If your summer relaxation has been interrupted by hundreds of ants, you need to take control of the situation as quickly as possible. Once ants find a good source of food and water, they'll continue to return throughout the summer. Worker ants have one goal; get food to the queen. If you're not prepared, your home will become the queens pantry. Here are ant control strategies that will help keep the ants away.

Keep Your Counters Clean

If you haven't noticed ant activity on your counters yet, you can keep them away from those surfaces by keeping them clean. Some simple ways to keep ants off your counter include, wiping them off with a disinfectant spray after each use, and putting your food away as soon as possible. It's also important to avoid leaving overly-ripened fruit out on the counters.

Store Dry Goods Correctly

In addition to counters, ants usually make a beeline for the cabinets. In most cases, that's where you store things like your bread and cereal, as well as other dry foods. Ants prefer dry foods because they're easier to carry back to their queen. Virtually any small morsel of dry food can become a meal for the queen, which is why you need to store your dry goods carefully. Keep your bread wrappers closed securely, and store your cereals, pastas, and rice in airtight containers. Use a vacuum to clean your shelves at least once a week.

Get Treatment to the Queen

When it comes to getting rid of ants, the key to success is to eliminate the queen. If you don't remove the queen, she'll continue to send worker ants into your home to forage for food. What you want to do is use the ants that are already in your house as your weapon against the queen. First, remove the food that the ants are after. Second, place a bait box at the end of the trail. Finally, allow the ants to carry the bait back to the queen. Once the queen is dead, the rest will follow shortly.

Get Professional Help

If you've discovered multiple ant hills in your yard, and you just can't get the problem under control through the methods described above, you need to get professional help for your ant problem. You may have a system of tunnels and entry points leading right into your home. A pest control company will be able to stop the problem permanently.