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Why Ants Invade Your Home in the Summer and How to Stop Them

As the summer heat sets in, many homeowners find themselves dealing with an unwelcome invasion: ants. These tiny pests become more active during the warmer months, seeking food, water, and shelter inside our homes. Understanding why ants are drawn to our living spaces in the summer and taking proactive steps to prevent their entry can save you from the frustration and hassle of an infestation.

Why Ants Invade Your Home in the Summer

Warm Temperatures

  • Cold-Blooded Nature: Ants are ectothermic, meaning their body temperature is regulated by the external environment. In warmer temperatures, ants become more active and their metabolic rate increases, leading them to seek out food and water more aggressively.
  • Optimal Breeding Conditions: Warm weather provides the ideal conditions for ants to reproduce. Queen ants lay more eggs in the summer, leading to a rapid increase in colony size and the need for more food and resources.

Increased Food Sources

  • Outdoor Activities: Summer is a season for barbecues, picnics, and outdoor gatherings. These events often lead to food being left out or spilled, providing a plentiful and easily accessible food source for ants.
  • Sweet Foods and Drinks: Ants are particularly attracted to sugary substances. Summer treats like ice cream, soda, and fruit can attract ants if not properly managed.
  • Pet Food: Pets may eat outdoors more frequently in the summer, and any leftover pet food can attract ants.

Dry Conditions

  • Water Scarcity: As temperatures rise, natural water sources can evaporate or dry up, forcing ants to search for water inside homes. They are often drawn to kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas with moisture.
  • Hydration Needs: Just like humans, ants need water to survive. In dry conditions, even small amounts of moisture in sinks, bathtubs, and plants can attract them.

Breeding Season

  • Colony Expansion: Summer is the peak breeding season for ants. Queen ants are actively laying eggs, and the colony expands rapidly. More worker ants are sent out to forage for food to support the growing colony.
  • New Colonies: During the summer, some ant species produce winged reproductive ants (alates) that leave the nest to start new colonies. This can lead to temporary swarms of flying ants in and around homes.

Access Points

  • Structural Changes: Heat can cause building materials to expand, creating small cracks and gaps in the foundation, walls, windows, and doors. These tiny openings can serve as entry points for ants.
  • Outdoor Nest Proximity: Ant colonies located near homes can easily send foragers through these gaps into houses in search of food and water.

Other Factors

  • Indoor Plants: Houseplants, especially those that require frequent watering, can provide both food and water for ants.
  • Light Sources: Some ant species are attracted to light. Nighttime lighting, both inside and outside the home, can attract ants.

Understanding these reasons helps in implementing effective prevention and control measures. By addressing these factors, homeowners can reduce the likelihood of ant invasions during the summer.

How to Stop Ants from Invading Your Home

Maintain Cleanliness


  • Countertops: Clean countertops thoroughly after preparing meals. Use a disinfectant spray to eliminate food residue and crumbs. Pay special attention to corners and under appliances where food particles can accumulate.
  • Floors: Sweep and mop the kitchen floor daily. Crumbs and spills can attract ants quickly, so ensure the area around the dining table and kitchen is spotless.
  • Food Storage: Store all food items, including cereals, snacks, and pet food, in airtight containers. This prevents ants from accessing food sources.
  • Trash Management: Use trash cans with tight-fitting lids and empty them regularly. Clean the inside of the bins to remove any food residue or odors that might attract ants.
  • Dishwashing: Wash dishes immediately after use or at least rinse them thoroughly. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink can attract ants overnight.
  • Appliance Maintenance: Regularly clean behind and under appliances like the refrigerator, stove, and microwave to remove any hidden food particles.

Dining Areas:

  • Table Cleaning: After each meal, wipe down the dining table with a disinfectant cleaner to remove any food particles.
  • Floor Cleaning: Sweep and mop the dining area floor regularly, especially under the table where crumbs can accumulate.
  • High Chairs: Clean high chairs after every use to remove food particles and spills.

Living Areas:

  • Snack Management: Limit eating to specific areas to make cleaning easier and reduce the spread of crumbs throughout the house.
  • Vacuuming: Vacuum carpets, rugs, and furniture regularly, focusing on areas where food might be consumed.
  • Furniture Cleaning: Check and clean under and behind furniture for any dropped food items that could attract ants.


  • Moisture Control: Keep bathrooms dry by wiping down sinks, bathtubs, and shower stalls after use. Fix any leaky faucets or pipes promptly.
  • Product Storage: Store personal care products in closed cabinets to avoid attracting ants with sweet-smelling lotions and soaps.

Pet Areas:

  • Food Storage: Store pet food in airtight containers. Feed pets at specific times rather than leaving food out all day.
  • Feeding Area Cleaning: Clean pet feeding areas after each meal, removing any spilled food or water.

Eliminate Water Sources

  • Fix Leaks: Regularly check for and repair leaky faucets, pipes, and appliances. Even minor leaks can provide enough moisture to attract ants.
  • Dry Surfaces: Wipe down sinks, bathtubs, and showers after use. Ensure that there is no standing water left in these areas.
  • Dehumidifiers: Use dehumidifiers in damp areas like basements to reduce moisture levels.
  • Water Plants Sparingly: Avoid overwatering indoor plants, as excess water can attract ants. Use trays to catch any excess water.

Seal Entry Points

  • Inspect Home: Regularly inspect your home for cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and the foundation. Pay special attention to areas where pipes and wires enter the home.
  • Use Caulk: Seal any cracks and gaps with silicone caulk or weatherstripping to prevent ants from entering.
  • Door Sweeps: Install door sweeps on exterior doors to eliminate gaps at the bottom where ants can enter.
  • Window Screens: Ensure all windows have intact screens to keep ants out while allowing for ventilation.

Use Natural Deterrents

  • Vinegar: Wipe down surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and water. The strong smell of vinegar can deter ants.
  • Lemon Juice: Spray lemon juice around entry points and common ant trails. The acidic nature of lemon juice disrupts the ants’ scent trails.
  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle cinnamon around entry points and areas where ants are commonly seen. The strong smell acts as a natural repellent.
  • Peppermint Oil: Use a spray bottle to apply a mixture of water and peppermint oil around entry points. The strong scent of peppermint repels ants.

Set Up Ant Baits

  • Commercial Ant Baits: Place ant bait stations in areas where ants are commonly seen. The foraging ants will carry the bait back to the colony, effectively eliminating it.
  • DIY Ant Baits: Make homemade ant baits using boric acid and a sweet substance like sugar or honey. Place these baits in areas where ants are active.

Keep Outdoor Areas Tidy

  • Trim Vegetation: Regularly trim bushes, trees, and shrubs away from your home to prevent ants from using them as bridges to enter your home.
  • Mulch and Firewood: Keep mulch and firewood piles away from the foundation of your home, as they can provide nesting sites for ants.
  • Remove Standing Water: Eliminate any sources of standing water around your home, such as puddles, birdbaths, or clogged gutters.
  • Secure Garbage Bins: Keep outdoor garbage bins tightly sealed and clean them regularly to remove food residues.

Consult Professional Pest Control

  • Assessment: A professional pest control service can assess the extent of the ant infestation and identify specific entry points and nesting sites.
  • Treatment: Professionals can apply more effective and targeted treatments, such as baiting systems, sprays, and barriers.
  • Long-Term Solutions: Pest control experts can provide long-term solutions and advice on preventing future infestations, including structural repairs and landscaping modifications.

Feel free to reach out to us if you notice ants in or around your home for a free quote.

Contact Our Team Today!