HOW TO GET RID OF ANTS
Ants are especially skilled home invaders. They are attracted to food, water and shelter, which makes kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms ideal havens for these unwelcome pests to congregate. But fighting an ant infestation can be a relatively quick and efficient process.
TERRO® recommends following these 4 easy steps to get rid of ants in and around your home:
- Eliminate the Point of Entry
- Set the Bait
- Expect More Ants
- Address the Outdoors
1. Eliminate The Point Of Entry
Upon discovering an ant infestation, conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify where the ants are entering. Ants are tiny and capable of crawling through the smallest cracks or gaps, so any home is vulnerable to an ant infestation.
Once you have identified potential entry points, secure them! Fix cracks, repair holes and make sure your window screens are fully intact. You can also apply an insecticidal dust at these entry points to keep ants at bay.
2. Set The Bait
Ask any pest control professional and they'll tell you the first step in getting rid of ants in your home is to bait them. Implementing a liquid baiting system allows you to use the ants' own anatomy against them. Adult worker ants cannot digest solid food, or solid bait. These solids must be brought back to the colony for additional processing.
But, liquid baits make it easy for ants to transport the bait and quickly share with the rest of the colony. While the ant bait will ultimately kill the worker ants, it works slowly enough that the workers have time to get back and share the bait with other workers, larvae and the queen. This is the only way to fight the ants you see, and the thousands you don't.
In addition, as the worker ants carry the bait back to the colony, they're also dropping a pheromone trail from the bait to the nest, ensuring that other ants will know where to find the bait, which they will hungrily seek out, making it easy to eradicate the entire colony of ants.
3. Expect To See More Ants (At First)
Baiting ants requires some patience on the part a homeowner, as you should expect to see more ants appear in the hours after applying the bait. That's because the bait is intentionally drawing out the ants and attracting as many as possible, so the more ants you see, the more effective that bait will be at eradicating the colony. Especially large ant colonies may take up to 2 weeks to curtail, but smaller infestations can usually be controlled within 24 to 48 hours.
4. Address The Outdoors As Well
If you find that baiting alone is not eliminating your ant problems, you may need to take it outdoors with a second line of defense. Nearly all ant infestations can be traced to a colony beneath the ground outside a home. The colony can typically be found by searching for foraging trails that look like a line of traffic filled with ants.
Baiting Outdoors provides an effective and long-term solution because it kills the ants outdoors before they ever get inside. Just like the indoor bait, outdoor liquid ant bait employs a solution that attracts and kills all common household ants, including Argentine ants, ghost ants, little black ants, acrobat ants, and pavement ants, among others.
You can take things one step further by using an ant killer spray to treat window sills, doorways, exhaust vents and along gutters and exterior walls. Ant killer sprays will kill on contact but also provide a lasting residue that keeps killing for weeks longer.
Once your ant invasion has been eliminated, you'll want to keep your home pest free. Ants become active each year when temperatures reach 70°, so remember these two steps to protect your home from ant attacks in following years.
1. Maintain an Uninviting Home
Clean your kitchen regularly, quickly cleaning up spills or crumbs and keeping your sinks dry. Don't leave open boxes of food in your cabinets and take out your garbage often. Use an exhaust fan in bathrooms and the laundry room to cut down on the type of moisture that may prove attractive to thirsty ants.
2. Treat Your Yard Each Spring
The best line of defense to keep unwanted insects from migrating into your home is to set up point-of-entry barriers outside. Each spring you can take preventative measures by applying insecticidal granules or dust around the entire perimeter of your house. This will knock out unwanted ants (and other insects!) on contact as they attempt to infiltrate your home. Both products also deliver long-lasting repellency for extended protection against insect home invasions.
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University of Minnesota Extension