I can’t tell you how many times we are at a free general pest control inspection and our customers have asked about how to get rid of ants this time of year. With the rain showers followed by beautiful sunny days our town is seeing lots of ant activity. Generally there are many different actions we can take to minimize pests in and around our home. Some are easier said than done, but all these steps are totally attainable for us all.
1) Trim back all foliage and trees from the house. Your ornamentals might not look like it but, they are a highway for ants and other pests to reach your home and find a path inside. Also keep the lawn mowed and make sure the soil grade is lower than the slab around the home. Taking these steps will help to create a barrier between your living space and ants.
2) Keep entry points to a minimum. This is a tough one but a little caulk goes a long way. Seal up any cracks and crevices that may allow pests from the outside into your home.
3) Cleanliness is next to “antlessness”. Ants really aren’t too complicated. They are looking for food, water, and shelter. Your kitchen is a great place for the food. Any sugar spilt while fixing your coffee will lure ants in, so be sure to wipe down kitchen surfaces with household cleaners and limit temptations for ants.
4) Another reason cleanliness is so important when considering how to get rid of ants is tied to their method of communication. While ants are looking for resources, they lay down a pheromone trail for others to follow. This is why we see trails of ants to the picnic basket and back to the colony. Household cleaners will destroy the pheromone trail, helping to prevent other ants from the colony from finding their way back.
These are all fairly easy home maintenance activities that will reduce you and your family’s exposure to ants and other pests. If these steps have been taken but you are still having issues it may be time to introduce a treatment plan. However you decide to implement a treatment, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer just remember the 5th step below. Any professional will tell you that this is just as important as all the rest.
5) Find the source. Ants have a Queen and she is running the show; she’s a bit shy and will be hiding deep in the nest surrounded by her colony. You need to locate the source in order to have a successful treatment.