Ants can enter into your house for various reasons like looking for food, favourable temperatures, moisture, and shelter. They start moving towards places where they find these conditions and build their colonies. Ants, like any other animals, bugs or plants, are looking for a source for their survival. Ants are attracted to good food sources. So, the kitchen is a place where we commonly encounter ant colonies. There are different types of ants, but the most common ants include pavement ants, carpenter ants, acrobat, Pharaoh and odorous house-invading ants. Carpenter and odorous ants invade into the house during warmer months.
Ants can get into your food, harm plants, damage property or cause stinging bites. Therefore, it is important to find the entry point of ants and eliminate them as a safety measure. The entry points for ants are usually an open door, a window, and small cracks and holes in the house walls. Alongside the entry points, find the source that has attracted ants and get rid of the problem.
How to Get Rid of Ants with Ant Baits
Baits are available in different forms – solid, liquid, gel and powder. In order to get rid of ants non-repellents, protein baits, and carbohydrate baits can be used.
A non-repellent aerosol ant spray insecticide – Spectre PS Aerosol, Alpine Aerosol or Phantom Aerosol can be used to get rid of ants. Ants don’t detect non-repellent insecticide aerosols and crawl through them. They transfer the insecticide to their nests. This method slower, but it completely eradicates the ant colony.
Protein-based and carbohydrate-based baits – Ant baits contain carbohydrates (sugars), oils, proteins and some toxins. Protein-loving ants such as Argentine ants fall in the trap to a bait made of both protein and sugar. Pharaoh ants can be trapped using protein or greasy baits. Similarly, for fire ants, oil baits can be used. Based on the food preferences of ants, baits can be prepared. There are some commercially available baits for ant control.
Terro T300B liquid ant bait, Amdro Ant Block Granules, Maxforce Ant Bait Gel Tube, Maxforce Complete 8-ounce Bottle, TERRO T600 Ant Killer Dust, and Advion Ant Bait Gel are some of the protein and sugar baits that can be used as a trap for ants. These products are easy to use. However, these should be kept out of reach for children and pets for safer use.
The baits can be placed in kitchen cabinets, under the stove, near sinks, around pipes, corners of the room, bathroom areas, and a medicine box. However, it is advisable to use these baits only outdoor. Use them indoors only if you find some serious infestations. To control ants indoors some natural remedies can be preferred.
Some tips to remember:
- Do not use baits on wet surfaces.
- Bait every trail found in the house both inside and outside in case of a serious infestation
- Do not use repellent insecticides
- The bait needs to be used within 6 months to one year.
- Remove other food sources near the bait
- Bait is effective at a temperature above 70°F.
Best Natural Ways to Control Ants
Ant problem can be solved in the most inexpensive way. All you have to do is follow the below tricks to have ants get out of sight; erased!
Mint: To control ants entering into the kitchen, bathroom, or near the garbage bin and pantry, place some mint-soaked cotton balls in those areas.
Ant sprays: 1) Mix some water and vodka (preferably two tablespoons) and add peppermint along with cinnamon essential oil. Shake the mixture well and spray wherever needed. 2) Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and lemon juice, and transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well and spray to see the effects.
Cinnamon: Sprinkle the cinnamon powder or place cinnamon sticks near the common places from where ants creep in.
Boric acid: Mix equal amount of borax powder and powdered sugar. Add this mixture onto jar lids to attract ants. Ants are attracted to the sugar portion of the mixture, but consuming sugar along with borax is fatal for ants.
Citrus: Take the peels of oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits and dry them. Now, grind those dried peels and use them to deter ants.
Cucumber peel: Ants are averse to the bitter tasting cucumber.
Baking soda: Ant colony can be destroyed by using sprinkling baking soda on the colony and pouring white vinegar.
Boiling water: Simple boil some water and pour it on the ant colony. Avoid this if the ant colony is on some grass or plants as boiling water kills the grass and plants.
Liquid dish soap: Mix one teaspoon of liquid dish wash with baking soda. Add this mixture to a bowl of water and stir well. Pour or spray the solution along with the areas where the ants enter.
Cornmeal: Though ants get attracted to cornmeal and tend to consume it, ants cannot digest cornmeal.
Fresh garlic: Fresh garlic can effectively drive off all the bugs and ants at home.
Bay leaves: Ants cannot bear the pungent odour of bay leaves.
Red chilli powder: Red chilli powder is toxic to ants.
Camphor oil and rubbing alcohol: Mix camphor oil with denatured alcohol and pour the mixture on ant colonies.
Sprinkling some salt, coffee grounds, baby powder, and chalk powder are other ways to eradicate ants.
Use adhesive tape or duct tape to trap ants- Surround the object like kitchen jars with adhesive tape or duct tape.
Other than these natural remedies, the most important remedies considered to get rid of ants are:
- Keep your house and surrounding clean.
- Clean the kitchen appliances after use.
- Keep the food containers, especially the jars of honey, sugar and syrup, tightly sealed.
- Cover the leftover food, or throw them in the garbage bin, but do not leave it open. Ensure that the garbage bins have tight lids.
- Clean the food spills.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Keep the sink dry.
- Sweep all the areas of the kitchen and other rooms every day.
- Fix water leaking areas.
- Empty stagnant water (Ex: pet water dishes, drip tray under the refrigerator).