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Why Do I Have Ants in My Kitchen?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

What are the tiny black ants in my kitchen?

Tiny black ants tend to show up in kitchens and bathrooms, trailing around and seemingly out of nowhere. If you see small black ants in your kitchen, don’t panic! These are the common ants that you’ll find indoors, referred to as “nuisance ants” or “odorous house ants.” The bad news is you have an ant infestation and need to eliminate it before populations increase. The good news is that nuisance ants don’t cause structural damage to your home or bore through wood. Like humans, they’re much more interested in food and beverages than anything else.

If you see large black ants in your kitchen, it’s likely that you are dealing with a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants have different biology and behavior than nuisance ants and if you think you have carpenter ants, read more by clicking here.

No matter what types of ants you're dealing with in your kitchen, our ant control experts provide reliable and speedy solutions. 

Ants on Kitchen Counter

Still unsure about what type of ants are in your home? Read our blog post about ant identification by clicking here.


Where do ants live in my house?

Contrary to what you see, ants don’t usually live indoors. They create colonies around your property, sending what are called “scout ants” to find water and food to take back to the colony. Have you ever wondered why sometimes you see one ant and other times you see hundreds? When you see a single ant, that’s the scout ant trying to find necessities and signal the colony to follow. They release a pheromone trail to alert the colony to follow them, which is why you sometimes see ants moving in a single line.

Small odorous house ants are typically found in bathrooms and kitchens but can appear just about anywhere. Their ability to scale walls and travel between the stories of your home allows them to forage in a wide radius. Do you see ants in another part of your home? They are also drawn to basements due to increased moisture levels that inherently exist. In reality, you can see small black ants anywhere within your home. There is no true way to seal up your home with complete accuracy against small ant invasions.


What attracts ants to my kitchen?

Tiny Kitchen Ants

Your kitchen is the most common place to find nuisance ants. They are attracted to resources such as food and water to keep the colony alive and growing. Inevitably, your family will end up dropping small crumbs after snacks and meals without knowing it. Unless you are hyper vigilant about cleaning and sweeping your floors, crumbs are bound to exist. Even if you use extreme care, keeping your kitchen floor clean, ants are also attracted to other food sources that you may not realize.

Pet food bowls are a perfect way for small ants and other pests to thrive in your kitchen. Throw away uneaten pet food or lift it away from the floor into a sealed container at the end of each day to avoid this scenario. Ants and other pests can easily find pet food in poorly sealed containers such as the large paper bags that they come in. Frequently dumping water from their bowl can deter ants even further. Be sure to also clean the area around the bowls since dogs and cats aren’t always the tidiest when it comes to eating and drinking, and they create crumbs and water droplets that attract ants.


Water is another element that attracts small house ants. Your kitchen counter, leaky pipes under your sink, in your dishwasher, or standing water can bring ants indoors.

Always use a lid on your trashcan, so ants do not have access to thrown away scraps and crumbs. Food that is out of sight could be out of mind, but food that’s stored in your cabinets and pantry that are not properly sealed could be another reason why ants are finding your kitchen desirable. By relocating loose food or easily penetrable containers such as cereal boxes, you will also be preventing pantry pests like Indian meal moths and saw-toothed grain beetles. Keeping an eye on easily accessible foods also means throwing away fruit left out on your counter that may be overly ripe. Remember, ants are attracted to sweets.


Why can’t I get rid of ants on my own?

Ants can be challenging to remove if you aren’t targeting the source. Without targeting the nest, you’ll only be killing the ants that you can visibly see. Ant colonies mostly exist outdoors, not indoors. The ants you are seeing are actively going after food and water to bring back to the colony. By making your home less desirable to ants, the colony is less likely to invade.

Not only are ants difficult to eliminate, but they are very abundant. Colonies of odorous house ants can grow into the thousands, and occur throughout your property. When they’re not in your home, odorous house ants live in the soil under rocks, in potted plants and within piles of wood. To make it even more complicated, their nests move from place to place, making it extremely difficult to fully eradicate the problem without professional pest control.


Does vinegar kill ants?

Spraying ants with vinegar will most likely kill them on contact. The problem with this is that you are only killing the ants that you see, not all of the ants that exist. Even if you sit up all night in your kitchen spraying every ant that crawls by, you still won’t stop the continued activity. Getting to the colony is the only way to get rid of your problem in the most accurate way. To learn more about DIY ant control, read our blog post by clicking here.

If you’re looking for ways to prevent odorous house ants on your own, follow these short tips provided by the National Pest Management Association.

  • To prevent odorous house ants, eliminate standing water. Pests such as odorous ants are attracted to moisture.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes odorous ants use these branches to get into the home.
  • Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of the foundation.
  • Ensure firewood and building materials are not stored next to the home because odorous house ants like to build nests in stacks of wood.


How does Cooper get rid of ants in my house?

One-Time Ant Control Plan

Get Rid of Ants in Kitchen

Our skilled service technicians will analyze the sources of your ant activity and treat the exterior of your home to create a protective barrier. Gel baiting may be applied indoors if the technician determines that additional treatments are necessary for effective ant control.

1-2 days after treatment, you can expect to see a 50% reduction in ant activity and 90-100% reduction in ant activity after 7-10 days. Our One-Time Ant Control Plan is 100% guaranteed for 90 days. If you have any further ant activity during the 90 days, we will come back to provide further service for free.

The One-Time Ant Control Plan is now available to purchase online! Click the button below to schedule service on the date that works best for you. No inspection needed.

Order Ant Control Service

Home Traditional Plan

The Home Traditional Service Plan is a substantial value for the homeowner that does not want to be bothered by crawling ants, insects, mice, and wasps. The Home Traditional Service Plan provides preventive pest and rodent control for your home, year round. As part of your plan, you will receive four services per year. Each year you will receive three exterior maintenance services (March – November) and one interior service (December – February). There are some exclusions in the Home Traditional Service Plan when compared to the Home Intensive Service Plan. The plan provides you with unlimited technician service calls if you are having issues with any of the covered pests.

Both Home Plans are now able for purchase online! Click the button below to schedule service with contactless online checkout.

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Home Intensive Plan

The Home Intensive Service Plan is designed to provide preventive pest and rodent control for your home, year round. This is our most popular service for homeowners. The service plan includes four preventive services per year. Each service is unique and will be accompanied by a detailed 30-point inspection report with detailed findings as well as providing you with important recommendations for your home. Each year you will receive three exterior maintenance services (March – November) and one interior service (December – February). The winter service will focus on the interior of the structure and is geared towards rodents and other pests that may live within the structure. The plan provides you with unlimited technician service calls if you are having issues with any of the covered pests.


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