If you notice a couple of spiders in your kitchen, then it’s unlikely that you’re about to be invaded by thousands of other spiders, and that you’re going to have a major problem on your hands. But ants are different. Two or three ants might have got lost and wandered into your home by chance, meaning that you’ve got nothing to worry about.
It’s more likely, however, that there will be more ants coming into your home soon. And dealing with the issue as early as possible is always a good idea. But if your home is already infested, then there are some simple ways of getting rid of them.
We’re going to look at three main methods for getting rid of ants. One requires toxic chemicals. The second method depends on natural products. And the third method won’t lead to a nest of ants being killed but will simply repel them from your home. We’re also going to look at the methods you can use to prevent having an ant problem in the future again. Let’s get going.
Are All Ants the Same?
Before you can do anything, it’s important to figure out what type of ants you’re dealing with, as they’re not all the same, and they will require different methods of extermination.
Ideally, you want to watch the ants for a little while: see what they’re doing, and if you want to be very sure, leave out some different foods and check what they are most attracted to.
Of course, the type of ants that will be infesting your home will be local to where you live, and different ants are found in different parts of the world. If you live in a city, then it is likely that you’ll have different ants to deal with than someone who lives in the countryside. Fortunately, as we live in the 21st century, we have the internet as a resource, and you can find many excellent websites that will help you work out what ants are in your home.
The Methods for Getting Rid of Ants
Chemicals and Pest Killer
The type of pest killer that you will use will depend on the type of ants that you’re dealing with. As we’ve mentioned, checking what the ants are attracted to is a good idea, as you will be able to purchase chemical bait that’s designed to attract certain types of ants. So, if you have found that the ants have gone for the honey that you left out for them, then you’re dealing with ants that like the sweet stuff.
Some chemicals are designed specifically for these ants, just as there are pest killers for ants that like oily, like deep-fried food. Actually, the same ants can be attracted to different foods depending on the season, but that doesn’t matter, because you will have worked out what they like right now, and that’s the type of toxic bait to buy. You just need to follow the instructions on the packaging, and you’ll have got rid of the ants.
If your ant problem is located more in the attic or bathroom in your house, then these ants will require a different method. You’re going to need to locate the nest. And this might not be that easy. Following the trail of the ants is, of course, the first step, but if they disappear into a crevice, and you’re unable to see behind it, then you might need to do a bit of DIY, as the nest is probably somewhere in the walls.
Once you’ve located the nest, then all you need to do is to spray it with a toxic insecticide. You may also wish to contact a pest control expert to deal with these ants, as the problem is located inside your home, rather than ants entering your home because they’re seeking food, as was the case for the ants that our previous method dealt with.
If you don’t like the idea of using toxic chemicals inside your home, then there are a lot of natural methods that you can try out instead.
One trusty method that people have been using for many years is white vinegar. You simply need to make a solution that’s composed of half white vinegar and the other half water. Soak a cloth in this solution, then start wiping up the ants. You’ll kill all the ants you wipe up with this method, and you’ll also keep others at bay, as ants despise the smell of vinegar and won’t go anywhere near a place that has this odor. You need to wipe down all the surfaces in your home with this solution to be sure that the ants won’t come back. But don’t worry; it won’t stink up your home. The human nose isn’t able to pick up the smell as easily as ants can.
Another old method for killing ants (especially if they are outdoors) that doesn’t require any chemicals at all is freshly boiled water. Fill your kettle to its maximum level, then, once it’s boiled, pour the scalding water over the trail of ants.
Is There a Way to Get Rid of Ants Without Killing Them?
Yes. There are many ways that you can stop ants visiting your home without needing to kill them directly, although there is a chance that a few will end up dying. The nest will remain safe, though.
The key is simply to repel the ants. Lemon, baby powder, cinnamon, chalk, peppermint, and coffee grounds can all be used to repel ants. There are slightly different methods for each of these natural products, but it’s quite easy to repel ants with them. You may also wish to get a vacuum cleaner to suck up the ants in your home before you lay down the repellent, then you can free them outside. There is a risk, of course, that some ants die during the process of vacuuming them up.
How to Prevent Ants from Entering Your Home
If you want to ensure that you don’t have ants returning to your home quickly after you have repelled them or removed them from your house, then you should seal up any point of entry, starting with the one that the ants used to get into your house for the current infestation.
It also helps if you keep your home as clean as possible. If your kitchen surfaces are covered in the sorts of things that ants love – such as sweet, sticky fruit juices – then you’re running the risk of the ants returning to your home. Keep the home clean, and that won’t happen.
If you’re comfortable with chemicals, then you can also find pest prevention sprays that you can cover entry points with, as well as areas around the outside of your house, which will protect you against the return of the ants.
There are lots of easy ways to get rid of ants. Always make sure that you prevent their return by sealing up entry points, keeping your house clean, and spraying your home with repellents, whether they’re natural or chemical-based.