There are about 700 species of ants native to the United States, but only around 25 of them are commonly found in the home. Species native to Southern California include: the carpenter ant, the harvester ant, the fire ant and the Pharaoh ant.
Fun fact: Argentine ants are an invasive species of ant that have been overtaking native species in Southern California. They are aggressive and difficult to eradicate, making them a nightmare for some homeowners who find themselves overrun.
Ants are constantly looking for food and water sources, so they are attracted to household kitchens and bathrooms (especially in the summer). They will enter through any cracks and crevices they can find. Physically blocking them out is almost impossible, and home treatments may eradicate the ant trails you see, but the colony is still nearby, and another wave may return later. Professional treatments are much more effective for long-term solutions.
To prevent ant invasions, keep food in sealed containers, take out the trash frequently, and wipe down counters or stoves after cooking. Clean up spills and don’t leave excess water in the sink or tub – standing water and sugary spills are a huge ant attractant. Keeping a tidy home can go a long way!