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Have ant problems? Ants can easily find their way inside your home and help themselves to any available food source. Learn about different species of ants you may find in your home and the way they operate as a colony, as well as your options to fight them. Discover how to control ants with the help of the TERRO® family of products. We offer effective ant prevention and control solutions for the inside and outside of your home!
What Are the Signs of Ants?
Obviously, the most common way to identify an ant infestation is by seeing them. If you spot large numbers of ants trailing to or from food sources in your home, you may have an infestation in or outside of your home. You might also notice mounds of dirt, sand or clay somewhere on your property, which could mark a larger ant nest. However, depending on the ant species, they may be inside walls or other hard-to-see places, making nests much more difficult to spot.
Infestations by some species, such as carpenter ants, can be identified in other ways. As with other ants, you may see carpenter ants crawling out of vents or other areas in your home. Additionally, you may hear soft rustling inside your walls as the carpenter ants move around to make their nest. Finally, keep an eye out for piles of wood shavings around your home – this could be caused by their excavation as they build!
How Can I Control An Ant Infestation?
Your first step to battling an ant infestation in your home is to identify the species that’s giving you trouble. Since different species have different habits and preferences, they may also require specific methods to control them. If you’re not sure which species is plaguing you, here are a few basic tips to get you started:
- Seal – Ants are extremely adept at locating even the smallest cracks and crevices in walls, windows and foundations to enter your home to forage. Seal any potential points of entry you can find using caulk and other appropriate materials. You probably won’t be able to find them all, but it’s a good start.
- Clean – After sealing all of the entry points you can find, it’s important to clean around them. Ants leave an invisible trail containing pheromones so other ants can follow it to the resource they’ve discovered. Scrub around ant entrances with soap and water to wash away these trails. In addition, clean up messes you make in the kitchen to prevent attracting them again.
- Remove – Attractants such as sugar, grease and other foods are one of the main reasons ants enter your home. Remove potential lures by keeping food in sealed containers. Pet food should also be sealed and not left out where ants can easily access it. Also, take out trash regularly to prevent the smell from drawing ants in as the garbage breaks down.
- Dehydrate – Ants need moisture to survive, so you’ll want to minimize their access to it using a few simple tricks. First, fix any leaks you may have around pipes and other areas. Then, check your gutters and spouts to make sure they’re draining away from the house. Finally, try implementing a dehumidifier to reduce other moisture inside your home.
How Can I Get Rid of Ants?
Ants can be a major source of distress for any property owner. Luckily, they can be dealt with in a number of ways. Once you’ve taken steps to remove attractants and prevent ants from entering your home, you can apply a wide variety of TERRO® products to eliminate them.
- Target the Colony – Baiting is one of the most effective ways to eliminate the ants you see and the ants you don’t see. TERRO® bait products such as TERRO® Liquid Ant Bait and TERRO® Perimeter Ant Bait Plus are formulated to slowly kill ants over a few days. This provides foraging ants with enough time to consume the deadly bait, return to the colony and share it with the rest of the nest. Keep in mind, when using baits you will see more ants before numbers reduce. Bait attracts them so they consume the deadly food source!
- Stop Ants in Their Tracks – Contact killers are a great way to quickly wipe out the ants you see. Products such as TERRO® Ant Killer Spray provides instant knockdown and long-lasting residual control for up to 6 weeks. Use as a surface, spot, or crack-and-crevice treatment for non-food areas where ants and other insects crawl and hide. It can be used indoors and outdoors for quick results.
- Protect the Perimeter – One colony can include millions of ants! To prevent these ants from coming indoors, apply a treatment such as TERRO® Outdoor Ant Killer around the perimeter of your house. The powerful granules kill pests on contact and provide long-lasting residual protection. In addition, use TERRO® Ant Dust where ants could find entrance to your home, including doorframes, windowsills, and gaps around electrical, HVAC and water service.
Don’t let ants take over your home. Whether you need effective ant control inside or outside your house, you can eliminate your ant problem once and for all with the help of easy-to-use TERRO® ant control solutions!
Are There Different Kinds of Ants?
The United States is home to approximately 1,000 ant species of the more than 10,000 known species living worldwide. As with many species in the animal kingdom, some ant species are more common than others. Here are just a few of the species you might find nesting in or around your home:
- Carpenter Ants – These ants get their name from their preference to build colonies inside wood structures. In addition, carpenter ants are one of the largest species of ants in the United States, measuring as much as ½". Most carpenter ants are black, although some are red or yellowish in color.
- Fire Ants – Well known for their painful, venomous sting, fire ants are more than just a nuisance for humans. Fire ants are very aggressive and are quick to sting anything that tries to invade the colony. These omnivorous ants are characterized by their signature reddish color and small size, typically 1/16" to 1/5".
- Little Black Ants – This native ant species is widespread throughout the United States. As their name suggests, they are small – a mere 1/16" – and black in color. They have relatively large colonies and are frequently found nesting inside walls or wooden structures.