Ants indoors and outdoors are both annoying and damaging to your property. Not dealing with them can result in an infestation and getting stinging bites here and there. Eradicating these ants needs some patience, knowledge and targeted removal strategies.
Before you set up any liquid ant bait stations in your home, it is necessary that you know the type of ant invasion happening in your home. There are two types of infestations that may happen in your home. One type is when ants are living outside but are foraging inside and the other type is when they are building ants nests and foraging inside your home.
There are ants that live outdoors almost throughout the year, but seek shelter and food during inclement weathers. To make your ant control efforts successful, you have to know the right type of infestation in your home and the ant species present in your home.
Differentiating Ant Infestations
Here’s how you can differentiate the type of infestation happening in your home.
Ants living outside but are foraging inside
- When the ants are getting inside through a small hole or crack in a door or window, it is an indication that they are living outside and are only entering because of food.
Ants are living and foraging inside
- You can clearly say that ants are nesting and foraging inside your home if you see them coming from a wall, cabinet, floor, or electrical outlets. It is best that you follow where they are coming from or where they are heading back in order to know where they are nesting.
Learning the points of entry is vital in choosing the right method for killing the ants and for preventing another infestation from happening again.
Low Impact Pest Control Approaches
Controlling an ant infestation may seem like an endless war, but there are effective ways that you can combine to ruin the life cycle of ants, kill them, as well as get rid of their ant colony in your home. Also, keep in mind that prevention plays a vital role in avoiding indoor ants.
Cleaning your Home
- Given that most types of ants are into sweets, it is necessary that you keep these products in sealable containers and close them tightly.
- Make sure that you keep all kitchen counters clean after food preparation.
- Make it a habit to empty garbage daily or keep it closed tightly.
- Instead of just throwing away food cartons with food bits, wash them to keep ant attractants away.
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Wipe up liquid and food spills before it dries.
- Remove crumbs by sweeping and mopping floors.
- To prevent attracting ants to potted plants and pet food dishes, create a moat by using a larger dish filled with soapy water.
Usage of Non-Toxic Preventative Solutions
- Seal all potential entry points like windows and doors by weather sealing them.
- Caulk around the escutcheon plates surrounding the faucets and pipes that may create an entry point. Seal wall voids or any cracks and crevices that may allow entry from outdoors.
- To kill these insects on contact, you can use a window cleaner or a soapy water solution. This won’t leave any toxic residual effects and can immediately kill trails of ants and prevent them from coming back temporarily.
- You can also use peppermint soap, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and citrus-based cleaners to get rid of the chemical scent of ant trails. Doing other natural ways to eliminate ants can also help in dealing with these insects. Get rid of early infestations by wiping roaming “scout” ants as well as the scent trail.
These are simple solutions that you can do to deal with your ant problem before it gets worse. In case you are already dealing with a mid-level infestation, you can start using ant sprays and other ant control pesticides to get rid of these insects.
Precautions When Using Pesticides
Due to the active ingredients present in ant control pesticides, it is necessary that you take precautionary measures to avoid adverse side effects. Some of the precautionary measures you should do are:
- When using liquid ant baits or ant bait stations indoors, see to it that you place them in areas that your children and pets won’t reach. You can place them under heavy appliances, inside walls or enclosed crawlspaces. Make sure that you don’t place them in areas that can contaminate any food items.
- Get rid of bait stations immediately once signs of ants are completely gone. This can prevent attracting more ants inside your home.
- Make sure that you read the label instructions thoroughly and follow them. This way, you can avoid harmful side effects. Not reading the label and improper use of pesticides makes you liable for any damages that you may experience.
- Only use Canada Health approved products to ensure legality and safety.
With these precautionary measures in mind, you can make sure that you can prevent any untoward incidents that may result from improper use of pesticides.
Available Ant Control Pesticides You Can Try
There are different ant control pesticides that are available in the market. Refer to the precautionary measures above to minimize any adverse effects of using pesticides. Here are some of the most common risks associated with the active ingredients used in these products.
Gels and Baits
Most bait products come in solid blocks, granules, liquids, or gels. There are bait products that you need you to set up. You can also find products that require you to pour them into the bait station. The latter exposes you to chemicals, which is why it is highly recommended to use ready-to-use bait stations that you don’t have to assemble or set up with your hands.
When you use bait stations or gels, it is highly recommended that you resist wiping ants that already came in contact with the baits. Let them bring the bait to their nests, as this will help in killing the ants in their colony.
As mentioned, place them away from children’s or pet’s reach. Place them near the entry points to let them crawl over the bait. It may take a few days for you to notice a decrease in the ant activity and population, but it will drop pretty quickly once the effects start.
It is recommended that you use different pesticides from time to time to prevent the ants from becoming resistant to a specific pesticide. A rotation from using different products from time to time is recommended. This will also help you determine those that work very well and those that ants developed resistance to.
Foggers and Aerosol Sprays
The use of these types of pesticides is not recommended as it can potentially harm you during application from accidental aerosol inhalation. Fogging, on the other hand, may leave residues around the home and may create an explosion hazard especially those with gas appliances. Using the same products outdoors also poses risks to non-target wildlife and beneficial insects as it drifts away with the wind.
Things to Know Prior to Buying Ant Killing Products
Don’t just grab any pesticides for ant issues. Some considerations you should keep in mind are the following:
Target the nest, not only the ants.
Your main goal in getting a pesticide is to let the worker ants carry the bait to their nest. It's not easy to find the nest, so it is better that you let the bait do the job for you.
Use the right treatment for the right ant species.
One of the first things you should know is the ant species you are dealing with. Use the right treatment to kill them.
Protect your children, pets, as well as the environment.
Most pesticides use chemicals that are harmful to both the environment, to your pets and to the entire household. Make sure that the one you’re getting will not give off harmful chemicals, but still works effectively in killing ants.
These are additional considerations to keep you and everyone in your household safe when resolving your ant problems.