Get Rid of Ants in Your Home

Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Lynn, Robbi, Eng and 2 others

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Have you ever been bitten by an ant while you're sleeping? Have you ever been frustrated because you've been looking forward to those sweet treats but the ants managed to beat you to them? If you have these problems, along with hundreds of other ant-related dilemmas in your home, then it's time for some serious ant-busting action! Don't worry, you won't even need a pest control expert to repel and exterminate ants, you just need to follow the steps here (all are home-tested). You heard that right, and there are other conventional tricks you can use to get rid of these pesky insects. Now let's get going!

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Identify the Ant (Optional)

This is a good start for eradicating ants - by first identifying their type. You should do this to find their nesting habits and have a general idea where they might be living. Some ants nest outdoors, so you might notice that no matter how you kill them inside you house, more just keep coming. Take a photo of the ant and send it to a local university extension service, or just upload it to the internet and ask a vast number of web users to identify it for you.

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Ant Busting Techniques

When you find out what species of ant you are going into battle with, you'll be better armed to get rid of them.

Clean you House

Cleaning your house is undoubtedly the first defense against potential onslaught of ants. Always sweep food crumbs, take out the garbage regularly and wipe up any spills you see. Never leave any dirty dishes sitting around the kitchen. All these things become a smorgasbord for the ants. You can also use vinegar mixed with water as a spray for bowls of pet food to keep ants from coming and infesting them.

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Spray Entry Points

If you just recently got rid of ants from your home, or if you want to take precautions so none can enter, then this step is for you. Caulk and seal holes, then spray them with insecticide around Windows and doors. Remember to use an insecticide containing bifenthrin, permethrin, or deltamethrin. Spray at least a four-inch wide band on the entry points, or just enough to wet the surface. The spray leaves an invisible film that repels ants after drying so they won't re-enter your house. This works for outside ants, preventing them from coming into your home, but it still doesn't deal with ants already in your house. If you are already using ant baits indoors, spraying with insecticide might actually interfere with the success of the ant baits.

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Try Spraying a Barrier

If ants still flock to your house despite your attempts at spraying entry points, simply spray a 12-inch wide band of insecticide on your siding and foundation. Only use an outdoor insecticide that says barrier treatment on the label.

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Remove Their Trails

Seeing one ant means that there is a whole colony, so you're bound to see other scuttling up and around the walls and floors of your house. This is because ants leave a particular scented trail that other ants can follow. Mopping ad sweeping will do little to eliminate its scent; instead use a spray made from one part vinegar and one part water wherever you encounter ants and groups. The strong odour will erase their scent and leave them bewildered, thus eliminating the threat. This also stops outdoor nesting ants that have entered your house from foraging food. (Most ants do not necessarily nest inside the house.) Vinegar and water will not completely stop ants already nesting indoors, and instead you can kill them with ant baits. (See next step.)

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Destroy Their Colonies

If you ever see an ant, resist the impulse to step on it, because for every ant you see, there are probably hundreds more thriving underground. Those few ants you see are scouts, whose role is to search for food to scavenge and bring back reports of his findings to the colony. Utilize this scout to destroy the entire ant colony. How?

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  1. 1
    Observe their habits in areas you've previously encountered them
    .
    Ants tastes changes during the year; they prefer protein in the spring and fatty/oily foods and sweets in the summer.
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  2. 2
    Once you know the type of food the ants are after, buy and set out the ant bait geared to their taste
    .
    Look on the package for words such as "controls both grease and sweet eating ants". You should expect to see hundreds of ants after you set out the bait; this is a good thing as it means that more ants are taking the toxic bait back to their colony, where they naturally share it with the rest of the ants, including their queen, and ultimately kill them. Expect that there are thousands of ants living in their nest.
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  3. 3
    Liquid baits works best for sweet-loving ants, although most ants prefer solid baits
    .
    Replace the bait containers if you still have ants after two weeks. If this doesn't work, you will just have to hunt down that nest.
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Hunt the Ant's Nest

If ants cannot be terminated with conventional baits, the next step is getting rid of their nests manually. If it's carpenter ants you're dealing with, then it's important for you to wipe them out ASAP, as this type of ant can do critical structural damage to your house.

