Maintain Mondays: Control Pesky Ants

 

Amazingly, there’s over 12,000 species of ants in the world, but only a small handful of them insist on invading our homes in search of something tasty to eat. For the ants you need to control, there are some very easy, natural and effective natural methods to either ward off or remove ants from your home areas. You can neutralize ant scouts by cleaning your kitchen and storing foodstuffs in containers. You can prevent ants’ access to your home by sealing entrances with caulk, make use of barriers and deterrents, like cinnamon, and use baits, like a maple syrup sprinkled with boric acid. Should all else fail, there are natural pest exterminators who can help you with your ant problem.

MINIMIZE ACCESS FOR SCOUT ANTS

Typically the easiest way to keep your home or apartment ant-free. Keep food areas clean and neat, wash dishes as soon as you are done with them, sweep and vacuum daily, keep food sealed in containers to avoid surprise infestations, and clean, clean, clean! Scout  ants take samples of food back to the rest of their crew, so the idea is to keep the scout ants as far away as possible. Early detection and prevention is imperative.

FORM DETERRENTS AND BARRIERS

If stubborn scout ants still attempt to infiltrate your living quarters, it’s time to construct a front line of defense. First, identify all entrance points and seal all holes with silicone caulk. Alternatively, you can use putty, glue or plaster. Next, get ready to arm yourself with a spray gun and some soapy water, which will both kill the ants and their chemical trail. Add citrus peels or rind oils to make the spray extra potent.

Many of the products that form natural ant barriers are probably already in your kitchen; they just need to be deployed properly. Use barriers on places like sills, floors, counters, and around ant access points. Some of the items with which you can form barriers include:

  • Powdered charcoal
  • A line of chalk
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus oil
  • Black pepper, cayenne pepper, or red chili pepper.
  • Vaseline (great for doors and windows)
  • Baby powder
  • Powdered cleanser
  • White vinegar and water

USE BAITS

If your ant problem doesn’t seem to be going away, set some baits. A mixture of boric acid and maple syrup is highly effective, but highly poisonous. Translation: Please be careful when using boric acid! Alternatively, certain foods like cornmeal, cream of wheat, and coffee grinds will work wonders. These foods are extremely poisonous to ants, and extremely safe for in-home use. 

CALL A PROFESSIONAL

When all else fails, contact a professional. Not always the most cost effective, but saves on time and labor!

 

 

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