An educational guide to help you get rid of unwanted Ants.
How To Get Rid Of Ants
No one wants to see ants in their home and unfortunately, these are social insects. In other words, you are unlikely to see just a handful of ants; you will probably have a reasonably sized colony. Depending on the type of ants you are dealing with, they may bite you, leaving a stinging sensation. At the very least, they will damage your property and get in your food.
Luckily, there are a range of methods that can help you get rid of ants, some more effective than others. There are a wide range of natural options available as well as chemical methods that can see better results. Of course, for the best results, you should hire a professional to get rid of the ants for you. Their experience will prove valuable and they will already have all the tools needed. That being said, it is still good to know how to reduce the ant population until a professional can come take care of them for you.
Get Rid Of The Ant Trail
As mentioned, ants are social insects so a single ant will likely be followed by more. You can stop this, however, by cleaning up the ant trail. These insects will follow each other via the scent trail, but if they can’t find the path, more ants will not be able to join the first group. Ideally, you should find the entry point into your home, put up a barrier like upturned duct tape, then clean the trail. This is as simple as using a soap, bleach, or an all-purpose cleaner.
Use Bait Stations
Because they are small, ants are especially good at hiding so you will need to attract them out of remote areas like cabinets. Try mixing either borax or boric acid powder with water and some sugar. Boric acid will work externally and internally, making it highly effective. Mix together a cup of water, two cups of sugar, and two tablespoons of boric acid. Then, wait until you see ants arriving and put the bait next to the trail; not on it. Alternatively, put the bait station in a safe area of your pantry where the ants are grouped together. To make the borax bait, combine a tablespoon peanut butter, two teaspoons borax, a teaspoon water, and two tablespoons sugar. Ideally, they will take the bait back to their colony and it will kill the queen.
If there are pets or young children in your house, make sure it isn’t possible for them to get into this solution as the boric acid is dangerous. You can do this by placing the bait in a jar with tiny ant-sized holes on the lid.
Use A Strong Fogging Agent
For strong results at killing all the ants and keeping them away, you will want to use a strong fumigant along with a fogging device. These convert the solution into a mist so it can reach every nook and cranny and are typically used by professionals. If you do this, just remember that you will likely have to stay out of the area you apply the solution for at least several hours, if not longer. You also have to be careful about the quantities you use of the fumigant to avoid creating a danger to you and your family; because of this, fumigants and foggers are best left to the professionals.
Consider Natural Remedies
Although not always effective, there are a range of natural remedies that can help get rid of ants and keep them away. Since they are natural, you likely already have everything you need at home and the methods pose no health risk or damage to the planet. Some of the most common of these include spreading out ground cinnamon or mixing the essential oil in water to make a spray, making a spray of white vinegar and water, rubbing lemon on key areas, mixing peppermint oil and water, and placing cucumber peel or cayenne pepper in certain spots. Other home and natural remedies sometimes suggested for ants include baking soda, chalk, soap and water, fresh garlic, diatomaceous Earth (DE), and aspartame.
Discourage Ants From Coming Back
Although you will kill the ants that you first saw in your home, if you don’t make any changes, it is very likely that new ones will come to take their place. To avoid this, keep your home clean so there is nothing to attract the insects. This means storing food in airtight containers, wiping down every surface, keeping your sink spotless, and just cleaning your home regularly.
You can also discourage ants from entering your home by making sure they can’t get in. Remember that ants can get in teeny tiny spaces, but you can still get the best of them. Use caulk to seal up cracks along windows and doors, place blockers underneath your doorways, or adjust your landscape to create a buffer zone.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.