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  1. 1
    Nest hunting requires a lot of patience, time and some detective work
    .
    Ants typically prefer damp areas - this could be flooring and framing that is soft and spongy due to roof leaks and plumbing issues.
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  2. 2
    Begin by looking for areas with potential water damages
    .
    Bathrooms, attics and exterior walls are prime candidates. Simply cut small holes in water-damaged walls to track nests. Don't worry about the holes, as you will be repairing them afterward.
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  3. 3
    After you locate the nest, spray it liberally with an insecticide that contains permethrin, bifenthrin or deltamethrin - just look at the label
    .
    Remember to fix water leaks and replace any damaged wood. If it comes to the point where you can't find the nest, hire an exterminator. Yes it can be expensive, but they know what to do and can remove those antsy woes of yours in no time.
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Hardcore Ant Killing

Sometimes you need to get really serious.

Destroy Exterior Nests

If you frequently encounter ants in the same area on your siding, that's probably where the ants' nest is. Locate holes in the siding where ants crawl in and out. The holes can often be located between bricks, where the mortar has fallen out, under the lap siding or in cracks. Once you pinpoint the nest, or even the vicinity of the nest, spray the area liberally with an insecticide containing the bifenthrin chemical.

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Yard Ants

Anthills can be an eyesore in our yards, and ants can ruin outside dining with friends and families - both yours and theirs. If you only have problems with ants in certain areas, say along the sidewalk, just spot-treat the area with a generic outdoor insecticide. Liquid or granules work fine as well. For a larger-scale ant problem, utilize a lawn and garden insect killer that contains bifenthrin as its active ingredient. The spray will also kill other insects. (Remember to read the label for a list.)

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  1. 1
    Mow the grass.
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  2. 2
    Spray your lawn with an insecticide
    .
     
    1. Only spray in the early morning or late afternoon because these are the times most ants are active.
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  3. 3
    Treat the lawn again if the ants are still building mounds after six weeks
    .
    • The insecticide will work for up to six weeks.
    • You won't be able to kill all ants in your yard, but spraying it will kill most of them and stop mounds from reforming.
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Destroy Safe Havens

Take steps to ensure ants you repelled from your house won't come back any time soon. Always trim shrubs, back bushes, and trees the brushes against your siding and roof as these provides bridges for ants to reach your home. Refrain from stacking firewood right next to your house as ants likes to retreat in this environment. Maintain a healthy lawn to discourage ants. Spray a mound with insecticide ASAP when you see one and plant grass on patches, as this can be a prime candidate for new anthills.

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Quick and Easy Ant Repellent Tricks

  1. 1
    Adhesive Tape
    .
    If you're having problems keeping ants away from your precious cookie jar or other sweets, simply surround it with an adhesive tape with its sticky side up.
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  2. 2
    Basters
    .
    Sprinkle boric acid along crevices and cracks using a baster. Caution: Boric acid is toxic to humans and pets.
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  3. 3
    Chalk
    .
    Chalk is a good way to repel ants; simply draw a line around entry points or a treat you want barricaded. The calcium carbonate in the chalk naturally repels ants. You can also scatter powdered chalk in your garden to repel not just ants, but also slugs.
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  4. 4
    Flour
    .
    Flour repels ants too! Simply sprinkle a line of flour on any material you want to protect from these pesky insects.
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  5. 5
    Lemons and oranges also make perfect ant repellent; simply squeeze them into any crevice you see where ants like to crawl.
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  6. 6
    Plastic containers
    .
    Place them under the feet of your table and fill them with water. Trivia: Ants don't swim.
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  7. 7
    Salt
    .
    Use salt to discourage ants from entering your home; sprinkle it around entry points and places where you suspect ants thrive.
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  8. 8
    Talcum powder
    .
    Sprinkle this nice smelling powder around your house's foundation to make an effective ant repellent.
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Tips, Tricks and Warning

  • Ant poisons are also toxic to humans and pets. Remember to read the instructions and completely and follow them carefully.
  • Try using the environmentally friendly solutions before resorting to the toxic ones.
  • Imagine you've sprayed your lawn...your dog goes outside, and rolls around on the lawn, he comes back in the house and rolls around on the living room carpet, exactly where you put your baby down for play time.
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Referencing this Article

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APA (American Psychological Association)
Get Rid of Ants in Your Home. (2017). In VisiHow. Retrieved Jun 26, 2017, from http://visihow.com/Get_Rid_of_Ants_in_Your_Home

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Get Rid of Ants in Your Home." VisiHow, visihow.com/Get_Rid_of_Ants_in_Your_Home Accessed 26 Jun 2017.

Chicago / Turabian VisiHow.com. "Get Rid of Ants in Your Home." Accessed Jun 26, 2017. http://visihow.com/Get_Rid_of_Ants_in_Your_Home.

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Article Info

Categories : Home Repair

Recent edits by: Nuance, Eng, Robbi

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