Overview And Facts
Many homeowners have unwanted guests that refuse to help out with the mortgage. And we aren’t talking about that close friend or family member that is holding out for a management position. We are talking about the insect kind, more specifically, ants. These little critters can reduce your quality of life pretty quickly.
It’s one thing when they are scurrying around on the outside world, but another thing entirely when they are seen crawling across the kitchen floor. Once that happens, most people simply want them gone. But that can be easier said than done. When you consider the fact that the ants managed to get into your home in the first place, if you don’t deploy an effective method for getting rid of them, you are simply wasting your time.
There are also several different ant species that can make their way into your home. Proper identification is therefore needed before you can zero in on the solution. We will be discussing the symptoms and types of ants, how to diagnose an ant problem, and the most effective treatment and care for getting rid of ants that have taken up residence in your home.
Symptoms And Types
The symptoms associated with an ant problem come down to seeing one in your house. For every ant you see crawling around, there are perhaps hundreds more in your home. Ants are not an insect that will typically travel alone. The ants that you visually see are referred to as scout ants. This is because they will enter your home in order to see if you have any food within reach.
If the scout ant happens to find some, it will take a small amount of it back to the colony. Once that happens, and in order to get more food, more of the ants, perhaps hundreds or thousands, will make their way into your home. And while it might seem like a smart decision to simply kill the scout ant, this would be the wrong move.
Not only will you have no impact on the greater colony, it will also do nothing to keep additional ants from entering your residence. This is because ants leave a scented trail which makes it possible for other ants to follow in their footsteps. With more than 12,000 species of ants across the world, it can be challenging to make a positive identification. The internet makes this process of identification substantially easier. If you see an ant, perform a Google search for the ants in your home state.
Ants are near the top of the list for pests that enter your home uninvited. Diagnosing the problem will first require you to identify the species. And while that might seem daunting, it’s really not hard to do. Depending on the state in which you live, there will be specific species of ants that have taken up residence in your home state. This makes it easy to perform an internet search and come up with an accurate identification within seconds.
Before the World Wide Web, unless you were a pest control professional, it would be necessary to call an exterminator for the positive ID. This is no longer the case in the 21st century. We can now use our computers to wage an effective war on ants. And once the identification has been made, the process for getting rid of them is pretty straightforward in most cases.
Treatment And Care
The best treatment for getting rid of ants is to get rid of their trails, wipe out the colonies, and perhaps even go after the nest as a last resort. Since the ants entering your home will leave a scented trail, it’s recommended that you spray down the area where the ant or ants were seen with a spray bottle. 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water is the suggested mix for effectively eliminating these trails.
This will not only wipe out their trails, but it will also prevent new ants from entering your home. Take note that we explicitly said new ants. In order to eliminate the ants that are already in your home, you will need to use some type of ant bait in order to kill them. If the ant bait has been out for more than 14 days, and you are still seeing ants, then it’s possible that you have a nest in your home.
Perform a visual inspection of your home for areas that might be water-damaged. If you find such an area and there are ants in and around it, then you will need to purchase a good indoor insecticide and spray down the area. This should resolve the problem, but you might still have to deal with property damage that the ants left behind.
Carpenter ants are known for causing structural damage to homes. In order to prevent future ants from entering your home, consider spraying down all possible entry points around windows and doors. Use an outdoor spray to place an effective barrier around your house. It’s also recommended that you keep any bushes and trees trimmed close to the home.