How to Keep Ants Away
Ants can be a big nuisance in your house. The existence of ants is not only frustrating, but also damaging. For example, ants inside the house can pollute the food by transferring harmful bacteria. So it is very important to get rid of them.
In this article, you will learn about different families of ants, what attracts them, how to keep them away, and how to get rid of ants that have already invaded.
Common Species of Ants
According to studies, there are almost 12,000 different species of ants. However, there are a few breeds that commonly exist indoors. Here is a list of some of the most common disastrous families:
- Carpenter Ants: This type is not harmful to humans. However, they can be very destructive for building materials such as wood. Contrary to termites, they only eat vulnerable wood such as water-damaged timber. So keep your eyes on the weather-exposed or damp area.
- Pharaoh Ants: This breed is prolific, and can’t be eradicated once they invade a building. They are especially dangerous in hospitals due to their tiny size, and because they spread germs into otherwise sterile areas.
- Crazy Ants: This family has gained this name due to its erratic movement. They have multiple queens and live in large colonies.
- Odorous House Ant: These ants are tiny and have black or dark brown color. You can distinguish them by their smell. They have a rotten odor when crushed.
- Fire Ants: Fire ants are very small but have a painful sting. They most often exist outdoors, but invade homes in search of food and water.
Ants’ bites are usually not harmful. However, bites of Fire and Harvester can be very painful. So be careful! But the most common type you will find in your home is carpenter ants. Whether the weather is too cold or too hot, you can still find ants running around. You can reduce their infestation using different methods.
Before we learn how to keep ants away, let’s learn what attracts ants.
What does attract ants?
There are two things that compel these living creatures to come to your home. The first one is food and the other one is a shelter. Their first priority is food and shelter. Once they get it, they pay their attention to reproduction.
- Water and Food: Due to insufficient water and food in hot and dry weather, ants move to your buildings. They forge for water and food. Ants eat almost all edible things such as fats, starches, meats, and sugar.
- Shelter: No one can stop ants from entering your home. They can enter through different cracks and crevices such as laundry vents, water pipes, chimneys, and window sills.
Carpenter ants most often make their nests under the ground. However, during rainy days, the ground becomes soaked. To avoid drowning, they look for a higher or safe place. What could be a more ideal place than your home? Definitely, your home is heaven.
Your home gives them food, water, and shelter as well. So they make their nest in the basement, attic, or walls. And they can find their food all-around. For example: dropped ketchup, cheese, and breadcrumbs by your children are their food!
Top 5 useful tips to keep ants away
Ant infestation is a story for each and every house. No one can tolerate them. There are different ways to get rid of ants. However, you will have to use more than one way to completely eradicate them.
Let’s discuss them all one by one:
You can use different ways to physically prevent ants from entering your homes known as exclusion. Remember, why do ants come to your home? Food and water! All you need to prevent them from entering your home is to stop providing these attractive things.
Keep your kitchen and dining room clean. Store food in airtight containers. You can place extra food in the refrigerator. Don’t leave any breadcrumbs or food-remnant after eating food.
Keep your countertops in the bathrooms clean. In addition, you should also keep your trash cans clean. In short, keep your home as clean as possible. Seal all their entrance points. Ants can enter your home using tree limbs, so cut any down that touch your house. It is the most effective way to prevent ant invasion.
If you find large colonies of ants in your home, insecticides are the most effective way to eradicate carpenter ants. Precaution! You must use it carefully. Otherwise, it can be very dangerous for kids and pets. Insecticide comes in different types:
- Insecticide Dust: This type is very effective and safe to use for eliminating ants outside. You can use it to kill them before entering your house. All you need to do is spread granular insecticides on the ants’ hole. It will kill carpenter ants in just a moment. In addition, you can spread this all-around your house, so it will protect your home from these pests.
- Insecticide Sprays: This is another remarkable option to prevent your home from ant infestation. Spray insecticide at the entrance point of the ants.
3. Ant Bait
For indoor ants, this is the most effective way to get rid of then. Ant bait is pleasant for ants, but is also very toxic to them. Worker ants eat it, then they return to their nest and regurgitate the digested food, spreading it to the larvae, queen, and the other ants.
So if you use bait properly, it can even eradicate the entire colony. The active ingredient used in the bait is Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate, commonly known as borax. You can use bait to kill any ant family, such as black ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, etc.
There are different methods of repellent you can use to control ants. The manufactures use microscopic marine plants in repellent formation. They have extremely sharp edges, so when any insects cross them, they are sliced to death!
5. Essential oils
There are different oils used for pest control. Different firms produce these oil grinding, squeezing, and steaming plants to extract chemicals. Lemon, orange, peppermint, and lavender are the most common types of oils and juice.
Take a spray bottle and pour oils into it. Use this method to keep ants away from your home.
There are different ways to get rid of ants. If you want to completely wipe them out, you need to use more than one method. However, the most important method is to keep them away from your home. You can do this by not providing them food and water.
You can destroy their shelter using insecticide or ant baits. Moreover, you can use different repellents. You can also use different natural repellents such as chalk, lemon, and peppermint. Keep your home clean and make your home ant-proof!
Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each pest control method, product and process.