If you’ve picnicked this summer in one of Chicago’s 500 parks, your relaxing blanket lunch may have fallen victim to one of the picnic’s classic invaders: ANTS.

Usually when this happens, you can escape to the comfort of your own kitchen and enjoy your meal insect-free. Unless, of course, these pesky little invaders have also discovered your home.

Ants do seem to be everywhere this time of year. There are 129 known species in the state of Illinois, and most of them spend their winters hibernating. They wake up hungry in the spring and spend the warmer months storing enough fat to slumber through the cold months again.

Chicago just experienced its hottest day of the year, causing problems throughout the city that included buckled pavement and expansion of bridges. Hot weather can also be the root cause of insect problems in the summer. When food sources dry up outside, ants scurry indoors in hopes of scouting out good food and water sources. That’s usually when they find your kitchen.

When one ant finds food – anything as small as a sugar packet or a spot of grease – the entire army will follow that ant’s pheromone trail to the feast, and soon you’ll have a long trail of ants invading your entire kitchen.

The best way to prevent ants in the warm summer months is to be vigilant about kitchen clean-up. Wipe down your countertops and sweep your floor on a daily basis. Look through your cupboards and pantry for any open and accessible food sources, such as cereal, bags of sugar, and cocoa packets, and seal them up in airtight containers. Refrigerate any perishable food, and empty your trash each night.

Once ants have entered your home, control can be difficult. Colonies can be as large as 500,000, and the ants can live for as long as seven years. If you’re experiencing an invasion, it’s best to leave the job to the experts. Pointe Pest Control can help you find nest locations and entry points, then will eliminate your problem safely and effectively. We can’t guarantee an ant-free picnic in the park, but we can help you feel comfortable in your own kitchen again. Contact us today.