How to get rid of ants?
Ants are tiny, slender insects creeping about your house in search for food and shelter. Though one or two ants aren’t too problematic, an entire ants colony invading your home definitely needs proper treatment. If you’ve been noticing more and more of them in your bathrooms or kitchen, you need to learn how to get rid of ants before the problem thickens.
Ants are social insects and always live in colonies and communities, that’s why you see long lines of ants moving from their hideouts towards food sources. Uncontrolled ants’ invasion in your house can turn into a serious ants infestation and it will become far more difficult to control. Therefore, it’s better to get rid of ants the moment you start witnessing signs of ant influx.
Check the following, easy to execute methods to get rid of ants.
Methods to get rid of Ants:
Identifying Ant Species:
Identifying the types of ants invading your house is extremely important. There are more than 10,000 ants’ species that exist in the world, each having unique ant behavior, nesting habits, and food preferences. Every species requires specific treatment to get rid of it. Identifying their species will help in understanding where they would be nesting and what food sources they will be feeding upon.
If you failed to identify the ant species, then take a picture of the invader and seek professional help regarding its identification. Then you can devise your ant exterminating plan.
Cleaning the house:
A clean house is a healthy house and it’s always beneficial in one way or the other. Cleaning is the first defense against ants. Start by sweeping the floor, wiping out spills, cleaning dishes and taking the trash out of the house; this works by eliminating the primary food sources of the ants.
Ants are social insects; they live in colonies and move around in long lines. When on the move, ants release chemicals which the other fellow ants know to follow. If you erase this scented trail, they won’t know where to go. This can’t be done by regular mopping or sweeping, for this you will need a vinegar spray.
Make a solution with one part vinegar and three parts water and then spray it where you last saw the ants. This will help in removing their chemical trail and will prevent the outdoor ants from sneaking into your house and hunt for food.
This solution works by stopping outdoor ants invading your house, but won’t provide any protection from the ants nesting indoors.
Methods to wipe out Ants nesting indoors:
Common methods to get rid of ants include ant baits made up with boric acid or diatomaceous earth, pheromone traps, and glue trays. Furthermore, aerosol sprays containing mint oil, d-limonene or pyrethrin can also be used.
You can stop outdoor ants from entering your house with help of vinegar sprays, but you have to wipe out their indoor colonies to get rid of them. A single ant is an indication of hundreds of hidden ants as a scout or worker ants are usually seen outside hunting food and taking it to their nests to feed the queen and larvae. Look for the worker ants and with their help wipe out their colony.
Set an ant bait in the area where you spot the ants. Common ant baits are made with boric acid or diatomaceous earth, these are toxic and works well for killing ants.
You can prepare bait containing boric acid easily at home. Mix one teaspoon of boric acid in a cup of sweet or greasy food. The ants will be attracted to the bait because of the food. Then, these worker ants will take the toxic bait back to their nest and feed their queen and the rest of the ants. This will kill many of them and will eventually help in eliminating their colony.
While setting the bait, keep the ants’ taste in mind as it changes during the year; ants prefer sweet or fatty food in summer and protein in winter. Some ants are attracted towards solid baits, while for most of the ants, sweet liquid baits work.
Hunt the Nest:
If you are facing an influx of carpenter ants than setting baits won’t work since they won’t take the food back to their nests. To get rid of them you have to hunt down their nests and then destroy them.
It’s important to eradicate carpenter ants from your place as soon as you find their traces because they chew the wooden structure of your house and cause lots of damage. Ants usually build their nests in damp areas, so start looking for their nests in moist wood around, like trees, gaps between boards, any soft flooring, roof leaks, decks, attics, washrooms, wood piles, etc. If essential, cut small holes in water-damaged walls of your house, this will help you track the nests of the ants.
After locating the nest, next thing you have to do is to spray it with an insecticide. Pick the insect killer containing bifenthrin, permethrin, or deltamethrin as they are quite effective against carpenter ants.
Another effective and natural remedy against carpenter ants is Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is organic dust made from fossils of algae-like plants and is proved to be lethal for insects. DE kills the insects by drying them out and shredding their insides with their fine sharp edges.
Several types of DE are available in the market. Make sure to select a food grade DE which is safe to be used around children. With the help of a dropper, squirt the dry DE directly into the ants’ nests, in the crack, holes or elsewhere. This will help in exterminating them from your house.
Aerosol sprays containing mint oil or d-limonene and pyrethrin are quite efficient in killing the ants. Spray it on the ant nests to control them and get rid of them. It can also be applied as a contact killer, and when directly sprayed on the ant trail, it will disrupt them.
Spray entry points:
Last but the crucial step after eradicating ants from your house is to prevent them invading your house again. Seal the cracks and holes which are providing entry to the ants and proving to be their hideouts. Next spray the insecticides containing bifenthrin, permethrin, or deltamethrin around doors and windows. The invisible film it creates after drying will repel the ants and will effectively guard your house against influx of these crawling creatures.
DIY tips to get rid of ants:
- Spray vinegar and water solution around cracks, holes, baseboards or even around your pet’s food bowl. This will eliminate the chemical trail of ants and won’t attract their fellow members.
- Peppermint essential oil is an effective repellant, put few drops of it on a cotton ball and spread them in the areas you see ant trails.
- Near the entry points of ants, sprinkle some cinnamon, this will prevent them from invading.
- The scent of baby powder sometimes works as an effective repellant against ants; sprinkle some powder around entry points, doors, and windows.
- Put some Vaseline near doors and windows; the greasy surface will aid in restricting ants’ entry in your house.
If all of these remedies proved to be futile against the resistant ants, then it’s time to hire a professional ant exterminator. These professionals are more than qualified to rescue you from the dreaded ant infestations. If you need an exterminator in your area, we can connect you to one right now.