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Ants Head Indoors As Temps Heat Up

Last updated on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

(UNDATED) - The hot, dry weather is creating another unexpected problem for homeowners.

During the summer, it's not unusual for ants to make their way into your home. This year, they are making their way indoors at an urgent pace, even into homes with seemingly secure foundations.

Ants aren't invading homes to beat the heat. It's what the heat is doing to their food supply that's driving them indoors.

"Certainly, as food literally dries up for them out in the environment, they're going to be looking in more likely places," said Purdue Entomologist Dr. Tom Turpin.

He says good news is, if ants are bugging you, there is a way to evict the hungry pests.

"Well, the only way to truly get rid of ants is to wipe out their nests, to get rid of the breeding population," Turpin said.

He says ant baits work best, since the insecticide is then carried back to the nests.

"If they're actually invading from outside, then you can put down insecticide barrier around the base of the house to keep them from getting into the house," Turpin said.

The trick is knowing the right kind of bait to buy, which all depends on whether an ant colony is looking for sugar or a protein. When in doubt, you may want to call the pros in.

There are also plenty of natural remedies for ants out there. Some swear by mint, cinnamon, pepper and vinegar. Dr. Turpin says keeping crumbs cleaned up and all food in sealed containers will help, but once ants appear, you have to eliminate them at the source to fix the problem.

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