Why Do Ants Come into Your House?
Given their unprincipled and minute nature, ants will sneak into your house through various openings such as doors and windows or even cracks. This means that it’s almost impossible to entirely prevent them from sneaking in even if it’s the occasional ant. However, it’s quite difficult to have an ant invasion happen in your home accidentally. Well, these creepy creatures are in a constant hunt for food, water (mostly moisture), and of course, a shelter for their colonies. As such, you’re most likely to find them in your kitchen and bathroom.
Ants also have a strong affinity to sugar and other sweet objects. This only makes your kitchen quite vulnerable to an ant invasion. From using the sink as their water source to feeding not just on your sugar but also on the crumbs and spills these ants will be good to invite their colonies into your home.
So to discourage them from infesting your home, you can take the following measures.
· Make sure that food spills are cleaned immediately
· Clean the trash cans
· Store ripe fruits and other sugary dishes in the refrigerator or in airtight containers
· Frequently inspect your indoor areas for any ant activity
So how can you Get Rid of Ants?
Here’s what you need to do.
Know Your Enemy
The first crucial tip on how to get rid of ants is to know exactly who your enemy is. Believe it or not, there are over 12,000 different species of ants and you may require different approaches in dealing with them. This is not to mean that all the 12,000 species will infest your home. No, you’re more likely to encounter about eight different species.
Knowing the type of ant you’re dealing with will make their eradication a lot easier. You’ll not only know where they nest but will also know their favorite foods. For example, carpenter ants usually look for wooden syrup so they’ll nest in wooden areas of your home such as furniture and cupboards. A key indication of a carpenter ant invasion is finding sawdust-like piles in various areas of your house. On the contrary, protein ants are attracted to meat and grease while odorous ants have sweet tooth, so you’ll find them in your sugar, fruits and so on.
Keep Your House Absolutely Clean
While keeping your home as clean as possible may not entirely protect you from an ant infestation, it still plays an integral role in keeping the ants away. You may be wondering how ants get to know that your home might be ideal for them. Well, it doesn’t happen randomly. In addition to having an astonishing sense of smell, ants are social and highly organized insects that will send scouts to look for food and future nests for their colonies.
For this reason, all it takes to show the ants that your home could be ideal for them is a simple food crumb. The scouts will always leave behind a trail of pheromones that their fellow ants can use to find the food source. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire colony nesting within your home.
It’s, therefore, important to ensure that your home is absolutely clean. Whether it’s the food crumbs, source of water or any form of spillage, it should be cleaned immediately. In other words, do not leave anything to chance.
Cut Out their Entry Points to Sugary Stuff
You don’t have to give up sugar just because you want to get rid of ants. Instead, you should make it impossible for the ants to discover sugary foodstuff in your kitchen. Like we mentioned before, most ant species have sweet tooth and will be attracted to sugar. It would then be a huge mistake to use a sugar bowl and leave it open or use your bottle of honey and place it back without wiping the honey drains off the bottle.
It is this simple sugary leftover that attracts ants in the first place. So what do you do? Just ensure that you use airtight containers to store your sugar and food.
Eliminate Water and Moisture Source
It’s not just your food and sugar that attract ants into your home. They also need water to survive. So you shouldn’t be surprised if you spot a trail of ants in your bathroom. This should perhaps explain to you why you’ll see a lot of ants in your home during summer or when it’s quite hot. They’re looking for water, and moisture is all they need.
You should, therefore, eliminate their water and moisture source. This means that you should make your home dry and reduce humidity as much as possible.
Sprinkle Cinnamon in Affected Areas
Cinnamon has an essential oil known as trans-cinnamaldehyde that can work as an effective natural ant repellent. Scientifically speaking, ants cannot withstand the smell of cinnamon and so it can be a great pest control method. As such, you should sprinkle cinnamon in those affected areas and the ants will run for their lives or die.
Using pepper as a natural pest control for ants is safe and quite effective. Apparently, ants cannot tolerate the smell of pepper and will keep them at bay. All you have to do is spray black or red pepper on affected areas, as well as behind appliances and around baseboards.
Reliable studies show that an essential oil found in peppermint can work wonders when dealing not just with ants but also with other bugs such as mosquitoes. You can choose to directly spray the ants with peppermint or rub it around baseboards, windows, entry points, and all other affected areas.
You should, however, keep in mind that peppermint, like other essential oils, can be deadly to your pets particularly cats. So keep them out of reach.
You can trace ant nests within your home and pour boiling water into them. This will effectively kill these creepy crawlers on the spot. Boiling water may not kill an entire colony if you don’t find all the nests but will significantly reduce their numbers.
Use Baby Powder or Chalk
Spraying baby powder or chalk in ant hot spots may work miracles in eradicating them. Well, ants do not like the soft touch of baby powder. This is because baby powder is poisonous and deadly if it enters in the ants’ bodies. Although it’s not clear why chalk powder irritates ant, it’s been proven to work effectively in deterring them.
Table salt is one of the most effective and economical ways of getting rid of ants. You can spread table salt in the affected areas or add large amounts of salt in boiled water and spray it in the affected areas.
It’s been proven that ants cannot endure the smell of white vinegar. All you have to do is mix a solution of white vinegar with water, add a few drops of essential oil and sprinkle in ant-infested areas. Again, it’s important to note that white vinegar may not kill the ants but may deter them from coming into your home. You should, thus, sprinkle this solution daily until you no longer see the ants.
If you love brewing coffee, dealing with ants may give one more reason to do it. Brew coffee grounds and sprinkle it in the ants’ hot spots.
There are numerous remedies that you can try when trying to get rid of ants. They include boric acid (although it’s quite poisonous and needs a lot of caution), neem oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, hand soap, and diatomaceous earth.
Getting rid of ants can be quite challenging given that ants are resilient and opportunistic pests. They’ll not only nest in your home but will also survive on moisture and a wide variety of food in your kitchen. But because they’re quite annoying, you should make sure that you deal with them ruthlessly. To effectively get rid of ants, you should ensure that your home is always clean. You can also prevent them from accessing sugary stuff, water or moisture points. Additionally, you can use a whole load of natural remedies as discussed in this article.