Send the Ants Marching (How to Get Rid of Ants)Reading time: 6 minutes
Ants are an extremely pesky pest to deal with around your home. No matter how clean you keep your house, they always seem to find a way inside.
The best way to get rid of ants is to use a professional pest control company that can help you identify and remove the source of the problem. There are some things you can do for your home to deter all types of ants and control them without having to resort to insecticides. In this blog, we will be exploring all the ways you can send the ants marching.
One of the best ways to avoid an ant infestation is by keeping your house clean and tidy, so good housekeeping is the most important part of keeping ants away. If there's a food source or water available, then these little creatures will come looking for it!
Sweep up/vacuum food particles as quickly as possible and be sure to wipe up any spills immediately so they don't set in which causes an even greater attraction towards them. A good habit to get into is doing a complete wipe down of your countertops every evening before bed to ensure you catch any crumbs you may have missed during the day.
Storing food properly can also be a make-or-break situation for attracting ants. Storing grocery items like rice, cereal, sugar, etc. in airtight containers is a good way to keep ants out and from smelling/locating your food.
When it comes to recycling your bottles and cans, the sweet residue left at the bottom of your cola bottle can be enough to get an ant's attention. Make sure to thoroughly rinse bottles, cans and jugs before placing them in the recycling.
Does your bathroom have a leaky faucet? Did you know that ants are also attracted to moisture? Fix leaks as soon as you notice them and do your best to keep moisture levels to a minimum in places like the bathroom, the kitchen and the mechanical room. If you notice one room struggles with more moisture than another you can always invest in a portable dehumidifier to try to combat the moisture and make it a less welcoming place for ants.
You can also try some natural methods for ant control. One way is to make a DIY ant spray with vinegar and water. Another is to sprinkle cornstarch around areas where you’ve seen ants. This will deter them from coming into your home.
Your pet's products are also an attractant for ants. Make sure the stored foods and litter are not easily accessible (stored above the floor). Trash bins, pet food and food in cupboards should be stored in containers with tight-fitting lids.
A Strong Defence
Keeping ants out of your home should always include an exclusionary strategy as that is your first line of defence when it comes to pests. Check your foundation to ensure there are no cracks or holes. When the foundation of your home is sealed and clear of debris there is less opportunity for ants to come inside.
Take a walk around the outside of your home to identify any places or spaces pests may be able to get into. Once you have identified the problem areas you will want to invest in a caulking gun and some caulk (make sure it is rated for outdoors and waterproof). Remember to follow the directions on the caulk and seal up any gaps or cracks around the outside of your home. For larger holes or cracks fine wire mesh may be used to seal it up from pests.
Windows and doors are a favourite entry point for ants, make sure the weather-stripping on your doors and windows is in good condition. If it is cracked or not creating a proper seal anymore it's time to replace the stripping as soon as possible.
So you have sealed your home up and you are practicing proper housekeeping inside your home, but what about your yard? There are a few things you can do to make your yard & home less of a target for ants.
Firewood storage can actually be a huge problem for multiple kinds of pests. Firewood stored against your home creates the potential that ants in the wood will then enter your home! If you have a woodpile make sure it is as far away from your home as possible. Carpenter ants are attracted to rotting wood. If you can, raise the woodpile off of the ground on a platform or pallets to keep it dry and to make it harder for pests to access.
Trim any overgrown bushes or trees away from your home. Clean up these areas as they can harbour many different kinds of pests. Trimming vegetation a minimum of 6 inches from your house ensures there is no bridge for ants to get onto your house. Trim tree branches or any vegetation that makes contact with your house.
If you have stumps on your property make sure they are as far away from your home as possible and not near any windows or doors. Piles of leaves, branches, grass clippings and other yard debris are the perfect place for ants to hide out in. Not only that but it can also lead to excess moisture in these areas which can also attract ants. Keep your yard clean and tidy by regularly raking up leaves, removing any debris and cutting the grass.
Keep an eye out for ant hills and ant trails around your home. Even though ant hills look small, they can be home to extremely large ant colonies underground.
One of the ants' main sources of food source is aphid excretion. If you have an aphid problem in your garden chances are you have an ant problem as well.
Ants have a symbiotic relationship with aphids, they eat the sweet excretion from the aphids and the aphids get protection from the ants. Ants will actually herd aphids because of the sweet substance that aphids excrete.
There are a few ways to deal with aphids. You can use a powerful spray of water to knock aphids off of your plants. Another option is to purchase ladybug eggs to hatch in your garden, as ladybugs are excellent at aphid control. You can also plant aphid-repellent plants such as catnip, garlic, chives, onion, and allium.
DIY Ant Repellent
Peppermint is a natural ant repellent which can also be used to repel other pesky insects, including mosquitoes.
To use peppermint as an ant deterrent, purchase some peppermint essential oil, mix 10 to 20 drops with 2 cups of water, add to a spray bottle, and spray areas that you’d like ants to stay away from, especially at points they’re entering your home (spray along baseboards, windowsills or other places ants enter your home).
Like other essential oils, make sure to keep peppermint oil out of reach of pets, especially cats, as it can make them ill. Peppermint oil is also safe to use around children and makes your house smell great as well.
Hire A Pest Control Pro
Ants are extremely tricky pests to get rid of. Ant colonies can get to huge numbers in a short amount of time due to the ants' organizational skills and work ethic.
If you are dealing with an ant problem or even worse, an ant infestation, one of the easiest and time-saving things you can do is call a professional exterminator or pest control company. Buzz Boss can help with a perimeter insect repellent treatment around the base of your home that will help to repel ants and other insects as well, without having to resort to pesticides. The products used will last for several weeks and are safe for your family, pets and wildlife.