As summer months approach, ants will come out of hibernation to look for food. They'll basically consume any food scraps that they can get their hands on, which is why uneaten kibbles are often a target. If you notice these pesky little pests around your dog's bowl of kibbles, it's important that you act quickly in order to prevent a full-on infestation. Once these pests find a stable food source, they'll likely visit your home again and again. In addition to calling an exterminator, here are three tips you should consider.
Feed on a Schedule and Keep a Lid on Uneaten Foods
If you're used to leaving a bowl of kibbles out for your dog at all times, it's time to stop this habit. A bowl of kibbles on the floor is basically a huge buffet for ants. Instead, feed your dog on a set schedule and only leave the bowl of kibbles on the ground for a specific amount of time. If your dog does not finish all of the kibbles, seal their bowl and remove it from the floor so that it won't be accessible to the ants. If your dog is a messy eater, make sure you clean up any food that they have dropped on the floor as soon as possible.
Sanitize the Surrounding Area to Erase Trails and Scents
To direct other ants in the colony to the food source, ants leave a chemical trail of pheromones. These pheromones are basically like signs that tell other ants where to go. If you are already noticing ants hanging around your dog's bowl, it means that there's already a chemical trail that leads straight from the nest to your home. It's imperative that you eliminate these scents in order to erase the trail.
Cleaning up the kibbles every night or even moving your dog's bowl to a different part of the kitchen or room isn't going to stop an army of ants from travelling to your home. You'll need to sanitize the area by spraying a solution made of one part vinegar and three parts water until the ants stop visiting.
Use Specially Designed Food Bowls with Built-in Moats
Preventing the ants from getting to the kibbles is also a crucial step in preventing a full-on infestation. There are specially designed food bowls with built-in moats that are used to keep ants away. With these bowls, the dog food is placed within an inner bowl that is contained within an outer bowl that is filled with water. Your dog will be able to easily lean over the moat to get to their food, but the ants will not be able to cross.
Taking proactive measures to prevent the ants from being able to reach your dog's bowl will help keep the infestation under control; however, you should still contact an exterminator as soon as possible. There's a good chance that a nest is close to your home, and if you're not careful, this colony can grow quite quickly and become a huge problem.
For more information about pest control, talk to a professional such as All Seasons Pest Control.