Battling Ant Infestations – Did ants come marching into your home? Consider these options to remove them.
Although ants generally don’t cause harm to people — they don’t carry disease, like some other pests — an infestation can be a major nuisance. If you ever need help getting rid of pests, don’t hesitate to contact your local residential pest control company for professional pest control services, e.g., termite control. DIY or professional pest control services such as termite control los angeles are available, battling ant infestations 24/7.
Reasons for ant infestation
According to Oakville bed bug removal ants typically invade your home for one reason: food. Most feed on sugary or greasy items. Sugar ants — also called odorous house ants — are one of the most common ant invaders and among the first pests to show up in the spring. If you are looking for a pest control services, consider them. They’re about one-eighth of an inch or smaller and are attracted to food sources. The common pavement ant, which is brown to black and about 1/10th of an inch long, will set up colonies near driveways or patios and then send out scouts to search for food in your home. They eat meat, grease, seeds, dead or live insects, and can sting and bite if disturbed.
Carpenter ants, which are black and up to half an inch long, look for protein rather than sugar, and will eat through wood to find nesting locations. Small piles of wood shavings called “frass” found under windows or door frames are signs of carpenter ants. Battling Ant Infestations
Moisture ants are larger — about 4 to 4.5 mm long — and are usually an indication of excessive water somewhere. Either can be a problem in bathrooms.
Knowing what type of ant you’re dealing with can help you prevent or combat an infestation. Nonetheless, if you find good termite companies they will more than likely be happy to deal with any ant issues you may have.
Keeping ants out
The first step to prevent an ant infestation: clean house. If you see scout ants in your home, kill them immediately. Make sure you don’t leave any food out and keep all kitchen surfaces clean.
If you continue to see ants, make sure you’ve closed off possible entry points, including sealing small cracks in your walls or under windows. Start by caulking potential entry points, such as window casings. Battling Ant Infestations. Next, you can lay down barriers like salt or talc under doors to turn ants away, or apply scents such as vinegar, peppermint oil or cinnamon. Bear in mind, however, that anything you put down will also be of interest to pets and children, so be careful what you use. You can also avoid all the hard work and hire the local pest control service, read about their services at the link.
Known for their painful sting, fire ants have spread across much of the southern U.S. (Photo by Scott Bauer)
DIY methods for ant removal
If ant explorers have morphed into a full-on colony, then you need a plan.
Start with soap and water. This will not only kill chemical trails, but any ants it touches. Add citrus to the water to increase its effectiveness.
You can also purchase pest sprays and baited ant traps from local grocery and hardware stores. These use a mixture of sugars and ant poison, such as boric acid to attract, trap and kill ants. Proceed with caution when using poison.
Bear in mind, too, that these traps won’t work on protein-feeders like carpenter ants, since the sweetness won’t interest them.
In addition to trapping ants inside, you can also spray around the exterior of the home where the house meets the pavement or ground to prevent more ants from infiltrating.
Plano Texas Handyman recommends spraying problem areas with a mixture of Windex, vinegar and water. She says spreading Diatomaceous Earth in carpeted areas around the bathroom is a safe and natural way to kill ants because it’s a food source.
“The Windex or vinegar is really a quick fix and not really that effective, but it will remove the immediate ants and wipe away their pheromone scent they use to follow trails”.
Plano Texas Handyman also suggests spraying all cracks around the baseboards and the base of the toilet if the infestation is in the bathroom.
Hire a pest control professional
Large-scale infestations require assistance from a commercial pest control professional.
Professional pest control services address ant problems by locating the colony itself; typically this starts by laying bait traps, which contain poisoned food taken back to the nest. Once found, exterminators can use a variety of techniques including chemical sprays to totally eliminate the ants in your home.
In the case of carpenter ants, early detection is critical. Left unchecked, they can cause significant damage to your home. A pest control professional may need to drill small holes in your wall to make sure the entire colony has been eliminated, and will often book a follow-up visit to make sure problems don’t recur. Battling Ant Infestations
Costs of ant removal
The cost to remove ants yourself can be quite low. The price of a liquid ant killer or an ant trap runs between $5 and $10. Battling Ant Infestations
DIY treatments may be able to divert ants which have not established a colony, or deal with the scouts sent out to gather food. However, they aren’t as effective at long-term removal or in addressing large-scale infestations.
Professional exterminators can charge between $400 and $1,000 to completely eliminate ants.
“A professional pest control company can apply what’s called a transfer insecticide, which is the most effective method for eliminating a sugar ant colony,” Anderson says. “Transfer insecticides are not available to the general public, but are very effective at getting rid of colonies inside a structure. Every ant that makes contact with it spreads it on to any other ant it makes contact with.”
In addition, a reliable, professional exterminator can make sure ants don’t find their way back inside.