Black ants are a common pest in homes, particularly in the warmer months of the year, but you can prevent them by taking a few simple precautions. If you live in an area with a warm climate, though, this can be pretty much all year. Preventing black ants in your home can take some work—and constant vigilance—but it's worth it to have a pest-free home. There are several different types of black ants, but the principles of getting rid of them are the same, no matter which type is your problem. |
If you've ever accidentally left a can of soda outside on a summer day, you were probably greeted by a nasty surprise when you came back—a can full of ants. Ants forage for food and have learned that humans can be an excellent source. Most black ants prefer to eat sweets, but you can also find ants that are attracted to greasy foods, meats or water.
To prevent the ants from coming into your home, keep your home clean of all potential food sources. You should always wipe down your counter areas after you prepare a meal and eating areas after you've finished eating. Vacuuming the areas where you frequently eat is essential. Additionally, use a towel to dry water from your sink after heavy use.
When there are small cracks in your home, it becomes a lot easier for ants to enter. Look for areas around the home that have cracks. This might be a hole in your screen or a gap in the door outside. The areas around your windows are particularly susceptible, but you should also check around the baseboard. Depending on the hole, you can block it with foam, caulking or wood.
Ant traps can be an inexpensive way to prevent ants from coming into your home. You can place these in areas where you are likely to find ants, such as the cupboards or the kitchen. Ants will go in and take the poisonous food, bringing it back to the colony, where it can kill the other ants. This is a good step if you've started to see some ants in your home and can take about a week before you can see noticeable effects. Note, though, that this is a poison and you should keep them out of the reach of children or pets.
Eliminating the Nest
If you can get rid of the ants' home, you can prevent them from coming into your home. Look for the telltale ant hills outside your home. If you don't see them, try following the ants to see where they go. The nest may be somewhere inside your walls. You can then kill the colony by pouring boiling water or by squirting a borax solution into the area.
Hiring a Professional
Sometimes, your efforts just aren't paying off and the ant problem persists. In this case, it can be a smart move to hire a professional exterminator to get rid of the problem. It's best if you can show the exterminator a sample of the type of ant that you're seeing, so that he'll be sure to use the correct treatment for the type of ant. Choose a company that focuses on eliminating the ants' nest to completely eliminate the problem.
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