Why do you suddenly have a lot of ants in the home?
The thing to know about ants is that they’re opportunistic feeders so there must be a food source that’s appealing to them and making them want to move into your home.
How do you get rid of ants?
By removing ants’ access to food and water in the home, you can reduce their numbers.
There are various ways in which to do this.
So, let’s explore how to eliminate pesky ants from your home that seem to sneak into your food and other places.
How To Get Rid Of Ants
Invest In Ant Baits
Ant baits are edible items that are toxic to ants but won’t harm humans or animals.
These baits are sometimes made out of boric acid, though. You can find ant bait products that take the form of granules or liquids which you will put close to ant trails that you can see inside your house.
Since these baits are sweet to ants, they will attract them. What happens is that the ants will carry the bait to their nest, so it will help to remove ant infestations from your home.
You’ll have to be patient, though, as it can take many days for the ant colony to be eliminated. You can find some ant baits on Amazon. The benefit of ant baits is that the ants carry the bait to their nests, so you don’t end up with a ton of dead ants to clean from surfaces in your home.
Keep Food Out Of The Way
If ants are being attracted to your home, that’s because it has a food source for them. So, reduce how appealing your home seems to ants by making sure you cut off their food supply.
You can do this in the following ways:
- Keep food in the home sealed in airtight containers so that ants can’t climb into them. Never leave food open on counters or tables.
- Keep your surfaces clean. This is especially important in the kitchen after you’ve cooked as there could be food debris lying around that will attract ants.
- Make sure you keep your pet food in airtight containers too, as these foods can also be appealing to ants.
- Sweep your floors regularly to remove any crumbs or other food debris.
Other Tips For Preventing And Removing Ants
- Seal up any cracks around doors and windows. Ants can sneak in through the tiniest gaps!
- Keep your trash cans clean and put the trash outside so that you prevent the garbage inside from accumulating and attracting ants.
- Repair leaking water pipes as ants are not only looking for food but need water, too.
- Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home because ants (and other pests) love hiding in it.
- Get into the habit of using the household cleaner on areas where you’ve seen ants. This helps to eliminate the pheromone trail that ants use to find the resources they want.
A mild soap and water solution is all you need to clean items that you see ants being attracted to, such as the outside of a honey container. Just wiping it down with soapy water will help to deter ants because it destroys the pheromones they’ve left there.
- When cleaning up crumbs, don’t forget to remove them from underneath couch cushions, between the seams of couches, and around appliances in your kitchen, such as toasters and microwaves.
Purchase Boric Acid
This is a poison that does work well to kill worker ants and their queens in three weeks.
However, handling boric acid requires lots of caution because it is toxic and it’s also dangerous to children and pets.
When handling it, wear protective gloves. You will then have to mix half a teaspoon of boric acid with one cup of warm water and eight teaspoons of sugar. Stir the mixture well until the sugar and acid have dissolved, then leave it in containers close to where the ants are usually found.
Alternatively, use boric acid in DIY ant traps.
- Mix the powder with sugar or maple syrup to attract the ants.
- Spread it out on a flat surface, like cardboard, and put this in areas of the home where ants are known to frequent.
You can find boric acid from your local hardware store.
What Natural Remedies Eliminate Ants?
While you can use pesticides to get rid of ants, this is not always advisable, especially if you have kids and pets as you’ll worry about their health. So, the good news is that there are natural remedies to help you deal with ants.
But which ones are the most effective?
Let’s check them out.
- Boiling water. This is an easy way to eliminate ants and you just need to pour water down any ant holes that you can see in your home where ants go.
- This is another way in which you can kill large groups of ants you see around the home. Pour cornstarch over them and add water on top. The downside to using this DIY method is that it will be messy, so an alternative is to cover the ants with cornstarch before vacuuming it up instead of pouring water over it.
- Cinnamon leaf essential oil. If you want to buy a home remedy to eliminate ants from your home, this one is worth it as it has been found to be effective. Put this oil on cotton balls and leave them in areas of the home where you’ve spotted ants.
- Black pepper. This has been confirmed to eliminate ants. In a study, two bowls were left out for ants to investigate. One had been sprayed with a solution of black pepper and water, and the second one hadn’t. After an hour, the bowl that had the pepper in it also had numerous dead ants inside it.
How To Find Ant Nests And What They Look Like
Get to the source of your ant infestation by finding where ants are making their nests in your home or yard.
It’s good to know that ants like damp areas to build their nests, such as soft flooring that’s become spongy from a plumbing leak.
So, a good way to start looking for ant nests is to search for any water damage in the home, such as in the bathroom or attic. When you’ve found it, you should cut a small hole in a water-damaged wall to see if there are ant nests.
When you locate an ant nest, spray it with an insecticide that contains permethrin, deltamethrin, or bifenthrin.
It helps to know what an ant nest looks like. These nests sometimes have large mounds that are made up of decaying matter or piles of leaves. Other times, an ant nest is just a pile of sand or dirt.
Since ant nests are more difficult to spot in walls, a good tip is to seal up any cracks in them as the ants will use these to enter the walls. This also prevents you from having to use insecticides.
When Should You Call The Pros?
While it’s always useful to try to deal with ant infestations in the home yourself, if you’ve tried what we’ve outlined in this article and you’re still being overrun by ants, it’s a good idea to call pest removal companies who can provide long-term solutions to your ant problem.
Some exterminators will make use of natural or eco-friendly products instead of toxic ones. Ask them about this if you’re worried about the use of harsh chemicals in the home.
If they do make use of toxic products to eradicate ants, it’s important to inform them if you have pets or children, or if someone in your household has a health problem, such as a respiratory condition.
If the company has the word “eco” or “green” in their name, it’s not enough to be guaranteed that they’re not using chemicals and other toxins, therefore always speak to them about what ingredients they use before making a decision to hire them.
Can ants spread diseases?
Ants can spread pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses, such as salmonella.
This is because of how they move around rodent feces and rotting food.
Does vinegar work to get rid of ants?
Although the smell of vinegar repels ants, you will have to use it daily in areas where you see ants in the home, such as by using vinegar to wipe down counters or tables, otherwise they will quickly return.
If you’re noticing lots of ants in your home, you’ll surely want to nip them in the bud before you end up with a real infestation on your hands.
Luckily, getting rid of ants isn’t a difficult task, especially if you ensure you don’t have food or water on display that’s attracting them to your home. In this article, we’ve looked at some tried-and-tested methods to eliminate ants once and for all.