Though ants are beneficial to the environment in so many ways, they can quickly become a big nuisance when they invade your property looking for food, water or shelter. But, before you think of removing ants through insecticides or stepping on them, here are proven tips and tricks you can use to keep them away from your home.
Keep Your House Clean
A clean house is the first defence against ant infestation. Here are things you can do to keep your house clean:
Never leave any food uncovered – Keep all your food in the fridge, or in an airtight container. This applies to even pet foods. Ants love dog and cat foods, so don’t leave them out uncovered. Also, be sure to clean the bowls immediately to prevent ants from feasting on them.
Clean the surfaces after every meal – Even a tiny coffee spill on the counter, or bread crumb on the floor can attract ants, so make sure you sweep the floors and wipe the counters thoroughly after every meal, to eliminate their potential food sources.
Don’t leave dirty dishes around the house – It’s always best to clean up all the dirty dishes as soon as you’re done eating. Any pans and pots that cannot get into the dishwasher should be washed and dried. Since ants are constantly looking for water, make sure you wipe out any moisture from your sinks and counters, and repair any leaking pipes and drains that may attract them.
Empty the trash cans every day –Make sure you take your trash bins and cans out daily, and store them away from your house.
Destroy Their Scented Trails
When you see a single ant in your house, you’re bound to see many others later. That’s because these insects communicate through sound, touch and pheromones (chemical signals). When a forager ant finds food, it leaves a scented trail, which other ants follow to find the food source. Every time the trail is travelled, the scent intensifies. Therefore, mopping or sweeping isn’t enough to get rid of the trail. Instead, mix 1 part vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle, and spray along their paths. This helps to disrupt their scented trail, thereby making it difficult for them to find their way back to your house where their food is.
Wipe Out The Entire Colony
For every single ant you see, there are several hundreds of others hiding inside your home. The ones you see are looking for food to take back to the colony. Instead of stepping on them, you can use these visible ants to your advantage to wipe out the entire colony. It’s worth noting that ants’ food tastes usually change throughout the year. For instance, they prefer sweet or fatty foods during the summer and protein in the spring. So, you need to know the foods they love depending on the season, to enable you buy an effective ant bait.
When you initially set out your bait, expect to see several ants consuming it. That’s a sign of impending success because they’re more likely to share the toxic bait with the rest of the ants in the colony, thus killing all of them.
Seal All Entry Points
After getting rid of these pests from your house, take steps to prevent them from coming back. You can do this by using a caulk or any other good sealant, to permanently seal any holes and cracks they could be using to get in.
Use these simple tricks to help keep ants away from your property.