Ants are small tiny creatures that are one-eighth to nearly half an inch depending on its kind. Despite their size, they are the most annoying living insects in this world and irritates more when invades in our properties. You are most probably reading this article to know how to get rid of ants? Well, we have some amazing and effective treatments to answer this question: how to get rid of ants?
You must be tired of seeing ants crawling in trails all-around your house or outside in your yard and disrupting your daily routine. You might also feel them on your body crawling and be itchy thinking about them. And what is worst is when they attack your food sources. Before you get straight into how to get rid of ants, you need to know the different types of ants so you can identify and prepare for the best solution to get rid of ants.
Types of ants
There are three different types of ants that you can find in your house or your yard area. Ants are very common in the USA, actually all over the world. These are three types of house ants that you need to look for in order to choose and apply the treatments to get rid of ants accordingly.
Black ants are the most common ants you will find in your homes. They have a distinct smell. If you encounter them off or if they invade your house in crowds, you will smell a sharp astringent (acidic-pungent) odor. These ants are also called odorous ants due to their earthy smell.
Black ants make their living outdoors but travel inside the houses in search of food (sweet and sugary food) and water. You can easily recognize these black ants by their one-eighth inch of size and dark brown or dark blue-black hairless bodies. If you sense an unusual and unpleasant smell and see them crawling, you know the black ants are on the march.
Sugar ants resemble black ants and you can be confused while trying to figure out the exact kind but what mainly the difference between them is that these sugar ants are nocturnal. These ants usually feed on to fruit nectars or on sugary foods like candies, syrups, jams, jellies, honey, etc. They can make their colonies inside the house as well as outdoors. They have similar size and color to black ants. They can be seen on your plants too so if you see them feeding merely on sugar-like stuff, they are sugar ants.
You probably are thinking that the other two kinds of ants are the most irritating ones but you will change your mind after knowing how destructive the carpenter ants are. Carpenter ants are ones you should be very careful about so that they do not invade your house. Why is that so? Well, these ants are not fond of the usual food items rather, they feed onto rotten wood. They nest into wooden planks, trees, inside house structures, burrows, or any moist wood. They can do structural damage to your house and should be treated as soon as they are seen. If you see the ant bodies of the size around the quarter of an inch to nearly half an inch and see the wooden powder, rotten wood then there is a need to call in an emergency for an urgent treatment to get rid of ants.
Why do ants invade your house?
Ants have very strong instincts and can sense the sources from far and so march to scavenge for it. There can be a lot of reasons ants can invade your house’s exterior or interior and we have classified these reasons into three categories. If you will learn the reason for ants invasion it will be easier for you to identify the right method from how to get rid ants that are mentioned further in this article.
Queen ants began their search for mates in late spring starting in April and spend the early summers in building their colonies in warm and moist locations. As soon as they find a suitable location to nest near food sources, they start mating and form their colony that can be inside or outside depending on the kind of ants and their requirements.
The cycle continues to take place as the already nested colonies produce new reproductive female queens that again move out and find the new locations to start nesting their own colonies. Even if the ants nest outside, there are chances that they move inside the houses if they found a suitable environment and moisture there with ample food and water source.
Like every other living creature needs water, ants also need water supplies to survive on. Even though ants do not need a lot of water so they avoid running water and instead nest around areas they can have standing/still water puddles or water sources. It is mainly the bathtubs, sinks, water pipe leakage and pet’s water-holding trays that attract ants to come and feed onto it to relieve their thirst. Ants when moving in order to search the water, produce a sensory smell for other ants to detect where the exact location of water is through trails and then the whole colony follows the trail to get water. This is when a human eye detects the arrival of ants inside the house by the trails of ants. Even the wet clothes, mats, and kitchen towels can be the reason for their water source.
Till now you are already aware that how food sources are the main cause in welcoming ants inside the house or in your yards. Ants with their hypersensitive sense of smell can detect even the tiniest bit of food particle. They are most attracted to sugary and starchy food that mostly found on dining tables or kitchen and if you like munching snacks in your room leaving the crumbs behind, do not worry, ants can clean that up for you. They also crawl onto the food bags that are not tightly sealed or foodstuff that is not packeted properly inviting the ants to dine onto it. Even if you clean the food particles and tightly pack the food into containers, the sinks can also become the food source for them so you should also keep a check if your sinks are clean and it is not the reason for the ant’s invasion. Garbage cans can also provide ants with an opportunity to hunt the food.
