Ants are an annual nuisance for anyone. To learn how to get rid of them, you must first understand when and why they come around.
Ants begin their arrival in middle to late spring when the weather starts to warm up. You need to be prepared for them. Removing the items that attract these pests will safeguard your home for the future, and preparedness is key.
- Remove any sweets or foods that are left out in the open.
- Make sure to clean up after yourself, especially dishes. Once again, any food left out is a major attractor.
- Promptly remove trash. Letting trash build up only adds to your problem.
- Seal any areas that ants could use to enter your home. Using silicone seal around any windows and doors is your best bet.
- Eliminate any standing water from flower beds, hoses, or downspouts. Ants need water, too.
Once you have found and fixed any openings that could allow ants into your home or give them a reason to enter, the next step is eliminating the problem. Depending on your approach, there are a few different ways to squelch the ants, and you can use either chemical or natural solutions. Keep in mind that there are different solutions for indoor and outdoor control. Let's start with the chemical solutions:
- Inside your home, you can place ant bait traps. If you want to get rid of ants in the house, these traps are best under sinks and by trash cans.
- For inside your home, there is also the basic ant spray. This kills on contact and leaves a residue to kill and repel any ants for a specified amount of time, generally 3 months.
- Outside your home, there are concentrate liquids that you can mix and spray around window seals and door jambs.
- Dusts that are created to repel insects can also help. Keep in mind that dust products are more for planter beds and vegetable gardens; they may be one of the best ways to get rid of ants outside.
These chemicals can be obtained at any major home retailer. If you have pets or children in the yard, however, you may be looking for a natural way to get rid of ants:
- You must locate any ant hills or areas that you know they are living in. Once this is done, take boiling water, 2-3 gallons, and pour it onto the area.
- Cayenne pepper can be sprinkled around the ants' home and by any place where they can enter your home.
- Tree Tanglefoot Pest Barrier is a product that can be placed around the trunks of plants and trees, removing another food source.
- Adding vinegar to the water that you use to clean your home helps deter ants.
- Sprinkling cinnamon around your home has been known to work.
- D.E., or diatomaceous earth, if sprinkled in their path, will cause them to dehydrate.
Any of these methods may only work for a small amount of time. Keep in mind that ants are very resilient so you'll probably find yourself killing more each year. Find which methods work for you and use them as needed, and your problem should be solved.