Once again it is ant season. You wake up to make the morning coffee and find that the entire population of ants has descended upon your kitchen. Although they are not large enough to eat you out of house and home, their very presence can be disconcerting, getting into food in the pantry and spreading germs across food preparation surfaces. Your first instinct is to get the insect killer to get rid of them. Unfortunately this may not be the best solution. If there is a nest close by, this may simply mean a constant stream of ants to take their place. The first thing to do is find out the best method of removing the ants. To do this we will need to find out more about the ants. There are generally 3 common types of ants in India; Carpenter Ants, Pharoah’s Ants and Red Fire Ants. Carpenter Ants are common in the home, they are mostly nocturnal and are attracted to sweet and greasy substances, but they do bite. Their colonies are found mainly in damp wood. Pharoah’s Ants are more of a concern. These ants require only a very small space for their nests. The are often found in food stuff which they contaminate after consuming decomposing food elsewhere. But how to get rid of these. Homify has found the most effective ways to get rid of ants.
Ants are a clever little community. They work closely together as a community for the common good. There are different members of the community that have different jobs. One such job is the scout. Scout ants go ahead of the tribe and find sources of food and water for the tribe to feed on. This information is then sent back to the tribe, who then all work their way to the location in a direct line or trail. One way to get rid of ants is to kill the scout, if you can manage to find them at that stage, although this can be difficult. If you fail to find the scout the next step is to remove the trail. Removing the trail can be as simple as placing an obstacle in its path, forcing them to find an alternate trail. Try scattering talcum powder around the area of the ant trail to stop them in their tracks. This lovely tea towel was made by Studio Verissimo.
There are many commercially produced anti ant products available today. These may be an effective way to rid your home of ants, but is it safe to introduce more chemicals into our homes? There are many environmentally friendly alternatives to the harsh chemicals used to rid our homes of ants and they are simple to use and easy to find. One of the best ways to rid your house of ants is with simple adhesive tape. First find where the ants are entering the house. There will usually be a line of ants, follow them back to where they enter. Now you have the entry point, place some adhesive tape at several points along the line. This will force the ants onto the tape, where they will be stuck and will not be able to move further into the house. For more ways to get rid of insects see Get rid of mosquitoes, what really helps.
It is always handy to have a good supply of lemons in the house. They can be used for so many purposes, from cleaning and disinfecting the house, to getting rid of ants and other insects. Using lemons to get rid of ants is a very simple process. Ants hate lemons, they are acidic and have a strong aroma. Simply apply the fresh lemon juice to areas where the ants are entering the house; windowsills, under doors or cracks in the walls. It is also a good idea to scatter small pieces of lemon rind onto the entrance of the house to deter further infestations.
Flour is another way that you can stop ants from entering your home. One of the reasons that ants enter the house is to search for water. By creating a line of flour around the entry points to the home the ants are forced to walk through the flour to get into the house. The flour is very fine and ends up coating them in the fine white substance. This is a strong deterrent for ants and they will move away from the flour areas. Consider using flour in pantries and on countertops.
Chalk is a wonderful and simple way of deterring ants from your home. Use large pieces of chalk, coloured or white, to draw a large circle around entry points to the home. Ants are naturally repelled by the calcium carbonate in the chalk and will avoid it. Chalk is a very good insect repellent. It can also be used to repel ants, snails and slugs in the garden. Simply scatter powdered chalk in a circle around plants in garden beds. This will protect them from ants, snails and slugs.
Fire ants can be a problem in any area. Although they do not often enter the home, they can give a nasty and very painful bite when stung in the garden. It can be more challenging to control ants in the garden, although there are some simple ways of getting rid of these clever ants. To get rid of these ants simply find a flowerpot with a hole in the bottom. Place this pot upside down over the fire ant nest, then pour boiling water through the hole onto the nest. This will quickly get rid of the fire ant nest.
The common kitchen baster has many purposes in the home. Although pest control may not be the most well known. When controlling ants in the home there are many natural products that can be used against them. Sometimes these do not work against some tribes of ants. For these ants we need to apply a stronger force. That force is boric acid. Before you use this method note that boric acid can be toxic if ingested by young children or pets. To use it against ants, place the acid in powder form in a baster, then sprinkle on the areas where you have seen ants. Apply to boric powder to hard to reach corners, cracks and deep voids. This should eradicate these pesky critters.
The main reason that ants enter houses is to find food and water. One way to stop ants from being attracted to your house is to remove all things that attract them. There are many places in our homes that ants can feed. In the kitchen this can be the sticky sweet fruit juice that has spilt onto the floor, the greasy oven grill or the dips of jam that are on the bench tops. At the end of the day be sure to leave these areas clean of anything that may attract ants. Wipe down surfaces with vinegar or hot soapy water.
Just like lemons are good to have in the house so is vinegar. Vinegar can be used for so many purposes in the home; as a cleaner for windows and toilets, a pest deterrent and to flavour foods. Vinegar can also be used to get rid of ants. Combine in a spray bottle equal parts vinegar and water and shake. Spray this mixture on anthills, and anywhere ales you see ants. Ants hate the smell of vinegar and will immediately move on to better smelling areas. For areas of high ant activity try using full strength vinegar.
Many people have tried these ant removal tactics with very little success. This may mean that there is a serious ant infestation in your area. This calls for some serious ant rid solutions. One of the more serious solutions for ant problems is a homemade borax bait. This can be relatively simple to make. Start by sourcing the ingredients; borax, white sugar and syrup. First combine the borax and sugar, use 1 part borax to 3 parts sugar and mix thoroughly. Next add enough water to mix into a thick paste. Finally add the syrup, use the same amount as the borax. Combine until it resembles a thick custard with a consistent colour. The mixture is now ready. Find appropriate traps to put the mixture in, this can be plastic containers, lids of jars or disposable plates. Place the traps where you have seen ants before. The ants will love this tasty treat and you will see them no more.
No one invites ants into their homes, and there is a good reason. Ants in your home can contaminate your food and can even give you a nasty bite, It is best that the ants stay away from the inside of your home. There are many ways to get rid of ants in the house. These can be as easy as using borax or the more natural methods of adhesive tape, lemons, flour, chalk or vinegar. You can also help to deter ants from your home by removing food and water sources. Leave surfaces in your home clean by wiping with vinegar or soap and water. These are just a few ideas on how you can get rid of the ants in your home. For more ideas on insects see Win the war against cockroaches.