Ants most prominently become problems when they are found in homes. Most ants found indoors are merely foragers, seeking food or water in a home but returning to colonies they have established outdoors. A small number of the ants found indoors may become more permanent residents and establish a nest within a building. |
For those who want to avoid the use of toxic pesticides to get rid of them, there are plenty of natural ways to kill ants.
Ants are so prevalent that experts claim that, in terms of biomass, ants are the most dominant species on the planet. The best way to get rid of ants is to prevent them from becoming a problem in the first place. This is easier said than done. But still, there are a few simple and natural techniques that can prevent ant problems. Check out this article.
Management of Household Ants
The first and most important step to reducing problems with ants occurring in homes is to eliminate sources of food and water that are attractive.
In addition to obvious sources of food left on counters, sinks or floors, spilled food in cupboards and food associated with trash baskets may also be visited by foraging ants. Dripping faucets and leaking pipes may also be important water sources that ants will use.
One of the major reasons why ants move indoors is to search for water. Especially during a drought or dry season, putting a few water sources outside may discourage ants from moving inside to quench their thirst. A shallow pan full of water or a dripping hose might do the trick. Be careful, though, as standing water also provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
If water supplies don't do the trick, there are other natural ant deterrents available. Scattering mint leaves, mint tea bags or cloves near areas where ants congregate can work wonders -- ants seem to have an aversion to both of these herbs. Additionally, ants seem to dislike cucumbers, so a few cucumber slices or peels might ward off the invading pests.
If the point of entry is identifiable, sprinkling a few drops of cayenne, cinnamon, coffee grounds or citrus oils will create a barrier that most ants will avoid crossing. Sprinkling a solution of water and citrus oils around the base of the house can also be an effective deterrent.
Also, if ants have been foraging in a home, wash down counters or floors with some household cleaner to eliminate the odor trails the ants have established to locate sources of food or water.Soapy water kills ants almost instantly, and has the added bonus of obliterating the scent trails ants leave for other ants.
General Suppression of Ants in Yards
Products used for general ant suppression include various sprays, dusts or granules applied to lawns. Alternatives to insecticides are sometimes sought. Boiling water can kill small colonies that do not extend too deeply. Large colonies spread over a wide area, those that extend deeply into the ground, and those that are in sites cannot be managed by this method. Furthermore, the hazards of handling boiling water generally exceed that of using currently available ant insecticides, with less likelihood of success.
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