There is nothing worse than standing in your kitchen, you look down at the kitchen counter and see an ant. You see one ant, does that mean there will be more? The answer is yes unless you take action to stop the ant invasion.
We walk you through what to do if you have ants in the home or backyard. The article will also review how to get rid of ants and what you need to do.
Get ready to take your home from those pesky ants and enjoy a more comfortable, ant-free living environment.
Identifying Ant Species
Before you can effectively tackle the problem of ants in your home, it can help if you are able to identify the type of ant that has entered your home. This will help in figuring out a treatment plan.
Some of the most common ants include carpenter ants, odorous house ants (sugar ants), pavement ants, tiny black ants, and pharaoh ants, among others.
Worker ants and the queen of the different ant species have distinct physical characteristics and behaviors. For example, carpenter ants are typically larger and are known to cause structural damage, while odorous house ants are smaller and emit an unpleasant odor when crushed.
When looking at the ants in your home, pay close attention to their size, color, and shape. Some key features to look for include:
- Length of antennae
- Number of body segments
- Presence or absence of a waist
- Coloration and size
Take note of the ants’ habits and the locations where they are most commonly found. This information can aid you in identifying their preferred nesting sites and food sources.
Here is an example, if you notice ants that seem to be feeding on sugary substances that could be a sugar ant.
Take a picture of the ant then use Google to figure out what type of ant you are dealing with in the home.
How to Get Rid of Ants
When dealing with ants in your home, using chemical solutions can be a highly effective method. This section will cover a few approaches: ant baits, ant traps, and insecticides.
If you need to get rid of ants then this kit will work for you. It comes with 12 bait place stations, bait from Maxforce, Temprid spray, and gel bait single tube.
Make sure you follow the directions and protect yourself when working with chemicals.Pros: Cons:
Ant Baits and Traps
Using ant baits and traps is an excellent way to control ant infestations. These products typically contain a food source mixed with a slow-acting poison, which the ants carry back to their nest, gradually killing off the ant colony.
Here are some steps to use them effectively:
- Place the baits near active ant trails and anywhere you see ants congregating. Expect an increase in ant activity initially, as the workers will be attracted to the bait before eventually taking it back to their colony.
- Replace the baits regularly to keep the supply of poisoned food available to the ants until the colony is eradicated.
- Keep the baits out of reach of children and pets, as the poison can be harmful if ingested.
Insecticides to Get Rid of Ants
Insecticides can also be used to combat ant infestations. It is a good idea to pick products that are safe for use indoors. Here’s how to use insecticides effectively:
- Follow the instructions on the product label carefully, ensuring proper application and coverage.
- Apply the insecticide to areas where you have seen ants, such as around windows, door frames, and cracks in walls or floors.
- Consider using a residual insecticide, which remains effective for an extended period, providing continuous protection against ants entering your home. I like using the residual because it can last months.
- Be aware that some ants may be resistant to certain insecticides, so you might need to try a different product if the first one you use isn’t effective.
- Always use caution and follow safety guidelines when using chemical insecticides, both for your own protection and to minimize the risk to non-target insects and animals.
By using these chemical solutions wisely, you can take care of your ant problem in your home and prevent future ant invasions.
Calling Professional Exterminators
If you’ve tried various DIY methods to eliminate ants from your property but haven’t seen success, it might be time to call professional exterminators. These specialists can assess your situation and deploy effective treatments to remove the ant infestation from your home.
Professional exterminators are trained to handle ant infestations and can provide you with a customized plan to address your specific problem.
They have access to specialized equipment and knowledge that can help get rid of fire ants, black ants, and any other ants efficiently and safely.
Remember, the cost of professional ant treatments may vary based on factors like the size of your property and the severity of the infestation, with the national average being around $150 to $200 per treatment.
If the exterminator must come back for another spraying the cost would be between $300 and $400. Hiring an exterminator can get costly but not everyone wants to DIY.
Before hiring an exterminator, be sure to:
- Research and compare local exterminators to find the best fit for your needs and budget.
- Check their reputation and read reviews from previous customers.
- Ensure they are certified and licensed to perform pest and ant control in your area.
Once your chosen exterminator arrives, they will:
- Inspect your property to determine the extent of the infestation and identify the ant species.
- Recommend an appropriate course of action based on their findings.
- Carry out the treatment plan, which may include baiting, applying insecticides, or sealing entry points.
- Provide you with tips and instructions on how to prevent future infestations.
Make sure to follow any post-treatment instructions provided by your exterminator to prevent ants from returning to your home. It’s important to remember that persistence and consistency are key to keeping your property ant-free.
Using Natural Remedies to Kill Ants
There are several natural and eco-friendly remedies that might get rid of some of the ants in your home. Implementing can keep them at bay but probably will not get rid of an entire colony of ants.
A simple vinegar solution can be a quick and effective way to repel ants. To create this solution, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Make sure to shake it well before using it. Spray this solution on areas where you’ve noticed ants. The strong smell of vinegar will disrupt their scent trails to the other ants and deter them from coming into your home. Just remember to be cautious when using it on sensitive surfaces.
Lemon Juice and Water
Lemon juice is another natural remedy for repelling ants. To make a lemon juice solution, combine equal parts of lemon juice and water in a spray bottle.
Shake the mixture well and apply it to any areas where you have observed ant activity. Not only will the lemon juice’s acidity disrupt their scent trails, but its citrus scent will also keep them at bay.
Certain essential oils have properties that can effectively deter ants from your home. Some popular options include peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil. To use essential oils as an ant repellent, follow these steps:
- Fill a spray bottle with water.
- Add 10-15 drops of your chosen essential oil.
- Shake the bottle well to mix the solution.
- Spray the mixture on ant-infested areas and entry points.
Essential oils not only help repel ants but also provide a pleasant aroma in your home. Remember to reapply the solution regularly for the best results.
Preventing Ant Infestations
Clean and Tidy Environment
One of the most effective ways to prevent ant infestations is by maintaining a clean and tidy home. This includes regular sweeping, mopping, and wiping down surfaces to eliminate food crumbs and residue that can attract ants.
It’s also important to take out the garbage promptly and avoid leaving dirty dishes around the house.
Seal Entry Points
Another important step in ant prevention is sealing potential entry points in your home. Inspect your home’s foundation, walls, and windows for any cracks or gaps that may provide access to ants. Use caulk or other sealants to seal up the openings, which will stop ants and other pests from entering your home.
Eliminate Food Sources
Limiting the availability of food sources for outdoor ants to come inside the home can help prevent ant infestations. Some common strategies include:
- Storing food items in sealed containers to prevent access by ants.
- Regularly cleaning up pet food dishes, since ants can be attracted to these as well.
- Using a vinegar-and-water solution to clean floors and surfaces, as vinegar can help mask ant scent trails and disrupt their ability to find food sources in your home.
You should be doing everything above anyways, but this will truly help in keeping ants out of your home.
In your efforts to get rid of ants permanently, remember to focus on identifying the entry points and eliminating their food sources. To do this, inspect your home for cracks and gaps that may provide access, and keep your living spaces clean and free of crumbs or residue.
Utilize natural, non-toxic methods like cornstarch with water, white vinegar solutions, or boiling water to effectively eliminate ants without endangering your family and pets.
By using the suggested techniques, you can effectively control and manage any ant issues that come your way.