Ants: You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them
Sure, they’re helpful and even necessary in our backyards and gardens, where they pollinate, control other insects, and clean up debris. But when they show up in your bathroom, dog dish, or on kitchen counters, it’s time to take action. Here are some steps to help you get rid ants once and for all.
Though it may feel that way, invading ants aren’t invading to annex your house. Instead, they’re largely driven by the need for food. This goes for black and brown ants, and even the dreaded carpenter ant, which feeds on – you guessed it – the very wood that supports your home.
Franklin admonished that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and so it goes with ants. The first step to controlling ants in the house is to deter them from ever entering in the first place. Walk around your house and perform a visual inspection: do you see a trail of ants entering the house anywhere? Look closely along the foundation for cracks and holes. Be sure to look carefully around windows and doors, which are a common entry point for ants. Seal them off with a high-quality outdoor caulk. Lay down a barrier in front of any entry points you see. This could include natural remedies such as talc or talcum powder, or chemicals sold at your local hardware or gardening store.
Furthermore, keeping your home clean can serve to effectively deter ants from seeing your home as a food source in the first place. This means cleaning counters regularly and putting food away in tightly-sealed containers.
Ants have well-defined roles within a colony, and one of those roles is “scout.” That’s the ant that’s dispatched to investigate potential food sources to exploit. If you see a single ant wandering about your countertops, kill it and wipe down the area.
If you’re already suffering an infestation, it’s time to start killing them. Traps are useful, as is boric acid, when used properly. If you find a trail, wipe the ants up in a wet cloth or sponge, and follow the trail back to the entry point. Ants on a trail will leave a chemical scent behind for other ants to follow, so it’s important to wipe up the trail with bleach or a similar cleanser.
Most ants nest outside of the home, coming inside only to forage for food. However, should you find a colony inside the home, keep in mind that you must successfully kill the queen in order to properly eliminate it and the chances for a future re-infestation.
One last word of caution: it is advisable to start with the easier, less toxic methods for prevention and control of ants inside of a home. Drastic measures like home foggers and exterminator services should be viewed as a last resort.
If one of these methods works, treat yourself to a acid flavored cigar. This will make that victory against ants that much better. Hope these tips are helpful and wish all of you the best of luck.