Learning why ants are flocking to your house in droves is the best way to get them out and prevent them from ever returning. |
One simple option is to eliminate food sources and ignore the problem. Some types of ants feed on sweet things, even drops of honey, left out on counters or in other places. Coconut-smelling odorous house ants -- the most common nuisance ant -- are included in this group. Ants that find a food source communicate to nest mates there is an abundance of food. It doesn't take long for a hoard of ants to appear on the food source. Cleaning up potential food sources creates less incentive for large groups of these ants to invade a house.
Ants simply go wherever they find consistent sources of food and water. Fortunately, this means that ridding your home of ants is fairly simple. All you have to do is eliminate the sources in your home that attract ants. And if you see those scouts wandering along your countertops, get rid of them and clean the surface immediately to prevent more ants from following.
Make sure your home doesn't provide ants with an easy way to get inside. Ants may invade homes because something has happened to their outside food sources or simply because the house happens to be near their colony.
If unsure what type of ants are in the house, try using a liquid bait containing boric acid that specifically attracts sweet ants. Ants must feed on the bait for it to be effective. Once they do, they carry the slow-acting poison back to the colony where it spreads throughout. This method can take a couple of weeks to work, but if it does, it provides a long-term solution that doesn't require the effort of finding the colony. Be sure not to use insecticides and sweet baits simultaneously, as insecticides would kill the ants before they could take the bait back to the colony.
Ants that don't feed on sweet bait may not be attracted to sweets. For these ants, it may be necessary to locate and directly treat the colony with insecticides.
Sealing cracks and crevices can be effective and long-lasting if done thoroughly, but some ants are so tiny it may seem impossible to seal them out. To help reinforce sealing efforts, it may be necessary to use alternate control methods. Because ants live in colonies, controlling single ants with sprays won't be very effective for long. Controls are most effective when they adversely affect the colony.
Cracks along walls and floors can be sealed with silicone caulking. Doors and windows should be properly sealed with weather stripping. Several items you probably have on hand at home will deter ants from entering from their usual passages.
As ants get creative finding ways to get into the house, you may have to keep checking for cracks and holes, and trying a few different solutions to keep all of them out. There are many solutions that are effective, yet safe for your family.Chili pepper, cinnamon, peppermint, borax, salt, and pepper can all be used to discourage ants from moving in.
The presence of carpenter ants and other ants living in walls or cracks often is an indicator of an underlying moisture problem, such as leaky plumbing. Investigate ant infestations to figure out if there is a water problem that needs to be fixed.
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