Have you ever noticed ants crawling on your kitchen counter top, along the edges of your bathroom, or boldly across your living room floor and wondered why it’s in your house instead of happily living in the outdoors where it belongs? This ant very well could be by itself and lost, but more often than not one ant is a sign of a larger problem. So what attracts ants to your house?
What Are Ants Attracted To?
The most likely answer is food. If you’ve ever had a picnic or barbecue outside, it’s almost a guarantee ants have crashed your party and gotten away with a little of your food. If you have food in your house that’s easy for them to access they’ll not only be crashing your party but now moving in to your house as well! The solution to get rid of bugs in your house is simple. Keeping a clean kitchen is the key. Leaving dirty dishes, spills on your counters, or messes around the kitchen turns it into a buffet for ants.
You also need to keep food away from the ants. Ants can smell food not in containers or fridge, so make sure everything is not just sitting out. Ants love sweet foods in particular, so make securing your sugar, honey, syrup, and similar foods is the priority. Also, what’s in your garbage can might be disgusting to you but to ants it’s as tasty as anything else, so take your trash out regularly.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the less obvious ways you may be inviting ants into your house.
Are Ants Attracted To Water?
Ants need water to survive and build their colonies. That being said, they are better suited than many animals to survive without pooled water. They can get a lot of what they need from their foods.
A lot of ant infestations happen during the summer. The ants are less bothered by the heat, it’s more of an issue with the summer droughts! As the outdoors dries up, the plentiful water flowing in your house becomes more and more attractive. A Stanford study confirmed that household ant infestations are directly tied to the weather.
The bathroom is the main place you’ll see ants because of water. Check under your sink where they could be building a colony. Double check your faucets, sinks, and tubs for any leaks in both your bathrooms and kitchen. Make sure you clean up any standing pools of water if you splash water around bathroom because this is what attracts ants!
Are Ants Attracted To Urine?
This is a strange twist to the question of whether ants are attracted to water! Water itself is only particularly attractive during times of drought, but urine is a different story.
If you are a Type 1 diabetic this applies to you even more. Type 1 diabetics have issues taking sugar into their cells from the bloodstream so the sugar ends up staying there in the blood. This can damage the body over time. The kidney is in charge of taking the sugar out of urine, so if they aren’t working properly some sugar could still be left. This makes it practically sugar water as far as the ants are concerned.
Are Ants Attracted To Artificial Sweeteners?
We’ve already gone over how ants love sweet things like sugar. They need carbohydrates in their diets just like us and sweet foods are what they love for this. Artificial sweeteners may taste the same to us, but the whole point is that the don’t have the carbs that real sugar does!
What this means is that artificial sweeteners aren’t what attracts ants. Because of this some people mistakenly started thinking that artificial sweeteners are actually ant poisons. Not only are they indifferent to the sweetener, it doesn’t even affect them!
Are Ants Attracted To Salt?
Ants don’t like artificial sweetener so it might come as a surprise that they actually are attracted to salt! It depends how far they are from the ocean (saltwater) and on their diet, but if they are lacking salt they can even want it more than sugar. This means you should make sure you keep your salt secured away and if you spill any on the table clean it up!
Are Ants Attracted To Light?
In general ants don’t seem to be attracted to light. There’s no reason they’d really care about it, and some types are even completely blind. They’re much more concerned about their food and shelter
The one exception is if flying ants are attracted to light. They seem to swarm around lights especially while they’re looking for a mate. It may be a similar principle to why bugs are attracted to light.
Stop Attracting Ants To Your Home
It’s great if you can eliminate what ants would like from inside your house. What’s even better is preventative measures to keep them from making it inside in the first place! This means making windows and doors are sealed completely using weather stripping.
Once they make it inside the walls are often a convenient place for them to safely build colonies where you’ll never find them. You should be sure to seal up any cracks you might have in floors and walls. Ants can obviously fit themselves through the smallest of openings.
On the outside of your house, the ants can be using plants and bushes as bridges to your house. Just make sure you keep them trimmed back so they’re not touching the side of the house.
You should now have a pretty good strategy to what attracts ants. A combination of preventing ants from getting in your home and locking down anything they could enjoy inside can often be enough to prevent infestations without anything else!