Category Archives: ants

I have Ants and what do I do?

Small-Ants 2

Help

OMG I have a lot of Ants, what do I do?

Well I took the analytical approach and Googled it and here are my findings. And the question remains, do we get rid of the little pesky critters or do we get the boys in?

Identifying the Ant

The first and may be the most important step in killing ant is to identify the species of the ant in question. When you do this, you have a better understanding of the ant you are dealing with. More so, you have better information about the nesting habits of the ants and also have a good knowledge of its habitat. Don’t be surprised, that ant might just be nesting outside your doors! You can also obtain additional information about the ant by taking a close picture of the ant and e-mailing it to the university extension service in your locality. The extension service will give you comprehensive information about the species of the ants you are dealing with; you will also be advised on the best way to get rid of the ant.

Keeping the home  Clean

Keeping your house clean at all times is an indisputable defense against ants. Don’t allow food crumbs to litter your house, sweep up any food crumbs, wipe up any spills,  take out the trash can and no dirty dishes should be left in the house. You can also mix water with vinegar and spray it around the bowels of your pet food to keep ants from feasting on them. Doing all this will take away available food sources of the ants.

Erasing ants trails

Ants are social insects hence they move in groups, so when you see one ant, it is most likely that you will see others. Ants also leave a scented trail behind them. This allows other ants to follow. This scented trail cannot be eliminated just by sweeping and mopping alone, to eliminate this tail, mix three parts of water with one parts vinegar in a spray bottle, you then spray all the previous places you have seen ants in the house. This action will prevent the ants nesting outdoors from entering the house to search for food. (Ants don’t necessarily come into the house to establish a nest). However, you must know that vinegar and water cannot stop the ants already nesting indoors, in order to kill them, you need ant bait (please see the next step)

Ant_Leadership and fruit

Wiping Out ants Colonies

Killing ants as you come in contact with them is good, but don’t always follow your impulse to kill that singular ant, because for every ant you see, there are hundreds more hiding in your house, you only get to see the scouts in search of food to take back to the colony.  You don’t have to kill the scouts, rather make use of them to wipe out the entire colony. Set baits for the ants in areas where they are commonly seen in the house. Ants tastes changes with the seasons, they prefer protein foods in the spring and during the summer sweets or fatty foods is their prefer choice.

Once you have a good understanding of the foods that ants like, buy and set the bait that is in line with their taste. When buying your baits, look out for words like “controls for sweet eating and grease eating ants” on the bait package. At the initial stage when you set your baits, you are likely to see more ants. It is actually a good thing because more ants will be taking the toxic baits back to the nest where they will share with other ants including the queen, and once the toxic bait is spread death of the colony will ensue. For many off the sweet loving ants, liquid baits work best though other ants still prefer solid baits. If after two weeks you still have ants, change the bait containers and if that doesn’t work, then it is time to hunt down the nest.

Hunting  Down Ants  Nest

Hunting down the nest and getting rid of it sometimes may be the best solution. Most especially if you are dealing with ants that can cause structural damage to your house such as carpenter’s ants. Then it is critical that you wipe them out. The sooner you do this the better. Finding the nest may not be an easy task and it may take some detective work out of you. Generally, ants prefer damp places you may therefore start your search in such areas soft or spongy flooring from plumbing or roof leak, bathrooms, attics and exterior walls are good suspects. You may cut small holes in water damaged-walls in order to track down ant nests. (This shouldn’t be a big problem, in any case you still have to repair your water damaged -walls)

Spray the nest with an insecticide when you find it, use insecticide that contains delmathrin, permethrin or bifenthrin (check the labels) ensure that you fixed the water leak and change the damage wood. If you are too busy or cannot track the nest down on your own, then hire a pest control service. Although the professionals can be quite expensive, they can be very efficient.

carpenter ants

Spraying Entry Points

After get rid of ants from the house, then, take steps to ensure they don’t come back.  This can be achieved by Filling and sealing off holes, spraying insecticide around doors and windows. When spraying, use an insecticide that contains permethrinbifenthrin, or deltamethrin. Spray wide band along entry points, ensuring that the surface gets wet. Once it is dry, the spray leaves an invisible foam that repels ants so they won’t be able enter the house. Also, each spring, spray the insecticide to guard against ants invasion. But remember that this only works to keep ants out, the ants already inside cannot be harmed by this, in fact, it can interfere with the use of ant baits.

Spraying a Barrier

If after spraying the interior entry points you’re still getting ants in your house, then, endeavor to spray a 12-in.-wide band of insecticide on the foundation and siding of your house. Make sure that   you make use of an insecticide especially the outdoor ones that has “barrier treatment” written on the label.

Destroying Exterior Nests

If you often see ants in the same area on the siding, it is possible there is a nest in there. Look for openings in the siding where ants may be crawling in and out. These openings are usually located between bricks where mortar might have fallen off. Once you are able to locate the nest, or the immediate surroundings of the nest, spray the whole area with insecticides containing bifenthrin as earlier advised.

Killing Ants in the Yard

An anthill in the yard is certainly an eyesore; more so, ants can ruin the opportunity to have a perfect outside dining. If ants are present only in some areas, probably   along your sidewalk, you can spot-treat the area with an outdoor insecticide. Liquid or granules will work just fine. For bigger ant problems, use a lawn and garden insecticides that contains bifenthrin as the base active ingredient. The spray can also kill other insects (you may read the label for a list).

The First thing to do is to mow the grass; you then spray the insecticide on the entire lawn. Spraying is best done early in the morning or late afternoon, at this periods,  the ants are most active. If after six weeks the ants are still building mounds, you may have to treat the lawn again (the insecticide is active and works for up to six weeks). You may not be able to kill every ant in your yard (you probably wouldn’t want to!), but by spraying them, you will eliminate most of them and put a stop the annoying anthills

 Killing Fire Ants with Bait

Fire ants are very commonly in the South eastern United States and Southern California.  Normal insecticides are much less potent at killing them. You therefore need a specially made product that is designed just for these kinds of insects. Look for products that specifically mentioned fire ants. When spraying, apply the granules with a broadcast spreader. Fire ants will carry the granules which is the toxic bait , back to their mounds. The ants will share the bait and die. Some poisons are long-lasting and will continue killing the fire ants for up to a year. Just as it is common to all the baits, you may have to wait for a few weeks before you see full results.

Ant diagram

Eliminating Ants Safe Havens

Finally, after you kill the ants in your house and yard, you must take the right steps to guarantee they don’t come back. Trim the bushes, shrubs, and trees that lean against your siding or roof and provide the ants a conduit to reach your house. Keep a 3-inches  to 6-inches  clearance space between the soil around the foundation and the bottom row of siding to prevent ants from nesting in the siding (and make sure the soil slopes away from the house). Don’t stack firewood next to the house. Firewood is   a   perfect haven for ants. Also you can discourage the ants from nesting in your house by maintaining a healthy lawn.

So having written all that, we get the important part of the story and that is to call a pest controller.