Methods for how to get rid of ants
Getting rid of ants can be a fuss when they are not treated the right way. Here are ways for how to get rid of ants. You can choose a method you find most convenient or can also use several methods at a time. Below the methods of how to get rid of ants are categorized into two sections; treatments for indoors and treatment for outdoors that are further sub-categorized to choose the best-suited method according to your needs.
Treatments for how to get rid of ants- Indoors
Before you look further into how to get rid of ants that are nested inside the house, it is very important to track their locations for treatments to be effective. To track the ants nesting, you need to place food crumbs or sugary food particles like a drop of honey where you see the ants movement regularly. The ants will come to the rescue hunting for food and you can track their trail and find their location. You can use this technique all-around your house to track ant colonies and then use below-mentioned methods for how to get rid of ants
Natural Home Remedies To Treat Ants
Natural home remedies are very convenient to use and are quite accessible that you can use to get rid of ants. Let’s look into some of these natural treatments to know how to get rid of ants.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is a powerful liquid that has a strong taste and smell that can help eliminate ants. Spray vinegar several times in a day for about a week on places where you see ants like in the kitchen; counters, shelves, stoves, marbles, in cracks and opening as well as is bathrooms to get rid of ants.
- Boric Acid: Mix this boric acid with honey or sugary food that ants are feeding on in your house and place them near their trails or in problematic areas or just near the cracks etc. Boric acid kills slowly so ants can take back the bait to their nest and share it with their colony. It is slow-acting acid and eventually, the ants will be eliminated.
- Liquid Dish Soap: It is a very common substance that everyone has in their homes. Mix the liquid dish soap in water and spray this solution on affected areas or where you see ants to kill them.
- Cucumber peel: Ants do not like cucumber and so you can squeeze its juice and spray into cracks or areas where ants pass by to get rid of them. They cannot stand the smell of cucumber.
- Lemon Juice: Similar to cucumber juice, lemon is also a vegetable that ants cannot stand due to toxic oil. Squeeze the lemon juice directly into cracks to get rid of ants.
- Turmeric and Cayenne powder: Ants do not cross paths that have these spices so you can sprinkle either of these spices on areas ants are seen and directly near cracks to stop there further invasion. This will help in getting rid of ants.
Commercial Methods To Treat Ants
Sometimes you need a stronger treatment when the natural ones do not work in stopping ants into your house. Well if natural remedies failed for you, commercial methods are the next best option that is more effective. Here are four commercial methods for how to get rid of ants.
- Ant Dust: Ant dust can easily be found at any store near you and is a very common treatment used by most people to get rid of ants. Well, ant dust has a very strong smell that kills the ants on contact so you can sprinkle this dust around your house or in cracks or where the area is affected by ants. The disadvantage is that it kills ants on contact and is not a permanent solution to getting rid of ants as the colonies will get aware of not passing the sprinkled area and can search for different routes into your house. Be careful if you have any pets or children in your house as they may come in contact with the ant dust and can be ill.
- Ant-repellent spray: This spray just works the same way as ant dust do and the only difference is that it is in liquid form. It kills the ants on spot as soon as you spray on them. You can spray directly into cracks but be careful not to spray in areas where you keep your food supplies to avoid the toxic and harmful chemicals on food sources. You can use them on window ledges, bathrooms or kitchen corners where the spray does not contact food. It has the same disadvantage as ant dust, it does not kill the whole ant colony and just make ants aware.
- Non-repellent ant spray: To overcome the limitation of ant repellent sprays and ant dust, non-repellent sprays are introduced. These sprays act slowly in killing ants as when you spray directly on ants, the spray sticks to their bodies. When the ants return to their nests, their contact with the colony helps kill them all. This is one of the best methods for how to get rid of ants.
- Ant baits: Ant baits are also best-known methods and the most effective commercial method for how to get rid of ants. Ant baits come in two forms, semi-solid that can be broken down into liquid form by ants when taken back to their colonies and gel form that are mostly taken by sugar ants. You can use both these methods at the same time as well as some ants are fond of only one of these forms. These are slow-release methods to kill ants. Place the gel bead or the semi-solid bait near the trails of ants, near the cracks, in corners of the house on affected areas and track their activity. You will see the effect in a few days as this is slow killing treatment and also it is a highly effective method in getting rid of ants.
