If you own a home you’ve likely experienced some unwanted visitors and while you might not be able to deter all unfavorable guests as easily, in the case of ants, you can!
There are a couple of different species that typically invade the home and even though most are seemingly harmless, they can still contaminate food, destroy parts of the home, and even bite. So here are a few ways to get ants out of the house and keep them from coming back.
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Step 1: Make a DIY Ant Spray
An alternative to an insecticide, as well as one of the easiest solutions to your ant problem, uses only a couple of ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. By combining equal parts vinegar and water you can create a mixture that ants don’t like. Spraying the vinegar in problem areas deters them by disrupting the trails of pheromones that the ants leave. These trails allow other ants to follow their scent which is why you’ll typically see ants in long trails. Clearing up the scent trail will help keep other worker ants from finding the trail.
However, this solution is temporary and won’t prevent them from coming back long term, but it can dissuade them from specific areas of the home if you use it regularly. Remember, the ants you see in the house are the worker ants so just getting rid of those ants won’t stop them from coming back. The colony will just keep sending out new worker ants. You’re best bet is to treat the colony itself which leads me to...
Step 2: Utilize Ant Baits
Liquid baits are typically made of a combination of sugar and Borax, and are used to initially attract the ants to the bait and then the worker ants will bring enough of the poison back to the colony to kill it. I’ve had a lot of success with these Terro liquid ant baits which are available online or at your local hardware store.
These baits typically attract a lot of ants in the first day or 2 and then after that, I rarely see any. While it’s simple to set up traps or baits, be careful of this option if you have small children or pets that might grab or try to play with them.
Step 3: Sealing Entry Points
One of the most effective ways to minimize ant problems is to try and minimize entry points into the house. It’s impossible to seal off every microscopic gap but addressing as many areas as possible can substantially decrease infestations. Using caulks and sealants to fill any problem areas both inside and inside can help stop the problem before it starts. You can also color match or paint most caulks so that the fix isn’t visible.
Step 4: Keep Things Clean
This might seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your house as clean as possible is one of the best ways to prevent infestations and keep them from reoccurring. Forgetting to take out the trash for too many days, leaving food waste in the kitchen, or having exposed dog food can signal worker ants that your house is prime real estate. Take the trash out frequently and keep composts clean or put extra food waste down the garbage disposal.
In hot & dry climates, ants may be prone to entering the home to find water which is why infestations are typically worse in summer months and in areas with water like bathrooms and kitchens.
Step 5: Eliminate the Source
The most important thing that you can do to keep ants away for the is to locate where they are coming from and take care of them at the source.
The source could be an outdoor garbage can that’s close to the house, or a bush whose leaves need to be trimmed because the branches reach right up to your window sill. Follow the trails to see where the ants are coming from, and then use some of the other suggestions to eliminate them. Preventive measures are important to keep them from coming back. If you see ant hills near your foundation, sprinkle a mixture of dish soap and water on them.
You might also consider spraying a pest preventive spray like Home Defense around your foundation at least once every few months to keep them from trying to come in. Another option is to use these outdoor ant baits which you can add around your foundation and attack the colony before they enter your home.
Step 6: You're Ready!
So that’s it for this list, I hope you guys enjoyed it and I hope it helps you get your ant problem under control. Feel free to check out the video above to see me go through each step, and leave a comment if you can think of some others ways that could help people get rid of pests.
If you found this guide helpful, I have plenty more Top 5 lists and DIY projects you can check out. Here are just a few:
Thanks again for reading, and I'll see you next time!