We cannot deny that ants make our lives incredibly inconvenient. Ants are social insects that live in colonies. Any ant control treatment plans should include exterminating the entire colony, simply spraying a single or few ants with spray will scatter the colony, not eradicate it. You may have ants in your home that are foraging for food or seeking shelter. The best remedy is to find and treat the nest. But sometimes it isn’t easy to find and treat all nests or eliminate an entire colony. So, you should use a holistic approach to control ant infestations. Read on for the most effective ways to get rid of ants:
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants?
1. Seal Entry Points: Ants can enter your house through small cracks and crevices due to their size. Once an ant locates a crack and crevice in the walls, foundations, or windows, it enters and carries edible materials back to the nest. While doing this, it leaves a chemical trail for its colony to follow. You can follow the path to identify the cracks on your property. Seal all of them using caulk or any other suitable material.
2. Destroy the Scent of Trails: Since you may not locate all the scent trails, you need lemon juice or vinegar. These chemicals have properties that can neutralize the chemical path that ants make. For the best outcome, you need to create a mixture in the ratio of 1:3, with water being more. Spray the solution around your home and the ants’ entryways.
3. Create a Wall to Keep Ants Away: Ants hate the smell of some naturally occurring plants like mint or food-grade diatomaceous earth. Since none of the above methods are perfect, you could plant a repellent around your home’s perimeter and entryways to create the wall. You can also wipe the suspected areas with a cotton ball with peppermint oil cotton.
4. Use Indoor Bait: Ant baits are edible materials, typically sweet and sugary carbohydrates, mixed with substances that are toxic to ants but have minimal toxicity to animals or humans. Whatever ant bait you use, try to place it close to visible ant trails but outside the reach of pets and children. The bait will work most effectively if you keep other surfaces clean so that the bait is the only sweet substance available to attract the ants. As the ants carry the bait back to the nest, you will slowly see fewer and fewer ants in the home until the colony is eliminated. It may take a few days but be patient and you should soon have relief.
5. Spray Pesticides Carefully: It is important to avoid the temptation to simply use pesticides to spray visible ants marking along trails inside your home. Pesticide sprays can eliminate a few visible ants, but more will soon replace them, and by extension, you won’t make any actual progress to eliminate the infestation. If you happen to successfully identify an outdoor ant nest, apply a dose of insecticides that is enough to reach the queen. Use the approved insecticides and follow the instructions carefully. However, before you start, be sure you verify that you are treating the colony that is causing you hard times. Remember that ants and other insects are helpful garden creatures that you should never kill without a justifiable reason. If you happen upon any ant trails outside and find the nest for the colony, then it might make sense to apply a liquid pesticide that can soak down to reach the queen. Make sure though that these ants are the same ones that are reaching the home, as most ants are helpful garden insects that you have no reason to kill.
6. Clean Your House: Sanitation will always be critical for the prevention and control of ants. Grease, sugar, and other foods attract ants. By removing these potential lures the number of ants coming to your house will reduce drastically. Seal your pet foods, take out the trash regularly, and store all your foods in secure places. Like all living creatures, ants need water, food, and shelter to survive. Ants leave the shelter of the colony in order to find food and water. Don’t make this search easy for them. Keep your food sealed, floors swept, and all surfaces cleaned.
Can I Use Bleach To Kill Ants?
The Quick Answer is yes, bleach can kill ants. However, only using bleach to eradicate ants in your home will more than likely not work completely. You’ll still have ants lingering in your home and bleach can release fumes that are harmful to both humans and pets. Ants breathe through their exoskeleton. This is why articles that recommend bleach say to put it in a spray bottle. When you spray ants with bleach though you will only be able to kill the ants you can see. This means that even with this tactic, the overall infestation could continue. If you want a more permanent solution to an ant infestation, the best thing to do is bring in an ant extermination expert.
How Do I Store Food While I Have Ants?
If you’re a homeowner, at some point getting rid of ants is going to be something you will have to deal with. These pesky insects are not easily deterred from getting any kind of food they can. Here are 7 food storage techniques to prevent house ants:
1. Airtight Containers: Containers that are properly sealed will keep ants out of food. These storage solutions are made from glass and plastic. If you feel like an ant might be able to get into a certain area where food is, it is advisable to place them in a properly sealed container like this.
2. Bay Leaves: Spread bay leaves in any areas where ants can invade your food supply. The cupboard near the food is a good place. Putting a few under the refrigerator is also not a bad idea either. As a bonus, these will stop other pests like silverfish and weevils.
3. Vinegar: If you store any food on your counter, wipe the area down with vinegar. Ants hate vinegar and they will typically stay out of the area. Vinegar is also a great disinfectant and will make your kitchen cleaner in general. The smell dissipates quickly.
Call A Professional
Ant infestations are often a significant source of distress for most property owners. Luckily, there are simple ways of controlling them. Once you have destroyed their chemical trails, removed the attractants, and sealed the entrants, you can use some safe insecticides and enjoy your peace. However, if you just can’t seem to get rid of ants yourself, call a pest control professional like Scott’s Turf and Pest Services at 919-928-5847 to help. Our methods are environmentally friendly and safe.