How to Get Rid of Ants

When the weather improves and we start spending more time outdoors, well it just so happens that’s just about the same time those pesky ants are ready to come inside!  During late spring and early summer, these pests begin building their mounds and start searching for food.  If you’re not careful they may start lining up their all-you-can-eat buffet line – which leads right into your house.

There are many different types of ant species out in the wild (aka your backyard).  Some of the most common are:

  • Carpenter Ants – these ants are especially concerning because they can damage the structure of your home in particular any wood materials. They also like to spread out, with larger nests outside and numerous smaller nests inside your home.
  • Odorous Ants – these are those small dark brown or black ants you would typically find crawling around your house. Counters and floorboards are where they usually hang out, either looking for food or trying to stay dry when it’s raining outside.
  • Pavement Ants – usually found under rocks or pavement, these little buggers are like miners… excavating sand and soil to build their nests. They also have a sweet tooth and their colonies are known to have more than one queen so they’re hard to manage.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with an ant infestation, including methods that work without killing them.  Here are 9 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Ants in your Home:

Wipe Down All Surfaces

While ants are ultimately searching for a food source, they’re not picky.  They will be attracted to any sweet and sticky substance that might have been a result of spills and leaks throughout your home.  Wipe down kitchen counters, workbenches, etc. with a good cleaning product or even just vinegar and water.

Wash the Dishes

Don’t leave dirty dishes lying around after meals – it doesn’t take much to attract ants.  Even the most minute food particles can arouse the senses of ants so either put them in the dishwasher or thoroughly wash them and put them away.  An ounce of prevention, and an ounce of dishwashing detergent, can go a long way in this case.

Sweep the Floor and Vacuum the Carpet

Breadcrumbs are great if you’re going on a treasure hunt, but in your house not so much.  You probably don’t even realize you’re leaving a trail behind you when transporting food from room to room, or even small food particles that may fall from your clothing to the floor. Be sure to consistently sweep up all areas of the house where food is consumed and don’t forget to vacuum carpets and rugs where it’s even more difficult to see the tiniest of particles that could attract an ant colony.

Store Food in Sealed Containers

Remember, ants can sense food from pretty far away, especially those sweets.  Invest in some affordable air-tight containers to hold your leftovers, cereal, and other items that might invite ants inside.  And don’t forget about your dog or cat food – ants don’t make a distinction between our food and that of our pets.

Seal Up Your Home

Ants are small.  Now that we’ve overstated the obvious, think about how easily they might be able to enter your home through the smallest of openings.  Take a walk around the house and inspect the various places ants can enter.  Locate any cracks or gaps around windows and doors.  You should also look around the foundation of your home.  Sealing those cracks up with some caulk will eliminate those obvious entrances.

Remove Ant Trails

If you’ve already found these little buggers parading through your home, it’s important to identify where they’re getting in so you can eliminate the trail.  Remember, ants live in a colony and move as a collective.  A mix of vinegar and water should do the trick, and don’t forget to wipe down any alternate routes you think they could use to infiltrate your abode.

Use Ant Bait

Set up baits wherever you may have had problems in the past or places you are currently suspecting they could be entering.  Boric acid is a common ingredient in both DIY ant baits and the store-bought variety.  Remember these baits will actually attract more ants at first, so don’t be alarmed… it’s all part of the plan. The toxic baits will be carried back to the colony and help eliminate it entirely.

Look for Ant Colonies

If there are ants in your home their colony is likely not too far away.  Essentially, a colony is like a mini-community (although some can be quite large underground).  All the worker, reproductive, and their offspring live together in harmony for a common goal – to perpetuate the species.  Common places colonies are found include underground, inside trees, even under rocks.  If you notice any mounds developing around your property, apply an exterminating product to the colony itself and the area surrounding it.

You Can Always Call the Pros

While there are plenty of products available at your local hardware store that can help eliminate ants – if you just cannot seem to get them under control then it might be time to call in the professionals.  Professional pest control companies offer services and products that are stronger and thus typically more effective than those available commercially.

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