Ants only need the smallest of openings to make their way into your house, especially if you have any kind of food lying around. Ants are determined creatures and will do almost anything to get to a tasty treat like dog food.
When it comes to dog food, the chances of them getting attracted to it are quite high, particularly since you might end up leaving the dog food out in the open for too long.
Aside from just being an unwanted pest, there could be some health risks to you and your dog if ants invade, due to the germs and bacteria they bring.
Here’s a guide on how you can prevent ants from invading your pet’s mealtime.
Check your dog’s food bowl on a daily basis to make sure there are no crumbs in it so ants will not be attracted. The crumbs may also be on the floor around the bowl.
Thus, you should clean the bowl and the area around it each time you are done feeding your dog so that you can keep the ants away. You can simply use water on a daily basis, although once every 2-3 days you should also clean the bowl with dish soap.
Make sure you put the bowl back in place after feeding.
This kind of regular cleaning can also apply to the rest of your kitchen or house to ensure that ants do not spread their colonies in other parts.
Having sealed containers for your dog’s food can help ensure that ants do not find their way into it. This can then allow you to access the food whenever it is time to feed your dog.
Make sure that the containers that you use are airtight without having any holes, gaps or cracks in them as these might make it easier for ants to enter and contaminate the dog food, forcing you to throw it away if the infestation is too widespread.
If you keep dog food in bulk, for example, ants might contaminate it and require you to throw away a lot of it. Make sure you also do not leave the dog food into the boxes they came in and transfer it into a sealed container once you open it.
A convenient trick that you can use to keep ants out of dog food is to create a water barrier between the ants and your dog’s food bowl. You can do this by placing the bowl in a large enough pan or deep dish or tray.
Fill the pan or dish with water so that ants can die in the water even if they happen to come into contact with it. This will prevent them from entering the bowl.
You will need to be careful with this method as your dog might end up spilling food while eating, which could then become an easy target for the ants.
There are several deterrents that you can make good use of to keep the ants away from the dog food. You can simply place these deterrents near the dog food while your dog is eating it so that ants get repelled.
You can also place some of these deterrents around your kitchen and house to repel the ants on a regular basis.
Some deterrents that you can use for ants include natural substances like essential oils, cinnamon, lemons, spices, flour and diatomaceous earth. However, you will need to ensure that your dog does not come into contact with some of these substances as they might cause issues if eaten beyond a certain extent.
You can also combine borax, vinegar or bleach with water but keep it all away from your dogs. Chalk and vaseline can work too.
There are several ant sprays that you can use or buy so that you can spray some of them on the set trail that ants tend to follow. This can help get rid of the scent that ants usually rely on.
These sprays can work to repel the ants but might not get rid of them entirely. You should also keep them away from the dog food so that they do not cause health issues for your dogs.
You can either buy a commercial spray or make one using some vinegar or essential oils and water.
Ant-proof bowls can be a great investment as you can rest assured that the ants will not be able to make their way into the bowls.
These bowls are usually designed in a way that the base creates a distance between the ants and the interior of the bowl. Thus, the rim will always remain safe from the ants. Even if they manage to crawl up the bowl, they will not be able to enter the food itself.
Some of them might also come with their own moats that can help you create a water barrier.
Make sure you still remember to clean these bowls regularly.
It is important to keep changing the location of the dog’s food bowl so that the ants do not have a fixed trail that they can follow every time.
Since ants create their trails on the basis of pheromones and scents, it can become much easier for them to figure out where the dog food is whenever you feed your dog.
Creating a break in this behavior can confuse them, keeping them away from the dog food. You can also try breaking the trail itself using deterrents or sprays.
Fixed Meal Timings
It is important for you to follow fixed meal timings when it comes to your dog. This is not only healthier for your dog but can also keep the ants away from the food if you only keep the food out for a limited period of time.
Make sure you take the bowl away once your dog is done eating. Leaving food out for too long and without any kind of cover can make it too easy for the ants to get attracted to the food due to the scent.
This can then allow them to create a trail from their nest to the food.
Another solution to keep ants out of your dog’s food is to simply locate the ant nest or hill inside your house and destroy it completely. This can also be an effective long-term solution, preventing the ants from building a new nest while also killing all the ants.
To locate the nest, however, you will need to keep an eye on the movement of the ants so that you can track their trail and figure out where they go once they carry the food with them.
After you find the nest, you can destroy it using an insecticide or pesticide that will kill the entire colony. You can also spray the insecticide on the trail.
Seal Access Points
There might usually be small openings somewhere in your house that the ants might be using as an access point to enter. Once they enter, they can make their way to the dog food and start taking crumbs to their nest.
You can set baits near the access points so that the ants can take them and end up destroying their nests. Once you get rid of the ants, you can seal the access points to prevent them from coming back.
You do not need to wait for the ants to enter either; as soon as you notice a gap, crack or hole, you can seal it up.
Regular Garbage Handling
You should ensure that you always handle the garbage inside your house properly as it can be an easy target for the ants to build a trail. This can also put them in the path of the dog food, creating the risk of spreading germs and bacteria from the garbage.
This can then lead to health issues for your dog as well as for you. Thus, keep the garbage covered at all times and ensure that you throw it out on a regular basis to prevent the infestation from ants.
It is now clear that you can take several simple measures to keep ants out of the dog food.
These can include completely destroying the nest and sealing the access points or taking preventative measures such as using sealed containers, cleaning regularly, using different locations, using ant-proof bowls and sprays or deterrents, among others.
You can now try it out yourself to keep your dog’s food safe.