There are many different varieties of ants but when they enter your home all of them are unwanted guests. Understanding what attracts them inside is just as important as getting rid of them. Before using any pesticide in the home you should read and follow the directions closely. Outdoor Chemicals should only be used outside and you should limit pesticide use to a minimum in all areas.
Common Ants are found every where. They come in a variety of sizes and colors and basically feed on garbage and water. They are attracted to sugar and fats such as soda, fruit and general food waste. Although they are pests inside your home they do not cause structural damage.
Carpenter Ants are a serious concern for every home owner. Very similar to Termites they eat wood and seem to love the structural components of your home. Prevention is a necessity in many areas and if you know the location you live in has had carpenter ants in the past you might want to get a professional pest exterminator to inspect your home for live ants and any past damage that you should repair.
Flying Ants are often confused with Termites and for this reason if you find you have a flying insect that might be a termite you should capture a few in a glass jar and have them analyzed by a professional.
Ants are attracted to 3 basic things: Food, Water and Warmth. In the summer months they are happy to live outside for the most part unless the weather is extremely dry. During droughts you may see them coming into your home more often in search of water. In the fall and winter months they are attracted to the warmth in your home and often like to enter attics and live around moist air that comes out of bathroom vents.
What can you do to get rid of Ants and prevent them from coming back?
Ridding your home of ants is best handled by stopping them before they enter your home. By using a perimeter pesticide around the outside of your home you can create a boundary that they won’t cross.
Pesticides come in 3 basic forms Spray Liquids, Powders and Granular.
The Granular form which looks a little like sawdust is great for creating a 1 foot border around your home. Follow the directions and apply the Granular Pesticide around the whole outside of your home in a 1 foot wide border. You can also treat your entire yard or form a perimeter border along the outside of your property.
Ants and all insects like to live under shrubs and plants that are near your house. They are cool areas protected from direct sunlight and because you water these plants often there is a good supply of water.
Plants should be trimmed back so they do not touch your home. If they do then insects will crawl up the plant and into the home. Treat these areas with long lasting pesticides like the granular form and you will reduce insect penetration into your home.
Under Decks is also a problem area because they sheild the sunlight and the area goes undisturbed. You can treat this area by dropping granular pesticide through the decking. Take care to brush the granuals off the deck surface and then wash the area with water to remove residue.
Liquid Sprays are good only to kill the insects you can actually spray. They do not offer a good method of repelling insects unless they are professionally applied in large quantities. Termiteacide liquids are applied by professional services and will come with a guarantee. For this reason it is best to hire a licensed professional.
Powder Insecticides have little use but you can apply them directly to ant hills.
Once they are inside the home they can be removed with a canister vacuum cleaner which should be quickly removed outside the home and emptied into a double lining of trashbags. You can also try spot spraying chemical pesticide in the area they resided to catch other ants in their colony returning to the area but a granulated product (not powdered) will probably work best in areas like your attic under insulation. This is actually the method that pest companies will use to remove bulk amounts of insects. The problem is that you must act quickly without disturbing them.
You should never use pesticides around food this includes not only the kitchen area but also in your garden. Even pesticides that say they are safe for humans must be used with extreme care. When a Pesticide is deemed safe it is often at levels that are well below normal use by the average home owner. You can think of this by looking at a can of soup that says it has 2 – 1/2 servings per container but most people will eat the whole can. Overuse of pesticides is very common and should be limited especially around children.