniff out potential food sources by detecting odors from food sources. Some ants may be searching for water as well.

Some common sources include:

  • Crumbs on/under the kitchen table

  • Spilled food or drinks (sugary substances, grains, meat, grease)

  • Dirty plates stacked in the sink or left on the counter

  • Poorly sealed food containers

  • Dripping faucets or leaky pipes

  • Dishwashers that don’t drain correctly or completely

  • Access to garbage cans​ and/or garbage residue

  • Pet food bowls

Odorous House Ant
Odorous House Ant

What type of ant am I dealing with?

In Wisconsin, the most common types of ants that may be invading your kitchen are pavement ants and odorous house ants.

Fun Fact: Recently squished odorous house ants have an odor reminiscent of coconut, although some say rotting coconut or even blue cheese.

If you are seeing large black ants in your kitchen, it’s likely that you are dealing with a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants have different biology and behavior than the other ants mentioned.

Why do these ants keep coming back?

Contrary to what you are seeing, ants don’t usually live indoors. They create colonies around your property and they send out worker ants to find food and water to take back to the colony.

Fun Fact: When you see a line of ants it’s because ants release a pheromone trail to alert the colony to follow them.

Making your home less desirable to ants will make the colony is less likely to invade.

How do I get rid of these tiny nuisances’?

Many homeowners attempt to get rid of ants with DIY treatments such as poison, baits, and traps they can be found at the store, but these often fail to provide long-term protection. The best way to get rid of ants for the long-term is to let a professional handle it. With professional knowledge, equipment and treatment resolutions, the pest specialists at Safeway Pest Management can help you eradicate ant activity in your home for good.

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