How soon will ants start ruling the world? It's like clockwork- every spring and summer we see them plague our unprotected homes. Crawling on our kitchen counter tops, exposing cracks and crevices to enter our homes, and even invading our bedrooms and watching us while we sleep! Ants are systematic insects. They will never go away as long as they can find easy access to shelter and food. In this guide, you will be able to vanquish them with a few easy steps.
The smart way to rid yourself of these pesky varmints is to take preventative measures and protect your home before ants find their way in.
- Keep a clean house. I know what you're thinking, "easier said than done." But I'm not asking you to keep your home as clean as a hospital operating room, just clean up after every meal and sweep/vacuum regularly.
- Protect your food. Any food kept uncovered and out in the open is a ringing dinner bell for ants. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that "ants have four to five times more odor receptors than most other insects." Keep dry food in sealed containers and out of sight.
- Create a barrier. Creating a barrier around your home can be done a couple of ways. I suggest staying away from indoor pesticides. Use more natural ways like a homemade spray prepared by mixing one part vinegar with three parts water. The smell alone will deter ants from passing, and vinegar can clear their scent trails. There are many more natural options out there, but vinegar is tried-and-true. Another option would be to place instant grits or cornmeal along entry points. This kills them because ants can't digest grits or cornmeal. As for the outdoors, you can use pesticides to create a perimeter around your house. Create a plant-free border by trimming vegetation that is touching your home.
From LDS Prepper
Once they're in:
Any of the following techniques will keep ants from coming back. Calling an exterminator should be your last resort after trying these techniques.
- Eliminate ant paths. Ants leave a scented trail to help them find their way to and from the nest, and a trail for other ants. Household cleaners, as well as the vinegar and water mixture mentioned earlier, will take care of this.
- Seal cracks and holes. First, follow an ant to figure out how they are coming in. Then use sealants like caulk to close the entrance. Caulking is safe around kids and pets, and as an added bonus you are making your home more energy efficient!
- Kill lone ants. Ants have scouts that leave the nest on their own to find food sources and run back to tell their friends. If these scouts don't make it back to their nests, it means that the hunt was unsuccessful. If they do make it back to their nests, they will spread the word and come back to your home with an army.
- Use traps. Traps can be store-bought or homemade. The most common bait trap is made by mixing one tablespoon of peanut butter, two tablespoons of sugar, two teaspoons of borax, and one teaspoon of water. Place on a plate near ant trails and watch the ants take some back to the nest. This concoction will kill ants after a short period.
- Use natural repellents. Ants don't like the smell of certain leaves, liquids, and powders. Scatter bay leaves to repel ants from pantries or other areas. Talcum powder, sprinkled around, works the same way. Natural citrus oils will also repel ants. Puree lime, lemon, and orange peels to create a repellent to place around trouble areas.
After indoor eradication, follow the preventative measures to guarantee ants don't come back. Safety Advice and Warnings
- Read all safety labels on cleaners and pesticides. Most, if not all, are toxic to pets and humans; so be careful where you use them.
- Use proper safety equipment like rubber gloves when applying chemicals. Consider using goggles when fumigating.
By: Luis Leonzo