Ants in the home are annoying, but did you know certain types of ants can also cause structural damage? Ant infestation is one of the most commonly reported pest problems. Ant colonies can infest your walls and some ants can nest and burrow inside wood. Here are some ways to prevent ants from getting in your home and what to do if you find them.

Seal Entry Points

Caulk and weatherstrip around doors and windows to block off access to your home. This line of defense is important in the prevention of all bugs and rodents, but especially for ants because they often send out scouts to search for shelter, food, and water. If they can’t get into your home they’ll likely move on.

Clean Clean Clean

This is especially important if you have children and pets. If food or drink is spilled, try to clean up as soon as possible. Vacuum and mop regularly, and don’t leave dog food out all day, just at feeding times. Try to keep the area around pet’s food and water clean and dry. Also, clean the area around your trash can regularly and take the trash out regularly.

Store Pantry Items Correctly

Keep pantry items stored in airtight containers. If a package is opened, put the contents in an airtight container or use clips to seal open bags. This will not only keep your food from getting stale as quickly, but it will also keep ants from trying to take what’s yours.

Recycle Correctly

If you recycle (yay you!), be sure to rinse items before placing them in your recycling bin. Leaving even a little bit of food or drink at the bottom of your recyclables can attracts ants.

Outdoor Tasks

It might sound odd because you’re trying to keep bugs from getting inside but keeping up with outside chores helps with pest prevention more than you’d think! Keeping your gutters, porches, and the perimeter of your home clear of debris will help keep ants from getting access into your home. Yard debris is attractive for pests, keeping your yard well maintained makes it less desirable for bugs. Trimming hedges and trees at least 18 inches away from your home will also help keep ants from getting inside because branches that touch you home act as bridges for bugs.

Many of these tips require consistent work, but over time they’ll turn into habits. You’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a clean home, tidy yard, and peace of mind knowing you’re doing what you can to keep pests out.

Want to see what bug you’d be? Take our What Bug Are You Quiz.