Ants are a common household issue, and a persistent one at that. Thankfully, there are some fairly easy steps you can take to avoid ants trying to make your home theirs.
The first step in ant pest control is making sure your house isn’t an attraction to them. Ants look for warm spaces that have plentiful food sources, so you need to ensure they won’t find easy targets at your house. This includes common sense steps like not leaving uncovered food out and cleaning up food-related messes promptly. Store food in plastic and glass containers. Caulk and seal cracks in windows and doors that can act as entry points and keep these areas clean.
Know Your Ants
If you do see ants in or around your home, do your homework and determine what kind you have. First, make sure that you aren’t actually dealing with termites, as the two are similar in appearance. Ants have bent antennas instead of straight and segmented bodies as opposed to one long body.
Look at behavior to identify the species. Carpenter ants chew through structural wood in homes, creating massive damage, and fire ants will sting humans that get too close, causing pain, discomfort, nausea and even trouble breathing. Knowing what kind of ants are trying to get in will help you choose whether to deal with the problem yourself or call a professional.
Get Rid of Your Problem
Numerous solutions have been reported to repel ants. Citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges, are a natural deterrent for ants. Using peels or essential oils in areas they’ve been spotted might help keep them at bay. They also don’t care for talcum, chalk and flour. Leaving lines of these powders along pantry shelves could be useful in keeping them out of food stored in those spaces.
One widely accepted, natural method of ant control is white vinegar. Ants don’t like the smell of vinegar, and a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar will do the dual job of repelling them and wiping out the scent trails they leave for each other.
Finally, insecticides designed for ants are available at most home stores. Make sure you follow all safety recommendations and use common sense if you attempt to eradicate an ant problem by yourself.
Know When to Call for Help
Sometimes, despite all preventative measures and DIY solutions, ants will continue to return or worse, create a colony inside your home. At this point, it’s a better choice to call the professionals at Midwestern Termite and Pest Control to help you out.