Are you familiar with the horrible sight of your kettle getting covered in ants? Ants are one of the most annoying pests to see in your kitchen because they seem to multiply every day. But why are they attracted to your kettle, and how can you get rid of them?
Ants are attracted to your kettle because they need water, are seeking warmth, or are looking for food. They release a pheromone that helps other ants locate food and water sources. An ant could have identified your kettle as a source of water and released pheromones to let its colony know.
If you consistently find ants in your kettle every day and do not know what to do, you have come to the right place. Read on as we will be sharing three reasons ants are attracted to your kettle and what you can do about it. By the end of this article, we hope you will arm yourself with enough information to eliminate those pesky tiny ants.
Types Of Ants Most Attracted To Your Kettle
You might be surprised to learn that ants are intelligent creatures. They have quite an advanced way to communicate with each other. Many species use sounds to communicate, but ants use a unique smell to individuals and colonies. They can release chemicals, known as pheromones, to leave messages for other members of their colony.
These pheromone trails have different purposes, such as communicating potential danger, brooding the nest, or protecting the colony.
In the case of the ants you are finding in your kettle, they are likely indicating potential food and water sources using a trail of pheromones. While these pheromones are unique to each colony, ants can often recognize each other’s pheromones.
Two types of ants are likely to invade your kitchen and your tea kettle: moisture ants and sugar ants. Knowing which kind you are dealing with is critical to share a brief overview of the most likely suspects.
Moisture ants are tiny, only about 4 millimeters (0.15 inches) in length, and tend to be almost yellow in color. The most common type of moisture ant is called citronella ant. It is easily recognizable because of its yellow color and the lemony scent released when it gets squished.
Moisture ants prefer to live in wet or damp environments (hence their name), and you can typically find them in bathrooms, near leaky pipes, and other wet areas of your home. They are most prevalent in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast regions of the United States, but you can likely find them in all corners of the country.
Note that moisture ants pose no danger to you or your home. They will nest in already damaged wood but will not cause additional damage to your home. However, they are certainly pests, and most people would prefer to live in an environment without them.
Sugar ants are the other most likely pest you may find in or near your kettle. They are also relatively small in size and love to scavenge for food in your kitchen.
Their name is an umbrella term for several different types of ants, including carpenter and pavement ants, which eat sugary foods. They prefer to nest in areas below the ground but will come out to look for food.
This type of ant is also harmless and, if accidentally consumed, will add a bit of protein to your meal. They will not damage the structural integrity of your home either, although they are significant nuisances.
Why Are Ants Attracted To Your Kettle?
There are three likely reasons that ants are attracted to your kettle. Just like most other living creatures, ants need water, food, and warmth to survive. They often get their water from food, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat, but will occasionally look to other sources.
Ants need to drink water just like us. If they identify your kettle as a reliable source of water, they will undoubtedly keep coming back for more. They will also release pheromones to let the rest of their colony know they have found a source.
If you experience an infestation of moisture ants, they probably also like to be near your kettle because of the moist environment. While they nest behind the walls or under the sink, you may start seeing them in your kettle as they look for water.
If ants are around your kettle because they are looking for a food source, it can be challenging to tackle. That is because most people keep kettles in our kitchens, where there are endless food sources for them if we are not careful.
If you find that your kettle has any sugar or other types of food near it, then that could be the culprit. Once they find a reliable food source, just like with water, they will tell their colony. This scent trail behind other ants will be a marker for other ants to get the food.
Ants need to find warm places to hide out when they are cold, which is why you might see them more frequently in colder seasons. You may be finding ants in your kettle if they are trying to stay warm during cold months. Cordless kettles, in particular, are a favorite place for ants to find shelter during cold weather.
How To Get Rid Of Ants
If you are reading this article, chances are you already have ants in your kettle, and you are looking for a few remedies.
This section will go over a few DIY tricks you can try to get rid of these pesky insects. It is also essential to identify the type of ant you are dealing with, as the treatment for sugar ants might not work for moisture ants.
