Ants are a guest you never want to have visit, so having ways to keep ants out of your home is important. If you saw an ant in your home or want to stop them from coming inside, here are things to keep in mind. All it takes is one ant scouting for food to turn into the start of an infestation.
5 Ways to Keep Ants Out
- Seal all openings
Ants can enter through the tiniest opening. If you’ve already seen an ant trail, trace it to find where they’re entering your home and then seal that opening. If you’ve only seen one or two and you can’t figure out the opening or just want to prevent ants from entering without having seen any; look for any gaps, cracks, and openings. Fill them with silicone caulk for best results; though wood putty, glue, plaster, etc. can also work. Replace damaged weather stripping and loose mortar around your house.
- Remove food sources
Making sure there aren’t any food sources for ants is an important way to keep ants from your kitchen because even if one gets in to scout, they won’t come back. Keep food sealed in containers. Wipe down counter tops because ants can eat residue. Do not leave food out. If you have pets, that can be more complicated. Wipe up spills around the pet bowls, including water bowl spills. Avoid keeping pet food out if you can.
- Smack down scouts
Single ants are often scouts looking for food sources. If they find anything edible, including sticky spots, they’ll bring back reinforcements.
- Eliminate ant trails
If ants have gotten in or you found a single scout and think you know where it traveled, wipe up the area to eradicate the scent trail ants create. Use an all-purpose cleaner, a vinegar/water mix or a disinfectant or bleach wipe.
- Move out mulch
Replace any mulch close to the house with gravel, stone, etc. Ants can nest in mulch, straw, etc. and you don’t want a colony that close to your home.
The Truth About Ant Prevention Tips
A lot of ant prevention tips can only be used in certain circumstances, have drawbacks or are questionable. Here are ones to look out for:
- Lining entrances and ant trails with diatomaceous earth or salt
Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder that pulls moisture from ants’ bodies. Salt does the same but is weaker than diatomaceous earth. In either case, ideally, it’s dragged back to the ant colony to kill that, too.
The drawback: Salt and diatomaceous are washed away by rain and you don’t want to expose children or pets to diatomaceous earth. Salt is less dangerous to them but in excess isn’t wise either.
- Tape barriers
Placing double-sided tape at entrances to trap ants can work.
The drawback: The tape will become ineffective as dust, debris, etc. cover the sticky surface. Wide tape is needed for best results which could be unsightly. It needs to be replaced regularly.
- Talcum powder
Similar to diatomaceous earth; a boundary of talcum powder, baby powder, chalk or tailor’s chalk spread at entrances but it’s unclear how or why it deters ants even though it can be effective.
The drawback: Like other powders, it can be washed away by rain. Talc has been implicated as a potential carcinogen, so using talcum powder or tailor’s chalk is questionable. Some baby powder is now using corn starch, which would not have the same effect.
- Scent deterrents
Ants don’t like certain scents such as peppermint oil, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, cayenne pepper and bay leaves so some advocate spreading the essential oils or a mix of those ingredients and vinegar.
The drawback: Keeping essential oils and herbs away from pets and keeping peppers away from both children and pets. The scent might not last long enough on the surface to be effective. Rain will wash it away.
- Boiling water
Pouring boiling water on the nest is recommended for killing an ant colony.
The drawback: You have to know where the nest is. Because you might not know how large or deep the nest goes, you might only kill part of it.
While home remedies and store-bought ant treatments can work, professional treatments are more effective and longer lasting. Identifying the correct type of ant is also crucial for effective treatment, which is another benefit for calling an exterminator. Arrow Exterminating are experts in eliminating all types of ants.
Arrow Exterminates Ants
Don’t let ants drive you buggy. If you think you have an ant problem, call Arrow Exterminating to identify the type of ant and eliminate them. To get started, contact Arrow Exterminating today.