When you see a single ant, it is an indication that there might be hundreds nearby. You might not be bothered by this when they are outdoors. However, if an ant invasion occurs in your home, you have to solve the problem.
Generally, ants can become a nuisance, especially when active in summer and spring. It might be quite a shock to wake up to an ant invasion in your kitchen. Sometimes, it might just start with some ants wandering around spills, but their number would increase to hundreds and even thousands sooner than later.
But why does ant invasion even occur in the first place? How can you get rid of ants when they invade your home?
Let’s get started.
Causes of Ant Home Invasion
There are various causes of an ant invasion in your home, and some of them include:
Water or moisture
Most ants do not need water to survive, and they can get them from their food. However, certain species of ants love damp wood and moist environments. Therefore, you would regularly see some ants near your cabinets, especially if you have a leaky sink or pipe.
Ensure that your sinks and pipes are not broken. Also, check your air conditioning units and other equipment that create moisture to stop ant attraction.
Ants are scavengers and are often seen scavenging for food, and when they find a source, they notify other ants, which helps take the food back to their colony.
Ants can be attracted to various types of food in your homes, such as sugar, syrup, honey, fruit juice, meat, fats, bread crumbs, and any container, rubbish, or wrappers that have been in contact with the above food items.
This is why whenever you find an ant, know that its colony is nearby, and they could number in the thousands. Therefore, you should keep your home clean and free from uncovered foods and crumbs.
In addition, ants often invade kitchens in the home. Therefore you should pay special attention to your kitchen. For example, you should regularly clean spills and wipe your countertops.
Various studies have suggested a link between the weather and ant invasions. For example, ant invasion often occurs during periods of heavy rainfall.
Though this case is not adequately understood, a likely explanation would be that they are either avoiding wet conditions, avoiding the cold, or searching for water or food sources during hot times. Ants are quite dormant in colder conditions and are active in warmer conditions.
How To Get Rid Of Ant Invasion
There are various ways (conventional and unconventional) to stop or get rid of an ant invasion. They include:
Calling an ant exterminator is one of the fastest ways to deal with ant invasion in your home. You can look for exterminators who make use of less toxic products. You should also let them know if you own pets, kids, or other health concerns like respiratory health conditions.
Some professional exterminators use eco-friendly, green, or organic words in their titles. If you are concerned with the chemicals used, you can ask the exterminator about the type of chemical they would use in dealing with the ants before you hire them.
Use boiling water
Sometimes you might notice ant holes close to your home or even in your home. In such cases, you can get rid of them by pouring boiling water into the holes.
This is a direct and effective method that kills as many as the ants/ant queens inside. Anthills might look small. However, the colonies that are usually underneath are big.
Sometimes pouring boiling water might not kill off the entire colony. Therefore, you can search for other holes within your home’s proximity and pour boiling water into them.
Use ant bait
Ant baits or traps hold down ants and sometimes might contain poison that kills ants rapidly. The bait might contain pesticide in its enclosed form.
Some people prefer using ant baits to sprays. Ant baits work by attracting ants to them. When the ant eats the bait and brings it back to its nest, the poison will kill off other ants.
Some ant baits contain borax or boric acids. Others might contain chemical compounds like hydramethylnon, which are dangerous for pets, kids, and growing foods like tomato plants. Therefore, you should be careful in your usage of ant baits.
Boric acid is also used to get rid of ants. You should sprinkle the acid around the entry points or inside the holes of the ants.
This would act as a repellent, preventing them from entering your home. Since boric acid is an acid-based insecticide, you should restrict the use to only outdoor holes or cracks in walls and patios.
Make use of repellents
There are various non-toxic repellents that you can buy and use to get rid of ants. A typical chemical commercial spray effective for ant extermination is raid.
However, though raid is long-lasting and effective, it contains cypermethrin and imiprothrin. These chemicals should not be ingested or inhaled, therefore proper usage is advised.
When you follow an ant trail and identify their outdoor colony, you should apply commercial spray like the raid above. Ensure that the spray soaks down to the bottom of the colony.
Neem oil is a natural pesticide obtained from the neem tree, which is native to India. It is recommended to use neem oil around plants where ants are found. Neem oil can be found and bought online or in some health food stores.
Ants are common invaders of homes across the United States and other parts of the world. Most ants are harmless. However, they are pretty difficult to get rid of. But you can eradicate or kill them with various methods described above. You can also make use of various commercial products to help kill ants.
You should keep your home clean and remove every possible place ants can enter or hide. This would help prevent ant invasions. In addition, you should hire a professional ant exterminator to remove every ant from your home when all else fails.