Have you ever had the experience of coming home to your dog, spending a few minutes snuggling them up, getting out their food for dinner, and what?!?! Ants all over the dog food!
It’s happened to all of us – the moment you realize critters have invaded the food and now they’ve taken over. Even if we thought we had sealed things up appropriately, ants can still get into dog food. When this happens, it is time to regroup and clean things up so that you do not have to deal with this situation again in the future.
Before you start be ready to do some prep work beforehand so that you start with a clean slate (which also means no more ants!).
How to Keep Ants out of Dog Food
Once you understand how and why the ants decided to invade the dog food, you can make sure that it does not happen again. Although it may take some time and a little bit of elbow grease, it is not impossible to rid yourself of the ants once and for all.
Before you start there are a few questions to ask yourself:
- In what type of container is the dog food kept?
- Is the area where the dog food kept clean?
- Are there ants anywhere else near or around the dog food?
Let’s start with the container – the dog food needs to be in an airtight closed container. This could mean keeping it in the original bag with a good seal, using a plastic container with a lid, or other storage items that you feel work well in your home.
The key to keeping out bugs and keeping the dog food fresh is airtight – if air can get in, so can the ants. Keeping the dog food in an airtight container will also keep it from spoiling, which can happen if the food is not kept sealed up.
Take a look at the space that you keep the dog food – is it clean and free of dirt, moisture, or garbage? Does it need to be cleared and cleaned out? Look at the space with an eye out for more ants, bugs, dirt, or other creatures. If the space is not clean, ants may come to hang out.
As you check it out and see ants, you know then that they will continue to invade the food if you don’t have space without them.
Using any home cleaning spray and rags, clean out the floor and vacuum up any leftover bugs and dirt. Making the space clean and fresh will reduce the chance that the ants may come back.
If you continue to see ants, you can also use small ant traps around the food area but use caution! Many ant baits are poisonous to animals, so use any ant spray, bait, or other products very carefully to not poison your pet along with the ants.
Where to start?
Once you have looked at options for how and where you are storing the food, it is time to get it cleaned up and make it ant-free. If there are already ants in the dog food, and you want to save it, sprinkle some corn starch on the food.
Corn starch is deadly to the ants but won’t hurt your dog. Once a few hours have passed, you can sift the ants out of the dog food and seal the food in the airtight container. This may need to be repeated if you find ants again.
Ants in the food will not typically hurt your dog if they eat them, but many dogs will refuse to eat it if they see or smell the bugs in it. You can use the corn starch trick if they won’t eat the food currently in their bowl, but some dogs may still refuse, and you may have to dump the entire bag of food before they will eat it.
Another trick to keep ants away from the dog food is to use petroleum jelly around the container’s base. This can be used around the dog food bowl base as well, as the ants will not cross this line.
Although it seems like a simple trick, it really does work! Be sure to read the ingredients on the label to ensure that nothing added could harm your dog if they decide to lick it off. As we all know, some dogs are just funny that way!
Once you have cleaned up your space and ensured a good seal for the dog food container, you will (hopefully) be free from those pesky ants. Remember that they follow the food trail, so if you have cleaned up their previous pathways to the food, it should not be long before they decide to look elsewhere for a snack.
If they are still bothering you, you can repeat the cleaning process as before – be sure to pay attention as to where they may be coming in, and as a quick squirt of sealant in a small ant, hole can also help to keep them out.
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