Ants. Everyone knows that sinking feeling when you see a lone scout scurrying across your counters or in the corner of a room. You know that where there is one, there are surely more to follow.
When you see those little black ants in your home, you might wonder how to get rid of ants in the house. There are many tricks you can try, but there is always a chance the ants make it back.
If you have tried everything you can think of and keep seeing these pests, call a company you can trust. At Environmental Pest Management, we pride ourselves on getting the job done right safely – and the first time around.
If you are just seeing the first signs of black ants, here are a few ways to get rid of them.
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
Why Do I Have Ants?
Ants are persistent and creative creatures. They find their way into seemingly closed-off homes time and time again. You think you clean up well enough, but they come back before you know it. Many things attract ants to homes.
A “dirty kitchen” doesn’t mean something you would see on Hoarders. All ants use their antennae to navigate and sense out food sources, or so say researchers at Vanderbilt. Black ants can even sense a small amounts of food from a great distance.
So, if you forget to wipe the counters after cooking dinner, or you leave dishes piled in the sink overnight, ants can smell that. Crumbs on the floor or food that you did not appropriately seal will also draw in the ants.
Take a few minutes each night to wipe down your kitchen surfaces and put away any food. You will be happy you took the time when you aren’t dealing with ants later.
Plants provide food and protection for ants. If you have landscaping with bushes, trees, or other plants directly against your home’s exterior, you are practically inviting ants into your house. Shrubs and leaves touching your home are a beacon calling ants inside.
If you have seen ants inside your home, spend an afternoon working on the yard. Pruning back bushes and flowers or pulling weeds can make a significant difference in the number of ants you see.
Because ants are so small, they do not need much of an opening to enter your home. If your doors and windows are not sealed properly, ants can use these small opportunities to get into your house.
Inspect all of the doors and windows around your home for any air coming in. If air can get in or out, so can ants. Seal these openings with caulk to keep ants out. Plus, you will save on your utility bills. Win-win.
How to Get Rid of Ants
Ants are one of the most common pests that plague homeowners. They are annoying, and they can contaminate food, drinks, and medicine in your home. Removing ants can be an incredibly difficult task.
Often, your first instinct is to kill the ants you see foraging for food. While this takes care of the immediate problem, it will not eliminate ants from your home. An entire colony of ants is waiting in the wings, waiting for those scouts to return. The queen will deploy many more workers to forage in your home when the dead ants do not return with food. Your best bet to permanently remove ants from your home is to kill the queen.
The best option for killing a queen ant is to find the nest. Sometimes, this is impossible. Or perhaps you find the colony but are unable to reach it because of its location. Often ants build nests behind walls, cabinets, and appliances.
If you can’t reach the colony to kill them directly, your next best bet will be an insecticide bait. Ant baits combine a sweet smelling food substance with an insecticide. Foraging ants find the bait and unwittingly bring the poison back to the colony and feed the queen with the bait. This bait can kill an entire colony.
There are many options for ant bait in stores. You will find gels, plastic stations with food inside, or tubes filled with bait. A quick trip to the grocery or hardware store will give you a plethora of options.
Other DIY Methods
If you are nervous about using poison in your home, there are things you can do that are safer, yet still effective. If you have a roll of tape lying around you can make your own trap. Just lay tape, sticky side up, around any food sources or hot spots you regularly see ants. Ants will walk onto the tape and be stuck.
A surprising way to keep ants away is chalk. This item, usually reserved for schoolrooms, repels ants. Use chalk to draw a line at any point an ant can enter your home. The calcium carbonate in chalk is just the crushed shells of sea creatures, and ants hate it. You can even sprinkle chalk in your garden to keep them away.
Another common household item that can keep ants away is pepper, in particular, cayenne pepper. Ants hate the smell of pepper and avoid it. If you sprinkle small amounts of pepper where your counter meets the wall, ants won’t be able to find sugar over the smell. You can also pour cayenne pepper directly into an ant mound to get rid of ants.
If you see ant mounds in your yard but want to avoid dangerous insecticides, try vinegar. Spraying vinegar water directly onto the hill will force those little black ants to move away. For stubborn colonies, you can even pour straight vinegar into the colony.
Call Environmental Pest Management
Whatever kind of ants are invading your home, Environmental Pest Management can help. We use safe and effective methods that are bad for bugs, not your family. Visit us online to request a quote. We will work with you to ensure you are comfortable with us, our process, and the cost.