Getting rid of ants is something that most people will have to do at some point in their lives. If you have a home and a backyard, chances are you will eventually run into an ant problem in the future. Although most people group ants into one giant category, there are a number of different species of ants. If you want to learn how to get rid of ants, the first thing you should do is identify the culprit causing the problem.
Because there are around 10,000 different species of ants, it is useless to list all of the different species that are available. Although there are a number of different species, there are 7 common species of ants that the most prevalent in homes. These common household ants are listed below.
7 Common Types of Household Ants
Red Fire Ants
Pavement (Sugar) Ants
Leaf Cutter Ants
The general structure of an ant colony is divided into 3 distinct types of ants. In every colony you will find a queen ant (egg laying ant), short lived male ants, and the worker ants. The worker ants are the ones that are responsible for any foraging that that takes place in your garden or home.
One of the reasons why ants are so successful at finding food in the house is they are capable of finding the shortest path to a food source without having any visual cues. Ants are also very adept at adapting to changing environments. When an ant finds a new food location, they lay down a trail of pheromones that helps to identify the food source to other worker ants.
Because ants are omnivorous, they have a distinct taste for all kinds of food. With a unique ability to turn a meal from almost anything, ants are able survive off almost anything. Each species of ants will prefer a different type of food. Some species prefer eating other insects and dead animals, while certain ants will favour eating sugar, sees, oils, vegetables and other protein sources.
Given the ant taste for common household foods, it is not surprising that they often invade people’s homes in search of their next meal. People who have a home that is infested with ants need to look at the different ant control solutions that are available.
Basic Ant Control
There are two basic situations that people encounter when it comes to ants. The first situation deals with the ant colony being on the outside of your home and foraging inside the home. The second situation is when the ants are nested inside your home. The type of ant control strategy that you use will depend on the type of infestation that you have in your home.
Exterior Ant Colonies
If you have an ant colony that is living outside your house you should consider looking for a treatment options that can deal with this specific problem. Having the ant colony located on the exterior of your home is the better problem to have. The ant control options that you will use for this scenario will involve preventative measures and sprays to help eliminate the problem.
The first thing you will need to do when dealing with ants that have invaded the different passage ways into your home is seal all entry points. Any holes or cracks leading into your home will be exploited by the ants. Ants have an instinctive way of finding their way into the smallest little hole or crevice leading into the home. By sealing and caulking all these entry points, it will make it harder for the ants to enter your home.
The next thing you need to do is remove the pheromone smell that the worker ants have laid down. By removing this trail you can work to help eliminate the path to your home. Washing the trail with a good detergent can ensure you are able to properly remove the ant pheromone.
Use baits and insecticides to effectively eliminate the ants that are in outside nests. Ant baits are very effective if you place the bait directly on the trail that the ants use. Placing the bait on the right spot will ensure that they bring the bait back to their queen, killing the entire colony. If you are able to locate the ant nest you can use an insecticide to kill all the ants that are living in the nest. Always ensure that you read the directions on any chemical you use before starting a treatment.
When an ant colony is located inside a home it can be harder to eliminate them. People who are living in hotter climates are more susceptible to having ants that are living inside their home. These ants are often attracted to typical food products that you will have lying around. It is quite common for people to discover these ants while opening the cupboards looking for the sugar.
When treating interior ants that live inside a home it is important to avoid using residual repellent on the ants. While they can reduce some of the numbers of ants in a home, you will find that they can often replenish their numbers rapidly.
An effective treatment for interior ants is good ant bait. As stated above, it is important to ensure that the ant bait is picked up and taken back to the colony. If this transaction occurs, there is a good chance that the bait can help eradicate the ant problem. One issue that can arise with ant bait is it may not be effective for a particular species of ant.
Finding the ant nest and eradicating it is the most effect way to kill ants that are living inside a home. Treating an entire ant nest with insecticides can ensure that it is properly treated. The main issue that people have with attacking the ant nest is location. Locating an ant nest is often a difficult procedure because you might have to look on your roof or other difficult to reach location.
If an ant control situation is too difficult to resolve you should consider calling the pest control. Finding the ant nest is often a challenge that some people prefer to be left to the professionals. Looking for a sensible treatment option that you are comfortable with is a good approach to take when dealing with most ants.
Learning how to get rid of ants is not difficult if you are prepared to try different things. Ultimately, finding the ant nest and killing the entire colony is often the most effective strategy for those looking for a quick solution. However, this is not necessary if you use the right insecticides or ant bait to control the ant population. Try multiple ant control treatments to ensure you can find something that works for your ant problem.