If you’ve recently noticed some unwanted guests in your home – in the form of ants, that is – here are some tips to try before calling your local exterminator.
- Identify the type of ant(s) in your home. Take a photo of the ant and email it to your local university extension program. They can tell you the type of ant you’re dealing with as well as where it nests, facts about the species, and advice on removing it from your home.
- Place poison in easily accessible areas of your home. What we mean by this is for you to spread the poison where you’ve seen the ants. This may be under your sink or along the walls or door frames. If you see a lot of ants in these areas at first, don’t worry – this means they’re taking the bait back to the ant colony where it will be shared with the others, especially the queen.
- Don’t step on the ants. While it may be tempting to crush them after setting out bait traps, let them take the poison back to the nest. They’ll rid of themselves without you having to frantically step on them all.
- Cover their trails. You may not know it, but ants leave behind scented trails for others to follow. Unfortunately, sweeping and mopping doesn’t help mask the odor. You’ll need to mix one part vinegar with three parts water; spray areas in which you’ve seen ants.
- Don’t forget about your yard. Use an outdoor insecticide to rid your yard of any ant hills or mounds. Mow your lawn first, then spray on the entire lawn either in the early morning hours or late afternoon – both times are when ants are most active.
- Prevent easy entry into your home. Trim bushes, shrubbery, and trees that are against the siding of your home or your roof. These will only create a bridge of sorts for ants to come inside of your home. Be wary of stacking firewood by your home, as this creates an easy entry as well.
- Locate the nest. If you’re dealing with carpenter ants, it is crucial to destroy the nest. Search for damp areas of your home, such as the framework or flooring that’s become soft or spongy due to a leak or plumbing issue. Check your attic, bathroom(s), and exterior walls. Once the nest has been spotted, use an indoor insecticide.