How To Solve Your Ant Problem

Active Carpenter Ants nest above a garage door in Lakewood, OH.

Home Ant Control Tips For Lakewood, OH

Carpenter Ants and Odorous House Ants are always a nuisance. These are two separate ant species that love our older homes in the area. If you choose to do your own home pest control, the first thing is to correctly identify what ant you are dealing with. Not many people do this. Proper pest identification is key. It provides you with many helpful control tips. 

For Example:

  • Carpenter ants burrow into water damaged wood to make their nests.
  • A carpenter ant's diet consists mainly of proteins. But it changes during different parts of the year.
  • An active carpenter ant satellite colony may not die off in winter if it is in the outer portion of your home. If it is just the right temperature in an outside wall, the colony will go dormant and awake in early spring.
  • Odorous house ants mainly colonize under concrete, tile, rocks, and inside foundation blocks or wall voids.
  • The diet of odorous house ants consists mainly of carbohydrates. They are drawn to high moisture areas.
  • Odorous house ants can live year round inside. They often have multiple nests within a building.

In order to control ants, do not rely strictly on the blind application of chemical control products. Think back to what you learned in school. What do all living things need to survive? Food, water and shelter. By identifying your ant species, you know what kind of shelter they seek. And you know their diet. 

Manipulate The Environment

Manipulate their food source:

Eliminate whatever it is that ants are feeding on. Replace their food source with an appropriate bait. An ant's diet can change throughout the season. Match the bait to their diet. It may take some trial and error to find an effective bait. Proper bait placement is essential. Once ants find a food source they form a pheremone trail to it. If you have ants actively foraging inside your home, that is a good thing. Perfect time to apply bait trailing techniques! Slyly dab bait on their trail and voila! Goodbye ants. Most store bought insecticides act mainly as repellents. These sprays do not work in conjunction with bait trailing techniques. 

Manipulate their shelter:

  • Carpenter ants become very active at dusk. This is a perfect time to search for the colony. Take your flashlight and start looking for carpenter ants trailing.
  • Look around tree trunks. 
  • Look for them crawling up your foundation.
  • Look for them in your garage.
  • Look anywhere you may find water damaged wood.
  • Got firewood? 

For carpenter ants, the best control is to replace the damaged wood. Alternatively, it can be treated directly with the proper ant control product. 

Odorous house ants can have multiple colonies within your home. Try baiting first. Spray only if you can spray a nest completely. Most of the time odorous house ants come out of tiny cracks in the kitchen counters or in tile floor. This is when most people bust out the window cleaning spray. Just think how effective spraying these ant phemone trails are. When there is a colony of thousands; spraying a few foraging ants has very little effect. Doing so may actually agitate the colony so much that the colony splits. This is called budding. Budding is common with odorous house ants. 

Reduce nesting sites for odorous house ants:

  • Paint basement walls.
  • Tuckpoint masonry joints.
  • Remove old wood basement doors and windows.
  • Caulk around windows, doors, and cabinets.
  • Seal space between baseboard and floor.
  • Fill patio stone joints with polymeric sand.
  • Tar the joint between your home's foundation and the driveway (if connected).
  • Flip decorative landscape stones. Find the nest. Often indoor ants are a result of a super ant colony outside. 

Be strategic in your ant control. Take a little time to follow the ant trails. See where it takes you. Learn more about controlling ants at

Shawn Payne

Shawn Payne resides in Lakewood, OH with his two daughters and his wife. He runs the local pest control company, Lakewood Exterminating. 

Shawn attended Ohio State University where he earned dual degrees in the horticulture field. While at the institute he tutored entomology and botany. He also studied abroad in the United Kingdom.

Shawn has been a Licensed Pesticide Applicator since 2005 when he began working at the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse in Cleveland, OH. After leaving the city, he ran the pest control, wildlife trapping and weed control at NASA Glenn Research Center for nearly a decade.

Now Shawn concentrates his efforts on helping the community with their pest problems with Lakewood Exterminating. He loves to share his knowledge of plants and pests with others. 

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Volume 12, Issue 15, Posted 4:38 PM, 07.19.2016