Pest Controls To Treat Ants
Sometimes professional help becomes very important to seek when things are not in your command. You might think this method may be costly but sometimes it is necessary to call pest controls as only professionals can get the job done right. Here are some issues you may face that makes it mandatory for you to call professionals in getting rid of ants.
- Carpenter Ants: You can not get rid of ants using commercial or natural methods when you are dealing with carpenter ants as they do not feed on to baits rather chew on woods. In this case, seeking professional help becomes necessary.
- Kids and Pets: If you have kids and pets in your house, there is a fear and risk of getting their lives in danger using natural or commercial methods to get rid of ants as they might come in contact to these methods like your child or pet may lick cayenne powder or can consume the bait. Moreover, someone could be allergic to these chemicals so it is better to call in for professional help.
- If none of the above methods work: If both the natural and commercial treatments fail in getting rid of ants, it is then the time to call pest control. Pest controls are however expensive but it is the best answer to how to get rid of ants permanently.
Outdoor methods to get rid of ants
Ants are not always bad as they help in controlling other pests populations in your yard or outdoor areas. If the ants start populating then there is a need to find a way to get rid of them before they enter your homes too. So how to get rid of ants outdoors? Well, the answer to this has already been discussed. The methods used indoors can also be applied to outdoors too. You can use these treatments around your house, in the yard, near the plantation, etc. Here is the list of methods you can use for effective results for how to get rid of ants.
- Non-repellent sprays
- Ant dust
- Ant Baits (liquid/gel ant bait and a granular ant bait)
How to prevent ants from invading again?
If you fear that ants will come running again, you need to take measures to prevent ants from invading your place again. Even though if you never had ants near or inside your house, you should always be careful and use these simple tricks to avoid any risks of ants arrival.
- Move the recycling bins and wash them with an ammonia solution: You should always keep your trash in airtight bins or at least secure them tightly so ants can not sense the garbage. It is also recommended to keep the garbage cans clean by washing them often with an ammonia solution.
- Keep a check on plants: Wash or clean your plants often by spraying the leaves with water to avoid ants crawling and nesting on them.
- Use home cleaners and appliances frequently (Eliminate food particles): Keep your house clean by packing all your food supplies in containers. Wash the dishes and pet trays before going to sleep. Vacuum the house daily to remove any food particles and keep the cabinets, counters, and slabs clean. Also, use home cleaners that contain lemon to avoid ants.
- Eliminating Water sources: Fix any water leakage and dry water patches from bathtubs, showers, sinks, etc. Removing the source of water will help to avoid ants attraction.
- Seal the openings and cracks: Search for any cracks and holes in your house and seal them with caulk, heavy-gauge or copper mesh to close any gateways to ants. This is the main reason why ants are able to invade the houses as they find openings to get in. Sealing these openings will help in avoiding ants entrance.
- Trim the trees and shrubs: There is a high possibility that you have ants outside your house in your yard or gardens so it is better to take precautions by trimming the tree branches and shrubs to avoid them touching your house walls and giving ants a chance to crawl inside.
- Reduce moisture retentions: Regularly mulch the soil in your garden to keep your soil neat and clean and to maintain the moisture. It helps to avoid ants nesting.
- Clean gutters and downspouts: Ants often see gutters and downspouts as an opportunity to nest near it so if you have gutters and downspouts, keep them clean to avoid ants nesting.
- Mow your lawn often and keep the grass short: This precaution has been overlooked by many but to avoid ants, it is very important that you mow your lawns and trim your grass short.
- Remove grass clippings, leaf piles, stacked wood, and other lawn debris: It is important to clean up these piles before ants crowd themselves on it.
- Pick ripe fruits from trees and pick up the fruits that fall on to the ground: As you are already aware that ants are fond of sugary food items and they have hypersensitive sense of smell to detect food, it is always recommended that you pick fruits as soon as they ripe from trees in your lawns and remove the fruits from the ground that might have fallen before ants can attack.
These are all of the methods of how to get rid of ants. I hope this article is helpful for you and you will be able to get rid of ants by applying these methods. If you find this article: “How To Get Rid Of Ants?- Try These Effective Treatments” effective, be sure to share your experience in getting rid of ants and share with them who are struggling with the same problem.