It is hard to see anyone who can successfully overlook the presence of ants in their home. It is not just that they can be an eyesore: it is also the fact that they can run you out of your home if you let them by building their colonies and slowly but surely destroying everything in their path.
It doesn’t have to be such a huge task to prevent their entrance or to get rid of them if they have already infested your house. Sometimes, the thought of all the harmful chemicals that would be involved discourages people from calling an exterminator.
But if you have this problem, you definitely have to do something about it. The point here is that there are different methods of ridding your house permanently of ants without calling an ant exterminator. So rest easy; here are tips to help you out…
Infographic – Best Ways to Get Rid of Ants.
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Know The Ant
It is important to find out what species of ants you are dealing with: how they nest and their movements. Some species of ants are more difficult to get rid of than others. If you, on your own, cannot identify it, you can take pictures of them and ask experts around, even online, to help you out.
By doing this, you can equally find out various means of handling them if they are a problem for you, from these experts. Also, finding out how they nest would help you search around your house and compound to fish out possible entry points for them and destroy them for good.
When you see ants anywhere, especially in your home, the first thing you want to do is to kill them by stepping on them and squishing them. That is probably a wrong move.
Most times, when you see ants come out in small groups, they are usually scouts looking for food (their food preferences change with the seasons) or searching for new areas which would be conducive enough to establish new colonies. Different seasons also raise the need for them to change living areas.
Set baits in those places around where you have seen ants over and again. When you set these baits according to their tastes, you will draw more of them out. Ant baits come in packages which take care of both sweet-eating and grease-eating ants so when you set them, expect to see more ants.
Don’t step on them. Allow them to come out more because the more of them carry the bait into their colonies, the more of them will eat it, including their queen. You’d achieve your purpose faster and more efficiently that way than killing them as they come out. You’d scare them away.
Keep Baits In Easy-To-Reach Areas
Apart from setting baits in places where you have seen ants around your home, set them also in easily accessible places. Ants climb surfaces so don’t keep them just on floors; line them along a wall and other vertical surfaces.
This plan would speed up the elimination process, especially as the ants come out to search for food.
Maintain A Clean Environment
Keeping your house and yard clean is very important. When there are constant crumbs and left-over food which are not well preserved, they pose as an invite to different rodents and pests, including ants.
It is imperative that you constantly clean your house, get rid of refuse and crumbs and refrigerate left-over food. These would help keep ants away. There is no need inviting pests unnecessarily. Some of them are not easy to get rid of.
Completely Wipe Out Trails
Ants have a scent, varying with different species. When they move, they leave their unique scent behind and it gets worse when you squish them. It would only succeed in attracting more of their kind into your space.
Simply cleaning the house after them won’t take care of the smell, at least, not that you can tell. Use a small amount of vinegar and a considerable quantity of water to clean your house. Not only will this take away the scent, it will equally discourage ants coming into your house to look for food or set up nests.
However, this mixture will not eliminate ants which already have nests in your house. What would do is setting baits for them.
Dig Out The Nest
Sometimes, even when you set baits and keep your house clean, you would still get an infestation of ants. When you notice this trend, you may need to find out if there are nests nearby or within your house. Find the nest and take the right steps to destroy it permanently. This is one of the surest methods of ant control.
That is why it is important to know what type of ant you are faced with so that you can research its nesting habits. This information is crucial to finding the nest and successfully extinguishing it.
Without it, every other effort you put in may be futile as the nest would keep producing ants to replace those you get rid of.
Find Entries And Spray Them
Getting rid of ants with their nests and colonies is one thing but keeping them out is a completely different thing. It is important that you identify entrances through which they could possibly be getting in. Sometimes, there aren’t nests in your house but ants could find a good place for their queen to breed within so they come in and build.
However, this wouldn’t happen if you discover them on time and close off those entrances by spraying them with insecticides (those that are formulated to be used indoors). You may need to do this repeatedly before the ants disappear from around your house for good.
Create A Barrier Around Your Yard
When you are done with getting your house completely rid of ants, you can move on to your yard to be doubly sure. Use chemicals fit for outdoor use to spray your lawn, foundations, and surroundings. You may need to do this for a while before you stop.
Be sure to use solutions which won’t be harmful to your grasses over time or prove harmful to people in any way. There are ant killers that are specially made for this purpose so you would do well to use them.
Remove Every Place Of Safety
Do not keep wood stacks close to your house or even within your home; there are reasons why sheds were invented. Ants love camping out in such things. If you stack them over time, not only will you get ants, you may equally get termites.
Endeavor to trim your lawn and brushes regularly but don’t leave bald patches. Anthills thrive in such patches. And let tree branches be separate from your windows or any opening into your house. Ants could use such branches and leaves to get in.
Avoid leaving dry leaves around your yard, too. Burn them or dispose of them appropriately because ants find it easy to live and breed under dry leaves. Destroy these potential havens on time.