Five Tips for Getting Rid of Ants
Ants are perhaps the most difficult pests to completely get rid of. They will not only nest indoors in places such as potted plants, but also in a variety of housing materials, making it easy for them to spread to any area of your home.
The most common time of year for ants to be active indoors or outdoors is in the early spring through late fall, depending on where you live. You may spot them crawling in your kitchen where there’s food or moisture. Ants typically travel indoors to seek out food, not just shelter. Even the tidiest of homes can experience an ant infestation. Follow these five tips to help control these pests.
- 1. Erase Scent Trail
Colonies regularly send out lone ants to check for food sources. These lone ants, whose sole job is to map out a trail for other ants to follow, are called “scout ants”. If you see an individual ant strolling across your coffee table, don't let it return to the nest. Sweeping or mopping isn't enough to eliminate the scent. Instead, mix one part vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle for a safe, effective way to eliminate this scent trail. Also, spray this mixture anywhere that you have seen ants in the past to erase possible trails around your home.
- 2. Keep Things Tidy and Dry
Ants will seek out the tiniest of crumbs and moisture so making your home un-inviting to these tiny pests goes a long way. Wipe counters and all surfaces with a gentle cleaning solution. Check behind and under appliances to clean up any liquids or debris that may have fallen. Storing food in the refrigerator or in airtight containers will make your kitchen less tempting for these tiny pests. Keep all pet food stored off of the floor level and clean often in areas where pets eat.
- 3. Block Entry Points
Exterior and interior areas should be checked regularly for gaps where ants may be entering your home. You can often follow a trail and see where the ants are steadily marching along the wall or floor. If you see the trail leading to a window sill or exterior doors you’ll know this is an entry point to focus on. After you have cleaned up the trail, you can apply a sealant such as caulk along the breached area. Replace any rotted wood or damaged door sweeps. Keep all debris away from the exterior of your home and take household trash to outdoor receptacles regularly.
- 4. Ant Traps and DIY Solutions
There are some natural deterrents and store-bought traps that can provide some relief when you notice an infestation. Individual ants are easy to kill since they are so small and fragile, but they’re also resilient. They lay many eggs and have huge colonies. Unless you find the colony and kill all the eggs in the nests you’ll likely see a recurrence of the infestation. By the time you’ve noticed ants you probably have an infestation and it will be a challenge to get rid of them.
- 5. Call a Professional
With experience comes knowledge. Because ants are so small and lay many eggs very quickly, they have likely already infested a large area by the time you see one. A professional exterminator is your best line of defense against pests. Contact Spence’s Pest Control if you notice any pest problems. Our experienced technicians will know where to check for nests and will discuss the best treatment options to safely and effectively control pests indoors and outdoors.