There are more than 12,000 species of ants that can be found out there. As a result, it can be unwise to generalize too much about them because there can be considerable differences from species to species. Still, there can be no doubt about the fact that ants can be serious pests for both home owners and business owners.
In short, ants come in colonies. The core of these colonies consists of one or more fertile females called queens, while the bulk of these colonies consists of sterile females that can be categorized as workers, soldiers, and other specialized roles. There are fertile males called drones, but their role tends to be limited to fertilizing the queens. On their own, an individual ant isn’t particularly impressive. However, an average-sized colony will have tens of thousands of members, which can cooperate with one another to overcome a wide range of challenges.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for ants to use this ability to make their way into human buildings. After all, ant colonies need a lot of food, meaning that they are in a constant search for sustenance. Sometimes, this can see ants making their way into human buildings via very small openings, which can cause a real nuisance should they establish themselves therein. In most cases, they are more unsightly than anything else, but there are some ant species that can cause other issues as well. For example, carpenter ants can chew their way through wooden beams, which can be expensive to either repair or replace. Meanwhile, fire ants have venomous stings, which can be particularly problematic for people who are allergic to ant stings. Summed up, ants might not be disease carriers, but they are nonetheless serious pests in need of a serious solution.
Here are 5 popular methods for getting rid of ants in the home:
Erase Ant Trails
Ants can communicate with one another via scent. As a result, it can be very useful to erase ant trails, thus preventing other ants from following those of their counterparts that laid it down in the first place. Be warned that it isn’t possible to erase ant trails by just sweeping or even mopping. Instead, interested individuals should prepare a solution that is about one part vinegar to three parts water before putting it in a spray bottle. After which, they should spray their solution wherever they have seen ants move about in the past. Please note that erasing ant trails has a very serious limitation, which is that it can’t do anything about ant colonies that are already inside the building because those ants will just establish new ant trails within a very short period of time. However, if interested individuals are still contending with ants foraging from inside the building, erasing ant trails can be a very effective and efficient solution to their pest problem.
Set Out Ant Bait
Killing individual ants is not very helpful to say the least. After all, a single queen can pump out thousands and thousands of eggs in a single day, meaning that manually killing worker ants is a losing proposition even if interested individuals are planning to spend all of their spare time on it. Instead, if they want to eliminate an ant colony, they need to strike at its heart, meaning poisoned ant bait. Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as just buying whatever poisoned ant bait that can be found out there. Interested individuals need to set out various kinds of bait such as sugar, peanut butter, and fried food to see which one tempts their ant colony the most. This is important because ant colonies can actually change their preferences over the course of a single year, with most examples preferring protein in the spring as opposed to either sweets or oily, fatty foods in the summer. Once interested individuals have figured out what their ant colony enjoys eating the most, they can buy the appropriate kind of poisoned ant bait. Assuming that everything goes well, the worker ants will soon bring the poison to the queen ants, thus solving the problem at the very source.
Spot-Treat Outside Areas
In some cases, interested individuals might prefer thinning the number of ants rather than eliminating them altogether. One potential solution would be spot-treating outside areas with an outdoor insecticide, which might require mowing the grass beforehand for more thorough results. Generally speaking, interested individuals should spray on calm days during either the early morning or the late afternoon. The first minimizes drift, while the second ensures that the ants will be most active.
Destroy the Ant Nests
Sometimes, it is necessary to destroy the ant nests. Most ant species like to build their ant nests in damp areas, which explains why it is so common for such structures to show up in walls as well as other places that have been exposed to leaking pipes. Unfortunately, finding ant nests can be a complicated and time-consuming process, particularly since interested individuals might have to remove sections of walls in order to get at otherwise inaccessible areas. As such, it might be best for them to entrust such matters to a pest removal specialist. Once the ant nest has been located, destroying it tends to be as simple as spraying it with an insecticide, but as stated earlier, locating it will be much easier said than done. In any case, hiring a pest removal specialist can cost hundreds of dollars, but that price might be worth it for those who have neither the time nor the interest to go ant nest hunting.
Preventing an ant infestation is always easier than removing an ant infestation. There are a couple of important points to keep in mind when it comes to prevention. First, interested individuals need to seal as many potential points of entry to their buildings as possible, which can be pretty difficult considering how small ants tend to be. Second, they should do their best to keep their building in a clean and pristine state because that minimizes the chances of food sources from showing up for ants, which in turn, minimizes the chances of the potential pests from being lured in.