Person holding stop sign in front of a line of ants. Pioneer Pest Management serving Portland OR and Vancouver WA talks about how to keep ants away from your home.Ants are the top nuisance pest here in the U.S., but did you know some ant species can cause structural damage? Ants are starting to become really active this time of year especially the Odorous House Ant (Sugar Ant) and the wood-destroying Carpenter Ant.

Some ants will create colonies in your walls while others will burrow inside wood structures in and around your property. This is why we at Pioneer Pest Management have come up with some ways you can help prevent ants from invading your home this spring.

Types of Ants

Here in the Pacific Northwest, you’re likely to deal with Odorous House Ants, commonly called Sugar Ants and Carpenter Ants. Here’s a little bit about both species.

  • Carpenter Ants: Carpenter Ants are commonly black but they can also appear red in color. Most species of Carpenter ants are larger than other types of ants you’ll see around your home. Carpenter Ants are highly destructive because they excavate wood to create galleries which they breed and live in.
  • Odorous House Ants: Odorous House Ants are dark brown or black in color and fairly small in size. These ants emit an unpleasant odor when crushed that smells similar to rotten coconut.

Ant Prevention

Below are some ways you can help prevent ants from getting inside your home.

Seal Entry Points

Caulk and weatherstrip any necessary windows and doors around your home, replace broken screens, and install door sweeps. Inspect the exterior of your home, including the foundation and seal off any cracks or openings.

Keep Your Home Clean

Picking up spills and crumbs around your home and regularly taking out the trash can go a long way in helping deter ants. If you have a pet, keep their feeding area clean. It’s also not a bad idea to put their bowls away when they’re done eating. Ants are looking for an easy meal, they’ll eat anything they can get their little hands on.

Store Food in Airtight Containers

Store your pantry products in airtight containers. This will not only keep your food fresh, but it will also help keep ants away.

Reduce Moisture

Many pests, including ants, are attracted to moisture. Repair water leaks and stagnant water in your home to help keep ants away from finding a water source.

Trim Back Branches and Bushes

Keep your tree branches and bushes trimmed at least 18” away from your home to help prevent ants from using them to gain access into your home.

Ants, like most other pests, invade homes because they’re seeking food, water, and shelter. Don’t give them a reason to infiltrate your home. If you are experiencing an ant infestation, contact a professional exterminator. Our pest control technicians are licensed and trained to provide you with the best course of action in eliminating pests. They’ll also help prevent future pest problems.

How to Keep Ants Away in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Serving Customers on the East Side:


Portland | NE Portland | Gresham | Happy Valley | Clackamas | Milwaukie | Mt Tabor | Belmont | Lloyd Center | Laurelhurst | Hollywood District


On the West Side:


Downtown Portland | Beaverton | Tigard | Hillsboro | Cornell | Sylvan | Cedar Hills


And in the Vancouver WA Area:


Downtown Vancouver | Fruit Valley | Hazel Dell | Felida | Cascade Park | Camas Washington