Destroy The Nest
Destroying the nest is the best way to ensure that you rid your kettle and kitchen of ants. If there is no nest or queen, they will not stay holed up behind your walls or underneath cabinets.
The best way to destroy the nest is with an aerosol spray, such as the Raid Ant and Roach Spray. Use the spray to penetrate the entire nest to ensure you kill the queen. Ant sprays are an affordable and accessible option if you can find the nest.
You can look for moisture ants’ nests near water pipes and other high moisture areas. On the other hand, sugar ants are happy to nest almost anywhere, so they can be harder to find.
There is one significant drawback to this treatment. As mentioned, you can only do this method if you can find the nest. So if you cannot identify the nest’s location, you have to treat the ants using another way.
Mix Water And Vinegar
As mentioned earlier, ants release a chemical called pheromones to indicate to the rest of their colony that they have identified a reliable source of food or water. This pheromone trail is resistant to typical home cleaners, and wiping surfaces with water will not help. But vinegar, the acid we rely on so much, is the perfect solution to covering up ant pheromones.
A simple mixture of one part water and one part white vinegar will cover up the ants’ pheromone trail.
For this method, mix the vinegar with water and apply the solution to your countertops and the kettle’s surface using a towel or a spray bottle. Vinegar kills and prevents them, and this is also a more natural approach.
Use Ant Traps
Ant traps are a straightforward and effective method of getting rid of ants. The trick is to make sure the ants have easy access to the trap. This method will work best with sugar ants, as many baits contain a mix of ant poison and sugar-based components, attracting the ants. Place them on your countertops where the wall and countertop meet.
When the ants enter the bait trap, they ingest the bait and slowly get poisoned. They then transfer the poison back to the rest of their colony, eventually killing their entire population. Ant traps can be one of the most effective ways to rid your kettle of ants, but they should be strategically placed for best results.
There are many reasons these traps are great beyond their strong efficacy. Most importantly, they do not pose a threat to children or pets, unlike other poison options available. They begin working within a few days. A trusted and effective ant bait company is Raid. Try their Raid Max Ant Baits for a proven solution to ants infestations.
Remove Water Or Food Source
Removing the ants’ food and water supply is also an extremely effective and safe way to treat the problem. If they do not have access to their once-reliable source, they will get forced to go somewhere else to find it.
However, this can be quite a challenge, especially in your kitchen. If you are lucky, cleaning your kettle of excess minerals, food particles, and sitting water might do the trick, although most people will not be so fortunate.
Once ants have made it to your kitchen, chances are they have identified other sources of food and water as well. For this method to be successful, you and your family have to wipe countertops free of crumbs constantly. It will be more effective if combined with the vinegar and water solution.
Lastly, you can get rid of ants by blocking their path inside your home. In most instances, this will be a gap between the countertop and the wall where the sealant has busted. This method is effective, but it can sometimes be challenging to identify their entrances.
How To Prevent Ants In The Future
Learning how to prevent ants is crucial to a pest-free home. It is much easier to avoid an infestation than to deal with it. Here are some ways you can ensure these annoying pests do not make a home out of your kitchen again:
Clean Your Countertops Regularly
Accumulating crumbs on kitchen countertops is unavoidable for most people, especially families with kids. However, cleaning them regularly will keep ants from identifying your kitchen and kettle as a reliable food source. This prevention technique works best with consistency and thoroughness. Failing to clean behind the microwave will only result in an ant trail that you cannot see.
Make Food Inaccessible
If you make food difficult for ants to access means that the scouting ants will deem your house an unreliable food source. If ants cannot count on your home for food, they are unlikely to return. The best way to do this is to use airtight containers, store your food and leftovers off of the countertops, and ensure you keep countertops free of crumbs and other food. Cleaning up spills, especially sugary drinks, is also vital to keeping ants away.
Block Their Entry
As mentioned, ensure that your countertops and plumbing get entirely sealed off will make it extremely difficult for ants to get into your house. The same goes for doorways and windows. Check for breaks in the seals of your windows, doors, and anywhere caulk is used. Blocking ants’ entry is one of the most sure-fire ways to prevent ants from invading your kettle.