Ants are a big nuisance in our homes, especially during summertime when the weather is hot and they are looking for food. You might find a line of ants trailing near a window seal, in the kitchen, or in your pet’s food, you may even find them in your children’s toys. Almost everyone has had to deal with ants getting into their home and space at least once. Here are a few different ways you can safely treat them yourself!
Food For Bait
Did you know that ants leave a scent trail that other ants follow and chase? When you spot just one or two ants randomly wandering around, they are probably scout ants that are ‘scouting’ for food sources. When you kill one lone ant, often that is a sign there are more to follow. Wherever ants travel, they leave behind a pheromone trail to communicate with any ants that may follow. When a scout ant finds a new food source, it will lay down a heavy pheromone trail with the message of where to go to find that food. This message will “call” the other worker ants in that area to their food source. If you’ve left food out and find a trail of ants, it means you have an ant colony nearby.
Erase The Ant Scent Trails
Simply sweeping and mopping your floors won’t help to eliminate the scent trail that ants leave behind. Instead, mix up vinegar and water and spray areas where ants have been. Another recommendation is to use an Ammonia based cleaner to clean up the pheromone trail. Bleach won’t do anything to get rid of these trails. Getting rid of these pheromone trails will help to stop calling out to new ants to keep trailing into the food source. It will stop the trail, but doesn’t get rid of the ants.
To get rid of ants, consider utilizing liquid ant bait. You can even make your own using one part borax to between ten and twenty parts of either sugar syrup or peanut butter. You can then place small amounts of this out where the ants will find it. The more ants you see on the bait, the better. It means they are taking the toxic bait and bringing it back to their colony for other ants to feast on. You might need to replace the bait several times to make sure they have a supply of fresh ant bait.
Keep Your Home Clean
This is probably an obvious way to help prevent ant problems, but it’s true! The more food, food crumbs, or dirty dishes that are left around your home, the worse your ant problem will be. Keep pet food in sealed containers, clean up messes or spills immediately, and don’t leave dirty dishes in your sink for a long period of time to help eliminate ant’s food source in your home. This won’t guarantee that you won’t have an ant problem, but it certainly helps when you aren’t luring them in!
While there are many ant sprays you can find at local hardware stores, grocery stores, or online, most of the sprays that consumers have access to not only fail to eliminate ant problems, but they can make them much harder to control! When it comes to applying a liquid spray for ants, it’s best if you leave that to the pros.
Remove Safe Havens for Ants
There are many areas around your home that ants love to nest in. These include sticks of firewood, trees and bushes, and behind the siding of your home in wall voids and insulation. Make sure to remove any firewood that is piled close to your house. Trim tree limbs away from the home to at least six feet away and not directly above the home and trim bushes to at least eighteen inches back from your home to remove any ‘bridges’ for ants to cross. In the fall, it’s also important to rake leaves away from your home and not allow them to pile up on your foundation or anywhere around your home.
While eliminating an ant colony around a home is well within the reach of your average DIY’r, it is important to remember that, as with the majority of pests, most ant species will end up returning. Ants are naturally all around us in the environment and eliminating one colony doesn’t stop a new colony from moving back in and reinfesting in the near future. If you aren’t actively working to prevent ants from re-colonizing your yard and home, then they will return. That is one of the reasons so many homeowners choose to keep our regular pest control treatments well beyond the time we have eliminated the pests in their home.
When ant infestations have become too much for you to handle alone, don’t hesitate to reach out to Scout Pest Control. We can help eliminate the ants quickly and keep them from returning. Learn more about our ant pest control service.