Ants aren't just fans of human food. As strange as it seems, they also like pet food. If you're a cat owner and let your cat wander outside regularly, you may keep his or her food bowls outside for easier access. Yet he or she may not be the only one accessing the food. Consider these insect control tips to keep ants out of your cat's food.
Why ants like cat food
Ants don't look like or act like cats, so why are they so fond of their food? Well, most ants vary their diet depending on the season. Sugar ants are known for their attraction to any protein-rich foods in the springtime, Washington State University noted. So, since most cat food contains protein and the bowls are close to the ground, this is a great opportunity for a meal. In the summer, sugar ants earn their name by looking for anything sweet and sugary, whether it's juice, fruit or even an alcoholic beverage. Ants may also go after other substances aside from food, including toothpaste, bath soap, lip balm, lotion and tea. They're also attracted by the presence of water, so if you have a water bowl next to a food bowl, ants are in paradise. Once ants have infested outdoor food bowls, they may be so bold to travel indoors and see what you've got. They live in massive colonies underground, meaning this small problem could become a big one quickly.
Here are a few pest management prevention methods to possibly ward off ants in your yard.
Make a trap: One possible way to keep ants from your cat's food is to create a moat-like system, Apartment Therapy advised. Grab a pan, ideally a cake pan, and fill it with water. Then place your cat's food bowl inside the pan. Ants will try to access the food but will end up drowning in the water instead. Ants may quickly learn that this isn't a viable source of food and will look elsewhere.
Lay out a boundary: A few objects in the kitchen cabinet can also ward off ants. Homeowners can sprinkle cinnamon, cayenne pepper or even ground coffee around the food bowl to scare off ants. These little bugs can't stand the aroma from these substances and are likely to stay away.
Rub petroleum jelly on the bowl: Cat lovers can also try to rub petroleum jelly on their feline friend's bowls. Though it's a little messy, it'll stop the ants in their tracks - literally. Ants will stick to the jelly as they make their climb to the top of the bowl. Regularly wipe off the bowl and reapply jelly to make this method work for you.