Controlling Ants in Home
Ants are most common insects encountered around house, gardens and buildings. Ants are quite beneficial in gardens and fields. Ant scavenging may help to recycle organic matter and their tunneling may be useful in aerating and mixing soils. Sometimes ants are harmful in garden as it removes soil from the roots. Ants become problems when they are found in homes. Ants contaminate food and also can be harmful for house structure by hollowing out wood for nesting. Small number of ants found inside may become permanent residents and make a nest within a building.
Ants nesting indoors
To get rid of ants, avoid toxic ant control products as it is not only harmful to the environment but also to your health. Here are some tips on controlling ants without using highly toxic chemicals.
• The problem can be reduced by sealing food. Clean the kitchen counter top, sink and floor to get rid of ants.
• Check and repair dripping taps and leaking pipes because water is important source to attract the ants.
• Area around the building should be clean and free from piled leaves or ground covers to avoid formation of ant’s nest.
• Keep ants and other insects out of your home by repairing or caulking all cracks and crevices with a quality silicon caulk.
• Use natural ant repellents, which include spices like black pepper, red chilli, mint and plants such as tansy, catmint, peppermint and sage.
• At the nest entrance, pour apple cider vinegar.
• Pour hottest peppers mixed with boiling water for chopping the ants in to the entrance of nests.
• A mixture of baking powder and sugar in equal parts place around the nest or ant-infested areas will help to discourage their activity.
• Draw a line with chalk around the garbage can to keep ants away from it as ants will not cross lines.
• To control ants in home spray of insecticides like carbaryl, lambda-cyhalothrin, beta-cyfluthrin can be used.
Ants nesting outdoors
Generally ants noticed indoors may be nesting outdoors colonies. To control ants their nest should be searched in the areas around home and yard. After locating the nest, it is possible to get rid of ants by using one of several insecticides. These ants can also be controlled to enter in home by providing barriers.
• By providing an insecticide barrier around building outside edge can control the movement of ants. This treatment can be applied as sprays to the soil adjacent to the building.
• Ant entry can be reduced by sealing foundation cracks, holes in walls and windows sills.
• Ants can be controlled for 20 to 30 days by using insecticides.
• Use vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water and soak soil or concrete areas from where ants can enter in your house.
• Talcum powder, chalk dust and diatomaceous earth can be used to form ant barriers.
• Keep ants and other insects out of your home by caulking all cracks, seals, etc. with a quality silicone caulk that will not crack or shrink.
These treatments may help you to control ants in your home. Controlling ants that can not be taken care of these treatments need to be dealt with using ant bait.
Ant bait is a toxic substance mixed with some food to attract ants. The ants feed this bait and return to their colonies and share this bait with nest mates. If enough bait is carried to colonies and consumed by all ants, the colony can be killed.
Make sure the bait you use is acceptable by ants. Place bait in ant suspected area and watch ant’s reaction for some time. It can be possible that ants do not eat bait. Try different bait until you find that ants will eat it. The insecticides used for ants bait should have slower effects instead of fast acting; give ant time to carry food to their colony. Keep fresh bait, dry and moisture bait is not acceptable by ant.
For successful bating watch ants for a week as most ant baits are slow acting. Avoid insect spray in baited area it contaminate the bait and other ants will not eat it. Make sure that ants are able to return their nest and feed other members of colony, this will kill colony of ant. These methods help you to get rid of ants.
Steps For Effetively Using Ant Baits:
Effectively using baits also requires a few steps be taken so that the ants will visit and feed upon the baits:
- Most important is to deny them alternate food and water sources within the home.
- Thoroughly clean-up food preparation areas and other sites of ant activity to deny ants alternate source of food.
- Secure garbage cans to prevent ant foraging. Leaking faucets and other areas providing free water should also be corrected.
- Spot sprays of insecticides should not be used in the vicinity of a bait station that might deter ants visitintbaits.
- The point of effective ant baiting is to get ants to actively visit the bait.
- Place the baits in areas where ant activity has been observed or the area by ants.
- Ant baits will need to be reapplied if they dry out or are consumed.
Ways To Keep Ants Away:
Once you eliminate the ant nests, keep them away from returning. Here are a few methods to keep ants away from your yard and home:
- Plants such as catnip, pennyroyal, peppermint, sage, and spearmint in your garden will help keep ants away.
- To block the entry of ants, their marching path may be obstructed by spraying the solution formed by mixing of water, white vinegar and dish soap.
- To prevent the entry of ants, place the solution of peanut butter, sugar and boric acid in a container in the area where ants are problem. Care must be taken that pets and kids will not able to eat it.
- Orange Guard is an effective and safe commercial product that repels and kills ants on contact. Since it is not toxic to humans or pets, you can use it even in the kitchen or outdoor kitchen area where food is prepared.
- Tansy is a natural ant repellant, mainly against sugar-type ants, which are the most likely to attack your kitchen. Tansy is toxic to many animals, so don’t plant or let it go to seed in livestock fields.
- Spread some ground cinnamon where you think the ants are coming in to the house.(this also works with cinnamon natural essential oils and has the added benefit of making your house smell just delicious.
- Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. To deter ants, use catnip, Sprinkle it in their paths.