With over 12,000 species and each colony housing up to 500,000 members, its clear ants are no ordinary pests. To make matters worse, many species bite, are incredibly organized and lift up to 20 times their natural weight.
Avoiding the nightmare of an ant invasion can be difficult with such formidable fellows. But not to worry. Follow the tips below and make your home ant-proof!
Since ants are very tiny – measuring mere millimeters on average – they can get through the tiniest of cracks. Seal these cracks as much as possible to prevent entry. Use plaster, silicone caulk or putty. For best results, use the strongest material available as this will ensure gaps remain sealed over time.
Take Out Trash Everyday
Want to send ants packing? Get rid of your garbage. Since ants love to crawl into bins to get their weeks’ worth of dinner, dispose of garbage regularly. Never leave it overnight. If garbage disposals are not full enough to empty, don’t worry. At least be sure to keep it closed instead to prevent ants from foraging for food. Also, tie garbage bags if you are unable to dispose of them before going to bed.
Keep Kitchen Surfaces Clean
The kitchen can be one of the biggest ant magnets. After all, that’s where all the exciting food gets prepared – that’s where tiny, food crumbs and the dreams of tiny ant colonies are born.
To lessen the risk of an infestation, make it a habit in your home to keep kitchen surfaces clean. This includes counters, stove tops, ovens, and floors. It’ll make your kitchen less appealing since food is always the main source of attraction for ants.
Avoid Leaving Dirty Dishes Overnight
Ant infestations do not usually occur overnight but when it comes to ants, it doesn’t take them very long to find food sources. Once they discover your kitchen overflowing with food bits and all they could ever want to eat, it’ll be hard to get rid of them.
Prevent this from happening by ensuring that all dishes are washed before your head hits the pillow. Determine how best this can be done depending on the size and needs of your household. Allow all members of the household to assist, where possible.
Use Lemon, Cinnamon or Peppermint
Whether as essential oils or in their natural state, peppermint, cinnamon, and lemon can be helpful tools in the prevention of ant infestation.
Use freshly cut lemons or lemon oil to clean surfaces. You can also make a solution with lemon juice/ lemon essential oils and vinegar.
Use ground cinnamon or cinnamon essential oils to make borders these tiny pests won’t dare to cross. You won’t need a lot to get the job done. Place a Q-Tip in a teaspoon of essential oils and use along windowsills, doors and floors. If you are using ground cinnamon, simply sprinkle your path of destruction across the doorway and other entry points.
Peppermint/ spearmint is the next DIY solution you can consider. Use peppermint essential oils around any possible entryway. It’ll also help prevent other insects from invading your home and will keep your home smelling fresh.
Remove Pheromone Trail with Detergent
Ants leave a chemical trail of pheromones behind them. This allows other ants to follow their paths, resulting in an organized and calculated approach to finding food. The ant’s pheromone or scent trail also helps each ant keep track of paths it has already taken.
In areas where you have detected ants, remove these trails. Wipe surfaces regularly with detergent or vinegar. Also, clean areas where ants are most likely to travel in their search for food.
Get a Professional’s Help
Some homeowners in their quest to be self-sufficient employ DIY measures while forgetting one fact: different types of ants require different types of stratagems.
Since different ants respond differently to treatments, consider getting a professional to ant-proof your home. Professional pest control personnel can help detect which ants are most likely to infest your home based on your location and implement measures with greater success rates than your average home remedy.
Though ant infestation can sometimes be difficult to prevent, homeowners always have many options available at their disposal. Remember to do your best to employ preventative measures in your home. Also, seek professional help where necessary for best results.