The Ultimate Guide to Getting Rid of Ants
DIY Ant Bait
If you have an ant infestation in your home, here’s an inexpensive way to kill them, without calling the exterminator. Mix a quarter cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon borax, and 1 cup water in a small container (not one that you eat out of) and pour a bit of the mixture into some bottle caps. Place the caps wherever you see ants. They will carry the poison back to the colony, killing the whole nest. Borax can be found at drugstores. Be careful, this mixture is not safe for pets or kids to ingest.
Keeping Ants Out of Cabinets
If you listen to our lifehacks podcast, you know that one of our favorite household tricks ever is to sprinkle cinnamon around the edges of your cabinets to keep ants out. Ants won’t cross a cinnamon barrier! They also won’t cross a line made out of chalk.
Ant-Free Pet Food
Never have to throw away an ant-infested bowl of pet food again! If ants keep sneaking into your pet’s food, you should know that ants can’t swim. Place the bowl of dog or cat food into a shallow bowl filled with water and the ants won’t be able to reach the food
Talcum Powder for Ants
To kill off any ants in your home with something that’s safe for kids and pets, try talcum powder. Sprinkle talcum powder along your baseboards and doorways. It dehydrates ants’ bodies, eventually killing them.
Keep Ants Away from Your House
Never use decorative paving stones near your home. Certain ants love to make their homes underneath them! Use them away from your house to be certain ants won’t decide to come in for a visit.
Homeowners Guide for Getting Rid of Summer Ants
How to get rid of ants and stave off future infestations
Considered one of the most common nuisance pests and known for crashing backyard BBQs, ants can show up in overwhelming numbers during the summer. Although these pests rarely transmit diseases, they can be difficult to get rid of and can easily take over living spaces, especially areas where food or moisture are present such as kitchens and bathrooms. During the summer, these intruders can run rampant throughout the home as they search for food and shelter.
Although homeowners are familiar with ants, some may not know that there are several common species capable of infiltrating and taking over households. With more than 700 species living in the U.S., it is crucial to know which one you’re dealing with in order to properly get rid of these common summer ants.
These ants get their name from their ability to excavate wood and form smooth tunnels throughout structures. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood, they only tunnel and chew through it to build their nests. These species pose a threat to households because of the structural damage their nest building can cause. Additionally, carpenter ants have powerful jaws and can bite. A western black carpenter ant colony, when mature, can contain between 10,000 to 20,000 workers, with larger colonies containing over 50,000 individuals.
Odorous House Ants
When crushed, you’ll likely be able to smell this ant due to the strong, rotten coconut-like scent it gives off. Odorous house ants are determined pests and will use branches or plants outside of your home to climb inside. Once indoors, they will nest near moisture sources and inside wood damaged by termites. Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, such as honeydew, and are capable of contaminating food. Click the link above to learn how to get rid of these summertime ants.
Little Black Ants
Little black ants, named for their appearance, are scavengers that will feed on a variety of sugary or fatty foods including candy, fruit, grease, oil, and meats. Because of their small size, their nests tend to also be small and therefore difficult to locate. Indoors, they typically nest in wall voids and decaying wood. These ants have stingers, but they are too small and weak to pose any health threat.
Pavement ants are known for making nests in or under pavement cracks. These ants will eat anything, including bread, meats and cheese, and are willing to forage in trails for up to 30 feet to find food. Pavement ants are found in ground-level masonry walls but can also nest in insulation and underneath floors.
How to get rid of ants
Here’s how to get rid of ants and keep them out of your kitchen and home for good
Want to know how to get rid of ants? Have you discovered an army of ants marching in single file across your kitchen units? Remember the sugar granules you spilt as you were making your tea? Unless they were mopped up immediately, you’ve created a tempting spot for ants to gather. If you’re serious about getting rid of these small colonial insects
Why are there ants in my house?
You’d be correct in thinking that ants are usually found in nests outside, then how have they made it into your house? Well, the clever (but annoying) insects often head into our homes to forage for food.
