If ants are moving into your home, then you may be feeling desperate to get rid of them. They may not be dangerous, but they are certainly a nuisance. As a parent, you don’t want to use harsh chemicals in the home, but you also don’t want to share your living space with these tiny little intruders. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the ants out this spring and summer.
Keep it Clean
Ants are always on the search for food. They don’t care if it’s outside or in your cupboard. A vital step in ant control is cleaning up the house and keeping it free of crumbs. This means getting the kids to eat at the dining room table and cleaning the kitchen daily. Put open boxes of food in Ziploc bags and seal them tightly. Remember to wipe down the trashcan to ensure that they aren’t coming in for a dribble of ketchup along the side.
Are You Positive they’re Ants?
It’s important to determine what kind of insect you’re dealing with. Carpenter ants look like enormous ants, and they aren’t coming into your home for the crumbs under the kitchen island. These ants are actually eating the wood of your home, so they require special treatment. An even more frightening possibility is that those larger-than-normal ants are actually termites. While carpenter ants have a “waist,” or two sections where the body constricts, termites only have one. Termites also have a lighter color and are rarely seen in the open. Finally, look at the wings if the “ants” are flying. Termites have much longer wings that lay back parallel to the body.
If you have termites, you may want to call in the professionals for termite control. However, you can take steps on your own to deal with ant problems. Here are a few things you can do to discourage ants without putting your family at risk.
• Spray their tracks and visible ants with a 50:50 solution of white vinegar and water.
• Use this same solution to clean counters and cabinets where you’ve seen ants.
• Put dried herbs like red chili powder, paprika, mint and peppermint around the foundation of your home.
These methods will not kill the queen or colony, but they will deter the ants from using your home as their personal grocery store. The great thing about these steps is that they’re safe for the environment, and you won’t have to worry about your children or pets being harmed by them. If the infestation cannot be controlled through these methods, it is important to get in touch with experienced pest control companies.