Ants are amongst the social insects and have a close relation to bees and wasps. The three belong to the same order Hymenoptera. They live in a colony consisting of the queen, soldiers, and workers, amongst other defined responsibilities for the members. These are the insects distinct commonly due to their thin waist that connects the thorax and lower abdomen. They have six legs and bent antennae, which makes them easy to spot. Although you might confuse ants and termites, the difference between the two is crystal clear.
Due to their social lifestyle, they have unbowed solidarity. They have almost a similar thinking when together. That aspect, together with their pheromones, could make it difficult to eradicate ants in your homestead. In fact, they can work together to find a solution to a problem facing them. Therefore, you must have a thorough knowledge of how to get rid of ants; otherwise, they may overpower your strategies.
These insects are a nuisance in the whole of the United States but more so in North America. Some species bite and attack in large numbers in case you threaten their colony. These small insects could result in health problems. It is even worse if they happen to visit your house at night. Although they are difficult to eradicate, that is not with our guide on how to get rid of ants in your homestead. Below are measures you can take to eliminate these pests effectively.
Tips to get rid of ants
1. Identify the trail
The workers use a trail to move into and out of the nest. If you want to get rid of ants, the first step is to identify those trails.
Whenever these insects get into your house, they are looking for food. They usually use their back to carry the edible material all the way to the nest. However, as they move, they release a chemical known as pheromone along the way. Through it, fellow worker ants can follow the same path up to a specific point in your house. Identify the trail, and that way, you can take measures such as poisoning the food and let them take it to the nest.
2. Block entry points
These insects have a small body and can use crevices and cracks to access your house. You can minimize that by sealing the door and windows. Additionally, block access through pipe openings and wire ingress points. Keep inspecting your house’s foundation to see whether there could be any cracks and crevices that could allow ants into the house.
3. Use cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper has a scent that wards off insects, including ants. Besides, it contains capsaicin, a chemical compound responsible for the heat. Therefore, it is a safe and natural way to get rid of the ant’s home remedy. Sprinkle cayenne pepper near baseboards, entry points, and any area where the ants tend to congregate in your house.
4. Kill ants with boiling water
An easy measure to get rid of ants in your compound is the use of hot water. When it gets into contact with the ants, it kills them on the spot. The best way to see the effectiveness of this method is to direct the water to the colony. If the ants live in a hole, you can dig around to access the queen. Note that the water must be very hot. Therefore, it is good that you take to use it immediately after removing from the heat source.
5. Diatomaceous earth
The use of diatomaceous earth is effective in eliminating ants in your compound. This product comprises of diatoms. They are sharp-edged particles that pierce the exoskeleton of the ants and also absorb oils on it. In the process, they expose this insect to the atmosphere causing dehydration. It won’t take long before the ants begin to die. This natural method can get rid of ants in your compound within a short time. Although diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, you should avoid inhaling and contact with the skin. When buying, ask for food grade diatomaceous.
6. Borax (sodium tetraborate)
There is confusion between borax and boric acid. Both are effective in killing ants. However, the two are different chemicals, whereby borax is sodium tetraborate. Mix borax and sugar in a container with warm water as you did with boric acid. Apply this solution in the colony, ingress points, and along the ant trails.
7. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is effective not only to repel but also to kill the ants. To make the spray, mix two cups of water and ten drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle.
Spray the ingress points and areas where ants frequent in your house. Besides, you can soak cotton balls in the oil and drop them in those areas too.
8. Peppermint spray
Another natural method you can implement to get rid of ants is the use of peppermint oil. Peppermint is an effective repellant not only to the ants but to other insects, too, including mosquitoes. Make the spray by mixing two cups of water and 20 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Apply the entry points such as windows and around your doors.
9. Glass cleaner and liquid detergent
Another method to get rid of ants in your house is through liquid detergent and a glass cleaner. The combination is effective in eliminating the pheromone along the paths. Apply in areas where the ants congregate. After spraying, wipe the area to leave a light residue. The drawback of this method is that it won’t kill the ants.
In case you don’t like the glass cleaner’s odor, or you don’t have it, you can use soap alone. A soap-water solution is enough to eliminate the pheromone. The best places to use it include the ingress points to your house and the trails.
10. Boric acid
Boric acid is an effective type of poison that you can use to get rid of ants in your compound. It eliminates the whole colony, including the queen, within 21 days of exposure. It severely ruins the exoskeleton and the stomach in case the insects ingest it.
Mix half a teaspoonful of the acid and eight teaspoons of sugar in one cup of warm water. Dissolve boric acid and sugar completely through thorough stirring. Soak cotton balls in the solution and drop them along the paths, ingress points, and the nest. Besides, you can apply the mixture by sprinkling it on these areas or leave it in containers.
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