Pittsburgh’s Step-By-Step Ant Prevention Guide

two odorous house ants on a plantSome pests are so small and common, keeping them out of your property is a nearly impossible task. There are so many different kinds of ants out there and if you don’t know what you’re doing or what to look for, prevention is a tall order.

What Kind Of Ant Is It?

Ants are placed into two, broad categories of pest: the nuisance kind that is mostly harmless, and the dangerous kind that pose health concerns or cause significant damage. Unfortunately, many varieties of ants from both groups look a lot alike, and only professionals are trained in how to identify an individual species.

In the interest of knowing what’s out there, however, here are some common local ants:

Pavement Ant
These common, small, and black ants are often seen toiling in soil or crawling between the cracks in the sidewalk. They will invade properties, however, as they are foragers just like most ant species.

Odorous House Ant
These look similar to other black ants but they have a distinguishing feature -- they stink. Whether they’re stepped on or frightened by potential predators, odorous ants give off a sweet but unpleasant smell.

Carpenter Ant
These are some of the most common ants in Pittsburgh and they are not mere nuisances like the others on this list. Carpenter ants are dual threats because they bore through household woods causing severe damage but they don’t eat wood. That means they contaminate food, too.

Attraction Prevention

There are two kinds of ant prevention you need to keep up on: the kind that reduces attractants, and the kind that fortifies your property against invasions. We’re going to focus on the first kind for the moment.

Here are the things you can do to make your property less attractive to ants:

  • Food Storage: Ants can chew through flimsy packaging or attack stored foods directly if they are accessible. Not leaving food out and keeping it in sturdy containers will reduce ants’ ability to contaminate your food and don’t leave pet food out, either.
  • Trash Storage: Ants will also forage inside of trash cans for food, so trash storage is also important. Keep garbage in secure containers in your kitchen and outside of your home.
  • Deep Cleaning: Proper storage won’t do anything to keep ants out if food traces or crumbs can be found in the hard-to-reach corners of your home. Regularly deep clean, especially under heavy appliances.

Keeping Ants Out

Now for the kind of prevention that’s a little less routine - the stuff you need to do in order to keep ants and other pests from getting inside of structures.

  • Crack Sealing: Ants can fit through spaces that seem too small to people but are actually wide-open access points for them. Check for and fix any that you find around exterior walls.
  • Landscaping: Soil contact and overgrown vegetation provide all kinds of pests with reasons to get closer to your structures, including ants. Keep flower beds at least a foot away from walls and keep your lawn and decorative plants trimmed.
  • Treatments: The surest way to keep pests from invading is with seasonal treatments to your lawn and exterior. Seek out more information from your local pest experts.

Professional Control From Pestmaster® Services

With such tiny invaders, it can be incredibly difficult to truly keep ants away. That’s why, instead of trying to do all of these steps on your own, you should enlist the help of local professionals. At Pestmaster® Services, our friendly staff can give you more tips on how to reduce attractants and limit access points for ants and a range of other invasive pests. We can make sure you’re tackling it all correctly during a routine inspection of your property. We’ll look for problem areas and signs of pest activity, working with your time and budget to eliminate or prevent future infestations. If ants are already thriving on your property, we’ll get rid of them quickly and make sure they never come back. To truly keep ants out of your Pittsburgh property, turn to Pestmaster® Services.