Why Do Ants and Rats Make Themselves at Home Indoors?
Dealing with an invasion of pests in your home can be incredibly stressful. Insects and rodents spread disease, damage property, eat food, and are otherwise a nuisance. Two of the most common home pests are ants and rats, who can invade in large numbers, making your house feel less like a home and more like a pest hotel.
So how do you keep ants and rats from coming inside? By understanding what attracts them in the first place and taking steps to stop their entry.
Some of the most difficult insects to control, ants live in colonies of hundreds or even thousands of members. Ants build large nests in a variety of locations, depending on the species, but it is not uncommon for ants to build a colony indoors.
These pesky insects come inside for a number of reasons, including:
They need food to feed the colony
They are seeking shelter from rain or other weather
They have found a reliable source of food and water
As with any pest, preventing an infestation before it starts is paramount. Because ants are attracted to areas where they can access food or water, kitchens and bathrooms are the most vulnerable areas in your home. Blocking entrance points and preventing access to the food and water they crave are the best things you can do to keep ants out.
These suggestions can help stop ants from invading:
- • Clean up all food spills on floors, counters, and cupboards
- • Rinse juice and soda containers before putting in the trash
- • Empty garbage cans regularly
- • Address leaking faucets immediately
- • Discard overripe fruit, as it attracts ants
- • Seal pet food and wash pet bowls regularly
- • Watch for shallow, standing water in sinks or bathtubs
In addition to keeping potential food and water sources from ants, take steps to block them from entering your home in the first place. Seal any cracks or weak points on the outside of your house with caulk to keep them from getting inside that way.
In addition, you might be surprised how often ants walk into your home through open windows or doors. When it’s hot outside, keeping cool with the windows and doors open is so appealing, but make sure to protect yourself from bugs by using screens. Regularly check your screens to make sure that there are no tears or holes that ants can use to sneak inside.
Rats are some of the most pervasive critters on earth, with populations in nearly every corner of the earth. Because of incredibly prolific breeding cycles, a single female rat can give birth to as many as 2,000 babies within the space of a year, which is why experts recommend nipping a rat infestation in the bud.
Rats invade your home because anywhere that is comfortable for humans is comfortable for them, especially when the weather is bad. Rain, extreme heat, and wind drive rats inside just like humans because they are searching for shelter and food.
KEEPING RATS OUT OF YOUR HOME
Here are some tips for things you can do around the house to keep rats out:
- • Seal outside holes with wire mesh or steel wool and caulk
- • Ensure weather stripping around doors and windows are intact
- • Clean any food spills and keep food containers closed
- • Get a cat (researchers have found that cats hunt for sport, not just food, and a good mouser can help with a lot of pests besides rats)
- • Use rodent-proof trash receptacles both inside and outside
An important thing to remember is that sometimes rats get into your house no matter how meticulously you try to keep them out. They are incredibly intelligent and curious scavengers, and if they are determined, they will find a way.
WHEN AN INFESTATION OCCURS
Sometimes, even the best precautionary measures don’t work, and you may find yourself with ants or rats in your home. The best thing to do is to call in a pest management professional to inspect the structure inside and out to find possible entry points, locate nests, and give advice on preventing future infestations. A professional has an understanding of pests, so he can recommend the best strategy for getting rid of your unwanted guests for good.
Experts recommend that once your pests are gone, you should schedule regular inspections from a pest management company. Having an expert come to your home periodically is the best way to prevent pests from taking hold. A pest management professional can look for signs and make suggestions for ways you can stop insects or rodents entering your home.
Oliver Exterminating in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic has been the pest control expert since 1956. As the largest pest control company in Puerto Rico (and one of the biggest in Dominican Republic) we have learned the best way to deal with the pests that live here in the fast and unobtrusive way that our customers love.