By Linda Williams
The majority of homeowners struggle with the occasional ant invasion here and there. Whether you spot this unwelcome pest carrying food debris or lingering around sticky spills, these insects are nothing short of a nuisance. However, when this problem devolves into an infestation, it may be time to kick your pest control strategy into overdrive and start thinking outside the box.
Here, you’ll receive five essential tips and tricks you should consider when faced with an ant infestation. If you still can’t manage without outside help, enlist local professionals like those at Moxie Pest Control, who can apply professional-grade pesticides and obliterate ant colonies of mass proportions with a single spritz.
Study the common ant types
While house ants may be the most common species of ant to invade your home, there are other types with unique and sometimes dangerous characteristics a homeowner should be wary of.
Carpenter ants fall into the latter category. The much larger carpenter ant can cause more severe damage to your home’s stabilizing structures that make it safe for human habitation. If left untreated, these household pests can cause your home to crumble into dust, resulting in thousands of dollars in repair expenses.
While house ants are undeniably annoying, they have a reputation for being harmless. When sanctioned off to your garden or backyard, they can even help the ecosystem by aerating the soil and transporting seeds deep into the earth.
Keep your house clean
Whether you’ve been searching for solutions to your current ant infestation problem or solely wanting to know what steps to take to prevent a future infestation, maintaining a high degree of cleanliness is a suggestion you’ve probably encountered. While keeping your house clean may seem obvious, it truly is the most effective way to eradicate ants and household pests in general.
Because ants infamously feed on sugary liquids, protein, and any food scraps they can find, tidying your kitchen after mealtime is crucial. Unfortunately, we have to store food, cook, and eat somewhere. Therefore, the kitchen tends to be the primary target for these tiny nuisances. When a scout from the colony discovers a source of food, no matter how minuscule it may seem, it relays instructions to the colony composed of hundreds of workers ants to invade your home.
Needless to say, if cutting these ants off at the source is at all possible, it will be your best option, not to mention the most efficient. When or if you hire a professional pest control provider, these fully-trained experts will target the colony in question rather than exterminating these household invaders one by one to save time and ensure long-term success.
Set ant traps
When we think of setting traps for pests in our homes, we usually think of mechanical or sticky contraptions meant to capture an animal, eliminating its ability to flee. However, when it comes to ant traps, these pest control devices come in many forms and call for a bit more sophistication.
The most efficient ant trap involves establishing a baited food source for the ants, hoping that it will poison as many ants in the colony as possible. This strategy is incredibly successful due to the manner in which ant colonies function. Every ant residing in the colony (apart from the queen) works to serve the collective vision and ensure its well-being. Therefore, baiting can be a very efficient colony population control method due to the presiding group-think mentality.
Pay attention to wood surfaces
As the name suggests, these tiny carpenters feed on damp, damaged, and rotting wood surfaces, from your windows to the legs on your chair. If you live in a notoriously humid climate like Florida, your home’s at a greater risk of experiencing an ant infestation.
Regardless of your region’s climate, eliminating the damp surfaces in your home, while not always free and easy, will spare you the cost of damages in the future. Luckily, there are various products designed for taking care of your wood surfaces. With strategic application, you can guarantee these carpenter ants won’t prevail.
Be wary of insect repellant
While pesticides and repellents may seem like easy fixes for treating your ant infestations forever, insect repellents are not permanent fixes but are merely temporary bandaids often placed over the underlying problem.
Remember, problems like standing water, unsealed food containers, and fragrant houseplants result in massive ant colonies, not solitary groups of ants who may or may not be killed with a pesticide.
Above all, the biggest problem with these chemicals is the danger they may pose to humans, making your brand selection a pivotal factor in your pest control strategy’s success. If you decide to take this DIY route, here’s an excellent list of products to consider.
While the occasional ant sight may appear innocent, an ant infestation can have dire consequences for the average household, ranging from property damage to even anaphylactic shock for those allergic to the bite of fire ants. To minimize your risk of an ant invasion, be sure to implement daily cleaning routines, install ant traps, and hire pest control professionals for preventative maintenance.