Ants are antagonizing America! For every human being, there are at least 1.5 million ants. More than 12,000 species of ants live on the planet, with hundreds living in the United States.
You should expect an ant infestation sooner rather than later. Ants can steal your food, damage your walls and windows, and spread diseases. You must study how to get rid of ants and take immediate steps to free your home of them.
What types of ants could you deal with? How can you kill ant colonies without strong pesticides? When should you call an ant removal service?
Answer these questions and you can keep ants from swarming down on your house. Here is your quick guide.
Identify the Ants in Your House
Each species of ants has its own nesting habits, so some are easier to get rid of than others. Some of them are poisonous or spread pathogens that can make you sick, making it important for you to distinguish between them.
As their name suggests, little black ants are small dark-colored ants that come out during the summertime. Their colonies can grow large, so if you spot a few ants, you may have hundreds of others living in your home.
Fire ants are red ants with large stingers on their back. Their stings can hurt, so you should avoid going near them. They can nest in soil and dirt, making them hard to remove from your garden or home.
Pharaoh ants are yellow or light brown and very small. They use pheromones to leave trails, which you can find by keeping an eye out for ants. They can eat a variety of foods, including sugar, and they can gnaw holes in rubber and silk products.
Seal Gaps in Your Walls and Windows
Most types of ants enter a home from outside. They are small enough that they can fit their bodies through crevices in doors and windows, especially ones in the basement or first floor.
Some ants leave dirt or mud trails from outside. If you notice small trails leading from a wall or window, you may have an ant infestation. You should follow the trails to see where they lead and try to find the nest.
You should install weather strips and fill holes in your walls with your putty. Make sure the strips and putty are thick so ants inside your house cannot escape from your home.
Remove Sources of Food and Shelter
Some ants prefer to eat protein-rich foods in the spring and sweets in the winter. They can eat chopped nuts, deep-fried foods, and oil.
If you have these foods in your home, you should move them to a high shelf or cabinet. You can install strips around the cabinet door to make it harder for ants to find the food. You should avoid bringing food into your basement, as you may leave crumbs that the ants can eat.
Ants like to build their nests in wet areas, including wet walls. Remove anything that is wet from your basement and leave it outside to dry. To see if your walls are infested with ants, cut small holes in them and use a flashlight to look for nests.
Spread Natural Deterrents
Getting rid of ants does not have to involve harsh pesticides. Black pepper and peppermint are substances that ants find very irritating. Spread ground pepper and peppermint oil near ant nests and in rooms where you’ve found ants.
If those substances don’t work, you can spread silicon dioxide in your home. Silicon dioxide kills ants by absorbing the oils in their skeletons. It can be irritating to breathe in, so wear a mask as you are sprinkling it in your home.
You can destroy the pheromone trails that pharaoh ants leave behind with glass cleaner and detergent. Mix the two substances together and spray the mixture on areas where you’ve spotted ants.
Lay Bait Traps
Bait traps are small devices that attract ants with poisonous bait. An ant enters the trap, picks up the bait, and takes it back to their colony. The bait kills the ants in the colony within a few hours, and you can then remove their nest.
You can buy bait traps at hardware or gardening stores. If you want to save money, you can make your own trap by mixing borax with powdered sugar. Combine the mixture with shortening to make crumbles, then place the crumbles near ant trails.
Hire an Extermination Crew
If bait traps don’t work or if you are dealing with fire ants, you should call in an ant removal team. Do not hire the first exterminator you see online. Take a look at this exterminator and compare them to others in your area, picking the one with the most experience.
Ask someone from the extermination company to inspect your home. Ants may have traveled from your basement and built nests in other parts of your house.
If your infestation is limited to one room, your exterminator can spread mild pesticides in that room. If ants have spread elsewhere, you may need to leave your home so your exterminator can spread pesticides everywhere.
Figure Out How to Get Rid of Ants
Learning how to get rid of ants is an essential skill for every homeowner. Study different types of ants and stay away from ones with harmful stings.
Control the situation by sealing off points of entry and removing food from areas around nests. Spread natural deterrents and make your bait traps to kill colonies.
But don’t hesitate to call in the professionals when things aren’t working. Pesticides may be noxious, yet they will kill all the ants in your home.
Ants are just one pest that may test you. Read more pest control guides by following our coverage.