No one likes having an ant infestation. You can go from seeing a single ant, to thousands by the end of the day. Not only are they hard to get rid of, but they can make you feel like your whole house is contaminated. They can hide out in pantries and invade your food, crawl all over your countertops and infect everything they touch.
If you suddenly have an ant issue at home, you are probably looking for a way to get rid of them, and some methods to keep them out going forward. Read on to learn some tips about keeping your home ant-free in the future.
The first thing you need to do is block access. You need to find all the places that ants could possibly be getting into your house through and block them. Try to follow a line of ants and see where they’re coming from. If you can’t see where they’re coming from, keep looking around your house. Look for cracks in your walls. If you see any cracks, fill them in with caulking. Check your doors and windows for rips in the screen, and repair any you find. Check for gaps in your walls and seal any that you see up.
Next, there are several things you can use to deter ants. Ants are naturally put off by some powders and smells that you might already have in your home. Make a line out of baby powder, salt, or chalk in front of areas that the ants congregate. Ants will try their best to stay away from these substances. Other items they don’t like are vinegar, cinnamon, peppermint oil, cloves, and bay leaves. All of these items can be bought at a grocery store and will help keep the ants away. Just be careful with leaving these things around the house if you have pets or children, as they might ingest them.
The next step you need to take is killing off the ants that are already inside. Most of the methods you can use to kill off ants are relatively simple. The easiest one is dipping a sponge into hot water mixed with soap and wiping up the train. Keep doing this as the line of ants reappears until all of the ants are gone. You can also use cleaner or diluted bleach to clean them up. If you find a nest, spray it with the cleaner or bleach solution. Even if you see just one ant, it’s important to kill it, as this might be a “scout” ant that can bring more ants in later.
If you’d like to take a more aggressive method, you can use bait to attract and then kill the ants. You can actually make your own bait using borax. If you’d prefer, there are pre-made ant traps for sale at most grocery stores. As mentioned before, if you have kids or pets, be careful about leaving these traps out in the open where they can be reached. It’s best to put them higher up where they aren’t accessible.
If your ant problem is too big for you to tackle on your own, you might need to use a fumigator or fogger to take care of it. Foggers are known to be effective for up to eight months, so they’re definitely a more long-lasting method. This approach does require that you vacate your home for a few hours while the fogger does its job. Since this is the most aggressive approach by far, you should definitely consider an alternative if possible, since the solutions in the fumigators can be harmful to pets and children.
The most effective and easiest method is to call a professional. A Beaverton pest control company will be able to come into your home and get the job done quickly without you having to lift a finger. If you aren’t keen on taking care of the ant problem yourself, or if you want to be absolutely certain that the job is done right the first time, this might be the option to go with.