How to Get Rid of Ants
While ants are mostly harmless, when they start swarming and nesting in your home they are a terrible nuisance. As soon as you believe there is an ant nest in your home you should act immediately. Getting rid of ants can be a challenge in the early stages. If you permit them to settle in and spread their nest throughout your walls they can become nearly impossible to get rid of. Additionally, each time an extermination attempt fails the ants will reinforce their numbers to better cope with further attempts.
What’s Wrong With Ants?
Ants have been known to spread Salmonella, along with a wide variety of other bacteria. A restaurant can be shut down if a health inspector believes there is an ant infestation. Specific kinds of ants such as fire ants can also bite fiercely, thus presenting a danger to young children and pets. Carpenter ants can eat through your house, weakening rafters, destroying carpets and ruining furniture. One of the most frightening species of ant is the red fire ant. They have a powerful and painful sting which can be especially dangerous.
How to Avoid Ants
Prevention is better than cure and ants are no different. Leaving food lying around uncovered can encourage ants to invade. Pet food sitting in the bowl is a prime example of this, so it should be picked up as soon as your pet is finished eating. Spilt drinks and other fluids can also encourage ants, especially sugary drinks like cola or lemonade. Rubbish bags should of course be tightly sealed.
There are additional methods that can help prevent ants which aren’t as readily apparent. Cleaning beneath and behind appliances (such as washing machines and fridges) can help discourage ants. Rubbish bins should be kept clean and tightly sealed with spills and smears cleaned away regularly. Compost piles and other such collections of decomposing organic matter should also be covered. If there is a crack in a window or door frames, ants will be able to enter your home. These should be sealed with caulk
There are specific kinds of sprays called ‘barrier sprays’ such as Insectaclear C or Residex P. These are sprays or powders which you should apply to any areas where ants can gain access to the property, so along with the foundations of your building this could also include door frames and window frames. These products leave a residue which will deter ants from entering your home. Such chemicals won’t kill the original infestation but they will prevent new ants entering to start new nests.
How to Get Rid of Ants
Sprays and powers can be an effective way to get rid of ants. However caution needs to be used as it can be spread, causing harm to wildlife, pets and maybe even children. A potential downside is that the ants are also killed quickly. This might sound counter-intuitive until you consider the other options.
There is an organic solution called ‘diatomaceous earth powder’. This is a substance that can be sprinkled into the cracks and crevices where ants are found. Since its organic it can even be used in the garden. Ants will walk over this powder which gets into the gaps in their exoskeleton which causes dehydration and cuts them up. It will even destroy fire ant colonies!
An ant bait station is one of the most effective solutions for killing the ants, nest and even the queen. The strength of this method is that it exploits the natural behaviour of the ants. Certain types of ant bait will be carried back into the colony which will slowly but permanently destroy the ant nest from within. The queen is the only ant who can reproduce; since the workers only live for a few weeks, the nest should die completely in less than half of a month. It is most effective when placed near to the nest itself but it can be left near any ant trail to attract their attention.
Prevention and Extermination
While ants are mostly a nuisance they can also be a disease vector. Storing food and waste in plastic containers and bags should be used to prevent attracting the attention of ants. Maintaining a clean home also helps. However, when ants do start to appear then action must be taken immediately. Remember to be patient with chemicals. A home free from ants will require time, but the result will be highly worthwhile.