When eliminating ants from the home, it's important that you make your home undesirable to them. Pavement ants prefer greasy foods, sweets and proteins, so your primary preventive measures begin in the kitchen. |
The pavement ant earns its name well, building nests beneath and along the sides of pavement: patios, driveways, sidewalks, foundations of homes. Environmentally friendly methods of removing them can take more time than commercial pesticides, but a well-rounded approach will eradicate and prevent infestations
Before choosing a product or method for eliminating pavement ant colonies, a thorough inspection must be made, both indoors and out. A night time inspection will reveal more foraging ants, making your job easier. Follow any foraging ants back to their colonies.
Upon initial inspection, the soil displaced by a pavement ant colony is usually quite evident around any outdoor concrete object: curbs, driveways, sidewalks, landscaping, brick patios, etc. In many cases, the loose soil can be seen along cracks or expansion joints of driveways and other such objects. Their colonies can also be found adjacent to the foundations or skirting of homes. When trying to locate all possible outdoor colonies, use a small hand rake to gently pull back mulching materials to expose the ants. Inspect around the edges of (and beneath, if possible) any logs or large rocks. In a sense, leave no stone unturned. In severe infestations, a number of objects can harbor many different pavement ant colonies. Each of these colonies or ant beds need to be located and treated in order to kill pavement ants and to stop their migration indoors.
If a group of ants travels in a straight line from your kitchen door to the cabinet, they are following --- and strengthening --- a scent trail of pheromones. Ants broadcast the location of food to other ants with these trails, so your eradication efforts should also focus on any areas they travel frequently. A mixture of vinegar and water dissolves the trail; however, the disruption is only temporary. While implementing other control measures, repeat the application whenever ants appear in the treated area.
Homemade ant bait helps you destroy the ants' nest without the use of chemical-laden pesticides. If you mix borax or boric acid in a greasy food, the pavement ants will carry morsels of it back to the colony and poison other ants. Too much boric acid in the bait kills the ant before the mixture reaches the colony, so the most effective mixtures contain small amounts of it.
Although borax and boric acid are relatively mild, pets and children could become sick from ingesting it. For this reason, bait should be kept out of reach or in a sealed glass jar with small holes in the lid. Bait-filled soda bottle caps are sufficient for out-of-reach areas. This is only effective if the ants find it, however. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln urges homeowners to locate infested areas by sticking lines of jelly-coated masking tape around the home. If you see more than 10 ants feeding on a line of jelly, it's a good place to set the bait.
Perimeter control measures stop ants from entering the home. Rather than spraying pesticides outside, surround the foundation with a mixture of one part flour to two parts borax. Pavement ants tend to nest beneath concrete and enter the home through cracks, so it's also helpful to fill cracks around the home and foundation with caulk, borax or fresh concrete.
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