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Ants have a approach of sneaking up on you. One day, you discover one thing small scurrying throughout your kitchen ground out of the nook of your eye, and the following you see a military of ants marching into your pasta cupboard. But you’re a lot larger than these little buggers, certainly you must be capable to get rid of them by yourself with out having to name an exterminator, proper? In most circumstances you’ll be able to, and we’re right here to let you know how to try this.

Identify the ant

Start by figuring out the kind of ant in your home so you could find out its nesting habits and have a greater thought of the place they’re dwelling (they might be nesting outdoor). There are a couple of methods of doing this. First, you’re going to need to attempt to take a close-up photograph of the ant. Then do a Google Image seek for “ants” and see if any of the critters that pop up look acquainted.

For a much more exact (however extra time-consuming) reply, Family Handyman suggests emailing the photograph of the ant to your native college extension service. They ought to be capable to let you know the kind of ant you’re coping with and the place it nests.

Figure out the place they’re coming from

Instead of simply squishing the ants as quickly as you see them, take the time to determine the place they’re coming from. Maybe you by accident spilled some maple syrup in a cabinet and the ants are feasting. They is also making meals out of grease drips and spills below your microwave. If you discover a clear supply, clear it up. Once their meals supply is eradicated, the ants would possibly truly lose curiosity and go away on their very own.

Shut down their trails

Ants are likely to journey in packs (which is why you sometimes don’t see a single ant someplace) and depart a path of their pheromones so their associates can comply with them and discover their meals supply. Marybeth Jones at Country Living recommends utilizing an answer of one half vinegar to 3 elements water and spray it wherever you’ve noticed ants.

Seal off their entry factors

You additionally need to ensure that they will’t get in from the surface. According to the oldsters at DoMyOwn, right here’s what to do:

Seal cracks and crevices round window frames and door frames, round baseboards and different locations the place you may have observed ants getting into the construction with caulk or one other appropriate materials.

Seal holes round cables pipes and wires with copper mesh or one other appropriate materials.

Repel and kill

Now it’s time to make use of one thing that may each repel and kill the ants, driving them out of your house. You have a couple of completely different choices for this. There are lots of chemical-based ant-killing sprays obtainable at your native {hardware} or big-box retailer, if you wish to go that route. If that’s the case, search for a product containing boric acid, and, if it’s a priority for you, verify the label to see if the spray is poisonous to pets and/or kids. Also, take note of whether or not the spray is for indoor or outside use, and use accordingly. If you want some product suggestions, The Spruce has a couple of favorites.

But not everyone seems to be on-board with chemical sprays. Consumer Reports senior scientist Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a biologist and ecologist who wrote his doctoral thesis on built-in pest administration, recommends avoiding them:

“I’d argue that insect barrier sprays are both ineffective against ants and complete overkill,” says CR’s Hansen. “Worse, some of these sprays contain chemicals that are endocrine-disrupting compounds, which can alter our hormones. Similar compounds have been linked to neurobehavioral effects in children, including reduced IQ and increased rates of ADHD, even at the low levels you’d be exposed to when spraying your house.”

As a outcome, you could desire to take a extra pure strategy, and also you’re in luck, as a result of there are a number of. In truth, it’s a subject we’ve coated extensively previously, together with utilizing child powder, espresso grounds, mint, cornmeal, diatomaceous earth, chalk and spices. Country Living gives two different choices: making an answer of peppermint or rosemary oil and water and spraying that on varied entry factors like windowsills and doorways. Of course, Hansen at Consumer Reports would possibly level out that pure barrier sprays are ineffective, too, however at the very least you’re not spraying dangerous chemical compounds in your house.

The specialists at Consumer Reports would as an alternative suggest utilizing ant bait. This candy, sugary syrup lures the ants in, leaving them to trace the liquid again to the ant colony to kill larvae and management the inhabitants. Wirecutter advises utilizing Terro T300 Liquid Ant Baits as a result of “it’s simple to use, it’s widely available, and its effective, slow-acting poison targets and eliminates the entire colony.”

Prevent them from coming in

Of course, one of the simplest ways to take care of ants is to ensure they don’t get in within the first place. The most evident approach to do that is to maintain your house—particularly your kitchen—clear. Country Living additionally recommends sealing any cracks or potential entry factors, hiding any sweets (and retaining them wrapped up nicely), often cleansing the counter tops and taking out the trash often.

Along the identical strains, eradicate any damp spots or rotted wooden in the home, Consumer Reports notes. Pay shut consideration to showers, home windows, damp areas within the basement and wherever with a leak. (And undoubtedly repair that leak.)

Call the professionals, when wanted

If none of this works and you actually can’t get rid of the ants, it’s most likely time to name an exterminator. You shouldn’t must dwell with these pests in your house.

This story was initially printed on 5/16/13 and was up to date on 10/9/19 to offer extra thorough and present data.

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