Clear away food
If you want to get rid of ants the obvious thing to do is keep food off their menu by storing yours away in airtight containers. Next wipe away any food and drink spillages immediately, not forgetting to clean the inside of cupboards and under the kitchen cabinetry.
Use a natural anti-ant spray
Once you’ve removed the ants’ food sources, give your kitchen surfaces and floor a final wipe down using an eco-friendly homemade anti-ant spray, made with one part vinegar to one part water. Homemade lemon and peppermint oil sprays will also do the trick. Ants can’t bare strong smells, so the vinegar or oils will work a treat in deterring the house invaders and masking there scent trails, making them loose there direction.
Block up entry points
Follow the trail of ants back to their nest to find out where they’re getting in, then fill any cracks and crevices with sealant, especially around the doors and window frames.
Ants: The Ultimate Guide
Ants are some of the most notorious household pests throughout the country and the world. Ants are found on every continent except Antarctica, and according to a study published in PNAS, may make up as much as 25% of Earth’s entire animal biomass. Needles to say, there are a lot of ants, and they are extremely successful at what they do. This success is partly because of their sophisticated social organization and the various defense mechanisms that they employ
According to National Geographic, there has now been over 10,000 unique species of ants discovered that have been classified. These insects are best identified by their segmented antennae, compound eyes, and 3 body segments with a constricted second segment (petiole) that gives them a narrow waist. Ants are important to the environment because they decompose forests and other habitats, help aerate the soil, and can help control other insect and pest populations
Understanding Ant Behavior
If you want to learn how to get rid of ants, you must first understand ant behavior. Although ants vary widely by species, the majority of ants exhibit similar ways of living. Most ant species live within a caste-like social structure. Typical colonies consist of one or several queens (that lay the eggs for the colony), fertile males called drones, soldiers, and workers. Each ant within the colony has a specialized job and works for the good of the colony.
While the queen is essential for the growth of the colony, the workers are the lifeblood. They forage for food, and then bring it back for the rest of the colony. Ants are omnivores that will eat almost anything that is available. In the outdoors, ants will eat nectar, honeydew from aphids, leaves, grains, insects, dead rodents, vegetables, and many other things. When they enter homes, they prefer sweets and starches like sugar, fruit, candy, and breads. Ants feed their colony through trophallaxis.
Identifying Common Household Ants
Even though there are thousands of species of ants on the earth, there are only a few species that are labeled as pests in the United States. When dealing with ants, it is helpful to know what species you are dealing with so that you know the best extermination methods. Some ants build their colonies outside and only come into your home to forage. The method of ant removal of these species will be different than ants who build their nests in your walls and home.
Ant Control: How To Get Rid of Ants
One of the most frustrating problems you can have as a homeowner is an infestation of ants. Ants frequently find their ways into homes thanks to their small size and foraging nature. Ants often travel in large groups and will appear in long lines, especially if they have found something good to eat. Controlling an ant infestation can be tricky as treatment options can vary depending on the type of ant that is present.
Because ants live in colonies, even if you see only a few ants, there is likely a lot more that you don’t see. An ant population grows rapidly, so a small ant problem can grow into a big one in little time. Their numbers can grow even into the millions, which leads to ants breaking off and establishing satellite colonies to help support their growing numbers, which only spread their infestation throughout the rest of your property.
Most ants are nuisance pests and are not considered to be public health threats. But some species, such as Fire ants or Argentine ants, are invasive and will bite people and animals causing itchy welts and allergic reactions. Other species, such as Carpenter Ants and Crazy Ants, will cause structural damage to your home and electrical equipment.
Knowing what type of ant you have and where it’s found is crucial for treating an infestation. Some common types of ants found in homes are Pharaoh ants, Rover Ants, Little Black Ants, Carpenter Ants, Odorous House Ants, Crazy Ants, Argentine Ants, and Fire Ants. However, many other species exist. In fact, there are over 10,000 different species of ants all over the world.
Ants are identified by their size, the number of body segments, color, antennae, and shape. A quick way to identify them is by their nesting locations and where they may be foraging (around the foundation, flowerbeds, mulch bed, around windows and doors, areas of moisture etc.)