Is Your House Full of Ants?
By Shivraj Ghorpade
Easy Tips to Get Rid of All Kinds of Ants
Simple methods to get rid of different types of ants from your house
Ants are a problem that many people have. There is nothing more disturbing, annoying or embarrassing than having ants in your home. Furthermore, there are several different species of ants that can be dangerous to you or your family members, depending on which states you live in; and there are other ants that can do serious damage to the woodwork or carpentry in your home. Several different types of ants are listed below.
1. Fire ants are some of the worst kinds of ants that you can have in your home. Fire ants are found all over the United States, but the ones in the southern states, such as Florida, are the most dangerous.
Usually fire ants are found outside, but sometimes they can reside in the foundation and come up into the floor. You can tell if you have come onto a fire ant's nest. These ants are small and a dark red in color, but their bites can be painful.
Fire ants are very aggressive and when their nest is disturbed, they will sting in several times. In the southern states, fire ants can also be deadly, especially for children and unhealthy adults.
2. Carpenter ants are the most common ant problem that people have in the United States. Carpenter ants can do as much damage to your house as termites can. Carpenter ants are large black ants and reside in wood. They burrow tunnels in the wood and that is where they build their nests. When carpenter ants burrow their tunnels in the wood, this weakens the wood and causes it to rot.
3. Sugar ants are probably some of the most obnoxious ants that you can have in your house. These ants are also known as pharaoh ants or pavement ants. The fact that these ants are persistent in getting what they want makes them a serious household pest.
What makes these ants a particular nuisance is that they can smell anything that is a food protein and sugars. These ants will invade whatever food you have on your table or on your kitchen counter. Furthermore, these ants can also be harmful because they can carry the dangerous staphylococcus and pseudomonas bacteria.
4. Argentine ants can be a serious problem for you if you live in the desert Southwest. Argentine ants are a problem that does not only affect individual homes, but is also killing off the native habitat of the Southwest. Argentine ants can eat everything in sight.
How do I get rid of these ants?
There are many different ways to get rid of ants and you do not necessarily need to hire an exterminator to solve your ant problem. In some cases, however, an exterminator might be needed. However, exterminators are expensive and their chemicals are highly toxic. Try some home remedies first before you consider hiring an exterminator. Some remedies are listed below.
1. Hydramethylnon is a toxic chemical that is usually produced in granules and is a great way of getting rid of fire ants in your home. These granules are sold at your general store and usually under the brands of Amdro, Maxforce, or Siege.
2. To get rid of carpenter ants, you need to first need to locate their nest. There are several ways you can locate a carpenter ants' nest. The first sign that indicates that you have a problem with carpenter ants is if you see a carpenter ant wander somewhere on the floor.
You can also listen for the rustling of the ants in the woodwork. One of the best ways to get rid of carpenter ants is to set a sugar or honey bait. Carpenter ants like sweet things and will swarm around sugar or honey. When you see the carpenter ants swarm over the sugar, follow them to see where they come from.
Once you have spotted their nest, use a strong aerosol ant killer. There are many aerosol ant killers available, Raid being the biggest and best known brand. You can also drill holes in the wall where the ants' nest is and spray or dust ant killer directly into the nest.
A good powder that can be used to kill the ants is Sevin. But keep in mind that Sevin is highly toxic. If you have children, you need to keep them away from Sevin and you need to place something they cannot move in front of the ant's nest when you are applying the Sevin.
Once you have gotten rid of the carpenter ants, there are a few things that you can do to keep them from coming back into your home.
a. White gravel can be a natural barrier when it is lined around the home. The way white gravel works is simple. Carpenter ants like most dark places and the white gravel is dry and allows for good drainage. If the moisture is drained away from your home, the carpenter ants will not come in.
b. Boric acid is another great tool to make your home repelling to carpenter ants. Boric acid is not as strong as other acids and not as dangerous. Like with all acids, you should still take your precautions with boric acid. You should not consume it nor should you allow your children near it.
c. Hiring a professional exterminator is the last option if you cannot get rid of the carpenter ants.
3. Sweet and protein based baits are the best way to get rid of sugar and Argentine ants. Though the two species of ants have similar tastes, they are different and the ways to get rid of both sugar ants and Argentine ants are listed below.
I. Getting rid of sugar ants can be a daily affair. This is especially the case when sugar ants are the most active, which is during the months of March through September. There are several things that you can do to prevent a sugar ant infestation in your home during this time.
a. Keep your kitchen sink clean and dry. If there is one thing that sugar ants like the most it is a nice dirty kitchen sink.
b. Wipe down your counter tops with bleach every night. Keep your countertops clean and free of any sugar-based foods or other food proteins. Sugar ants like a dirty countertop as well. If you even spill a few grains of sugar during the summer months, sugar ants will find it and make themselves at home.
c. Mop your kitchen floor with bleach every evening during the summer months. Sweep your kitchen floor after every meal. The bleach will destroy the pheromone trails left behind from a scout sugar ant.
d. Vacuum your carpeted areas where food is consumed on a regular basis. This can be a good policy of not inviting sugar ants into your home.
e. Use strong garbage bags to line your kitchen garbage can and take the garbage out of the house on a daily basis to avoid sugar ants from coming into your kitchen attracted to your garbage. After taking the garbage out of your kitchen, use Arm & Hammer baking soda to deodorize the garbage can.
II. One of the best ways to control Argentine ants is to prevent them from getting into your home. All Argentine ants need to get into your home is a small hole in from the outside that is one millimeter wide. Check all your windows and doors. Make sure that the seams of your window frames are tightly sealed with caulking.
Make sure that mosquito netting on your window screens are properly fitted and not torn. Place good weather stripping on the doors and windows to keep these invasive ants from just walking in and making themselves at home. Other ways you can get rid of Argentine ants are as follows:
a. Talcum powder can be used to get rid of Argentine ants because for some unknown reason, these ants do not like talcum powder. After this powder has been dusted throughout the house where Argentine ants nest or enter, not only will it get rid of these pests, but also keep them from coming back.
b. Maxforce ant-killing granules can be spread around the home to effectively kill Argentine ants.
Other innovative ways of getting rid of ants
Some companies have come with some solutions that do not require any insecticides or other toxic chemicals.
1. PestRepeller Ultimate is one device that is available which its maker claims gets rid of not just ants, but other pests, such as insects of any kind, spiders, and rodents. This device uses a sound of a specific pitch that it is inaudible to the human ear, but to insects and rodents the sound that this device generates is unbearable.
2. Vinegar can be another way to get rid of and repel ants without using any toxic pesticides. Ants do not like the smell of vinegar.
3. A big pot of boiling water can be like the nuclear bomb to an ants' nest, provided you know where the ants' nest is. All you need to do is to pour the boiling water over the entire nest and make sure it goes into the tunnels and it will kill all the ants on contact. You can intensify the effect by adding boric acid and cornmeal to the boiling water.
There are many ways to get rid of and control the ant problem in your home depending on where you live.
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