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How to Get Rid of Ants in your Home

If there is one insect that anyone can easily find anywhere; it is definitely an ant. Ants might be tiny creatures but they are some of the most complex creatures on this planet. But let’s just leave the fascination for ants to the Discovery or National Geographic channel.

Because let’s face it, we can all be awestruck in a science class or by watching a documentary on them, but when it comes to a real situation and you find them infesting your home, that is when you start panicking.

Once you see a trail of ants heading straight to the cookie jar or in other food packages such as pasta packets, let me assure you it is not a pretty sight.

What are ants?

If you have been living under a rock (it is a good thing!), you will most likely find a few ants or a whole colony living beneath it.

Ants are one of the world’s most common insects and can be easily found in both urban and rural living areas. As of date, scientists have found out more than 10,000 different species of ants in the world, but only as little as 20-25 are commonly found in people’s homes.

Most people assume that ants are mostly attracted to sweet things. This is not the case and it can be very different between species and then also during different times of the year their preference can change.  Nonetheless, they aren’t picky eaters and will munch on almost anything.

This is why you will find them rummaging some grub in trash cans or late at night lurking about in the kitchen.

Since there are different kinds of ants, you will find them in different sizes and colors. But the most common ant is not more than 2- 25 mm. They are quite social insects and thrive by living in their colonies so it must be known to you that if you find one ant in your home, chances are there will be more.

How To Get Rid of Ants

Firstly, you need to know that an ant colony just like a beehive, has its queen. This means that the ants you will see around your home are probably going to be the trusted workers of that queen ant that are looking for some food. The queen never leaves her nest until she lays some eggs and expects to be fed.

You have to find the trail and see where the ants are heading toward. They will unintentionally lead you to their growing colony.  This will help if you can locate the colony or entry points, but it is not necessary with all the new ant baits, and non repellent products.

Once you have found the central meeting point, you can easily get rid of it so that no more ants come inside your home. The intricate and complex workings of an ant colony are such that if one ant comes in and takes a crumb or food particle, it will leave a scent on the trail it came from so that other ants can sniff it and follow the trail scent to more food.

Keep it clean

One of the top reasons that household pests like ants and cockroaches appear in your home is because of poor hygiene levels. If you don’t clean up often, these creepy crawlies will infest your space in no time.

The outside might have gotten to close to the inside, so maybe it is time to make an inspection to the outside of the home.  Make sure that the ground is not higher than the weep holes, entry points, move back the mulch or soil that is higher than the slab.  This is a prime entry point.  Fix any type of leaking or excessively moist areas, this is another type of welcome mat for certain types of ants and also termites.

Seal it

Ants are very tiny so they love to hide and nestle in small cracks and crevices. Seal up any gaps, crevices or cracks in your home so that you don’t have an ant problem and they don’t have anywhere to hide.

Keep all the food jars tightly closed so that they don’t find an opportunity to invade your food and finish it. Keep sweet stuff in hard to reach places and keep them in airtight containers.

Some Natural Remedies

  • Salt water spray

If there is anything they get repelled by and won’t ever get into, it is salt. Just mix 3 -4 tablespoons of salt in a cup of water and put that in a spray bottle. Spray it generously in all the places where you see them crawling around.

  • Cinnamon

Even though cinnamon has one of the sweetest smells, it deters and repels the ants a lot. If you dust some cinnamon powder generously around the spaces the ants come by, they will stay away from your kitchen area and will eventually leave.

You can also add half a tablespoon of cinnamon essential oil in one cup of water and then soak a cotton ball in it. Wipe all your counters and open places with that cotton ball.

  • Vinegar

For this method, you can either use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar because  both of them are equally effective. Mix 3-5 tablespoons of vinegar in a spray water bottle and generously spray everywhere you see them crawling.

These are recommendations that I have not tested or tried, but make work for your needs.

They also might make things worse, so use caution and pay attention to what happens with the ants.


Bait and Sprays for Ants

We recommend having your ants identified, and we are more than happy to help you do this, but sometimes we can usually get close with just the information as to where you are seeing the ants.

We have our ants categories broken down to help you deter the best products for your needs.

Click Here to Get to the Categories

Once you have identified the proper treatment then you will either be using a bait or a spray to control your ant problem.  The spray part is important because we want it to be a non repellent, meaning the ants will not be able to sense that the chemical is there, they keep moving around the area and boom, end of the colony.  

Some of these are available in aerosols and concentrates, the aerosol spray work great for ant, and can be applied to entry points and trails.

Baits are available and most will work for a large selection of ants, there are even bait stations that will offer both sweet and protein in the station, there are called dual choice bait stations, that work really well.

When apply the gel you will want to get it as close to the trails where the ants are, make sure to just put it right in front of the ants.    Make sure that you do not apply cleaning products in the area where you applied the bait, this will create an aversion, they will not pick up the bait.

Preventing an ant infestation

  • As always hygiene is the key to preventing any ant pest from invading your home.

  • Clean your kitchen daily.

  • Seal trash bags and garbage cans

  • Don’t leave any food spillage or crumbs on the floor.

  • Use a good bug spray on the exterior every couple of months, if you have no ant problems.

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