I got a new puppy and now there are ants in the house. Why? As a pest control professional, I keep a home free of things that attract pests. We prevented fleas by getting puppy on veterinarian prescribed flea treatment right away. But ants? What’s the relationship between ants in the house and a dog or cat.
Kibble. Treats. Food.
That’s the relationship. As anyone with a puppy (or spoiled fur baby) knows, good behavior is rewarded, usually with food. And that is the reason why I suddenly have ants in the house after getting a dog. Not to mention bathrobe pockets that smell like dog kibble. (Have you ever reached into your pocket for an ibuprofen and almost swallowed a kibble instead? 😂)
Typical crate training advice is to feed the puppy in the crate. Our crate is located in the living room near the patio door. It’s only 30 inches or 30,000 ant steps from the outside to the inside. With all those kibble crumbs in the crate, and around the crate because pup is a messy eater, no wonder there are ants in the house.
(Can you spot the ant in the photo below? It's carrying a kibble crumb 4 times its size. I know you can see the dog hair!)
Do you play brain games with your dog? Use treat dispensing toys, like pup’s favorite Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball? Do you fill Kongs or stuff snuffle balls? If you do, then there are treat crumbs in every nook and cranny of your home. They can be tiny crumbs. Ants are small but have big families. All it takes is one scout ant to find the goods and post the news on Insta-ant. Then you have an ant problem.
How do you get rid of the ants? Sweep, vacuum, wash pup’s bedding, and stay vigilant. I’m not going to stop handing out treats as freely as puppy kisses, but if the ants continue coming in we’ll take action before they start nesting in my house. Taking action against ants means calling a pest control professional (like me). We will either apply material outside of the doors and other entry points that won’t harm my pup, or we’ll use a very targeted gel bait. It all depends on the ant species and habits.
If you end up with ants in your house after getting a dog or puppy, please do not “pick up some stuff at a big box store.” Unless you are trained in the safe use of pesticides, wear personal protective equipment, follow the label to the letter, know exactly where to place the materials and how much to use, and then store unused pesticides in a securely locked area, do not DIY ants. Call a pest control professional. We’ll protect your pup and your family and get rid of the ants.
(The macro photos of ants carrying kibble crumbs? I took them right outside of pup's crate.)
If you want to make DIY a snuffle ball, this video is the best. No sewing skills required: