The ants may go marching one by one, but the last place you want to see them marching is in your home! So how do you get rid of ants after they make your house their new home? These pests are some of the worst uninvited guests because they are in no hurry to leave!
As the weather gets warmer, the two types of that are most likely to make an appearance at odorous house ants and carpenter ants. And the worst thing about these ants? By the time you realize they are inside, your home may already be infested with hundreds of these annoying little pests.
When the natural habitat of ants is disturbed or destroyed they begin to seek alternate food sources, which leads them right into your home.
While the odorous house ants won’t transmit disease or cause any real damage to your home, the same can’t be said about carpenter ants. This ant species feeds on rotten or damp wood which can cause potential damage to windows, doors, and even your home’s structural framing. However before you reach for that can of raid it is important to know that unless you get to the source of what is attracting them, you will never be able to get rid of these ants. Remember, there are thousands of ants in every colony so with out proper pest prevention you are going to continue to see ants scurrying across your countertops.
With all of that being said, how do you get rid of ants?
Keep your House Clean
Ants feed on protein, sugar, and almost anything else that they can find. Typically ant colonies will send a few ants out to scout for food. These scouting ants will bring back samples of the food that they find to the colony and then hundreds will then follow them back to the source.
In order to keep these scouting ants from returning to the source with their colony in tow, it is important to quickly clean up spills, particularly sugary liquids like soda, maple syrup, and honey. Another important thing to do is to keep all of your food in airtight containers in order to prevent ants and to get rid of ants.
Stay Away From Sprays
You may think that buying Raid or insect barrier sprays for inside and outside of your home will discourage ants from entering but that is not the case. These sprays wear off quickly and ultimately only address one of the potential entry sources for ants. Not only that but at the end of the day, they are complete overkill because of the chemicals that they contain.
These endocrine-disrupting compounds can alter the hormones in our body and have also been linked to neurobehavioral effects in children such as reduced IQ levels and ADHD.
Instead of spraying these sprays when you spot a few here and there our team recommends getting rid of ants the old fashioned way, by smushing them! These ants may even be scouting ants so killing them early on means that they can’t come back into your home with the rest of their colony trailing behind.
Set Ant Baits
The most effective DIY treatment for getting rid of ants is by using ant baits. When you set these out around your home in places that you have seen ants it is a guarantee that they will be attracted. If you have set a few of these baits out around your house and still see ants, try another brand because each colony is attracted to different things.
Along with getting rid of ants that feet on the sweet and surgery bait syrups, the scouting ants that track the liquid back to the colony will work to kill larvae and help control the growing ant population. If you have pets don’t forget to check the labels to make sure that they aren’t harmful to your animals.
Eliminating Rotted Wood and Damp Spots
While carpenter ants and house ants will typically form their home base outside, they will on occasion build satellite colonies inside your home. These satellite colonies work as a conduit for resources throughout the entire colony. Both ant species prefer damp areas which means showers, windows and any damp areas in your basement and around your home need special attention.
Make sure you keep an eye on leaks so you can fix them quickly and replace any water damaged materials. Unlike termites, who will eat their way through wood both old and new, carpenter ants only pay attention to wood that has already been damaged by water to create their tunnels. A common area for water damaged wood is a deck. These structures are prone to rotting if they aren’t properly cared for and create the perfect area for carpenter ants to tunnel into your home making it extremely hard to get rid of ants once they have accessed these damp and rotten wood structures.
Make the Outside Appealing
While ants inside of your home are a nuisance, outdoors they provide an important ecological function by aerating the soil and providing a food source for some birds. A way to keep ants at bay inside your home is by keeping them outdoors to begin with. The best way to keep them outside is by considering the different food sources outside of your home. For example aphids – little insects that live on plants- excrete a sweet honeydew substance that ants feed on. However if you are spraying outdoor plants to get rid of these aphids you are killing off an outdoor food source for ants.
By doing this, you are potentially driving these ants right into your house. It is also important to note that indoor tropical house plants are extremely appealing to ants. Those outdoor aphids also feed on these indoor plants and excrete their honeydew substance on the leaves attracting ants. In order to prevent ants from appearing and to get rid of ants it is important to wipe these leaves clean in order to eliminate a food source for ants indoors.
Trust Sigma Pest to Help you Get Rid of Ants
However, taking all of the above steps is not always enough, and you may still be frustrated by the presence of ants. If that is the case then it is time for you to call the big guns in in order to get rid of these ants. Our team at Sigma Pest is extremely skilled in ant control. We start by focusing on your home interior then move our focus to the exterior of your home. If you are struggling to get rid of ants give us a call for efficient, professional and most importantly effective ant control services.