Let’s admit it: we’ve all encountered an ant problem once in our lifetime, haven’t we? Ants are small creatures, but despite their size, they are the most common pest problem for homeowners. They can contaminate food, make unpleasant mounds, and damage properties. Some species even bite and their stings can be painful. These are the reasons you need to find natural ways to get Oregon ants out of your home.
How to Get Rid of Oregon Ants in Your Home Naturally
You may be thinking: ants all look the same. The truth is, thousands of known species can be found around the world. In Oregon alone, you may deal with seven types of ants.
Getting rid of ants is challenging. Controlling them seems to be an endless activity, with some species more difficult to control than others. But here is the good news—natural solutions to get rid of Oregon ants are readily available in your homes. Let’s take a look.
You can spot sugar ants commonly in the kitchen. As their name implies, these types of Oregon ants are attracted to sweet and sugary items.
If you see sugar ants in your kitchen, here’s what you can do to naturally get rid of them.
- Hang garlic in the pantry. Ants hate the strong scent of garlic, so this helps put them off.
- Create a homemade ant repellent by mixing one part vinegar and one part water. Pour into a spray bottle and spray over sugar ant trails. You can also use it to clean your kitchen counters.
- Make sure you seal containers of sweet products properly.
- Wipe off crumbs, particles, and spills on the floor, tables, and counters immediately.
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
Concrete Ants (Pavement ants)
Concrete ants are also known as pavement ants, obviously, for the reason they’re usually found on pavements, patios, and driveways. Black in appearance, these Oregon ants can climb walls and thrive in moist areas. They usually have long trails and like to feast on leftover pet food.
Here’s how to get rid of concrete ants using natural methods.
- Spray a non-repellent substance on your home foundation. If it is not an active infestation, you can use peppermint oil instead.
- Do not leave leftover pet food outside your home. Throw away any leftovers.
- Seal cracks and holes in the house exterior to prevent them from entering your home.
- If you see a concrete anthill along the sidewalk or piles of dirt on the driveway or patio, rake the mounds open and pour boiling water (you can add liquid detergent) directly on it.
- Using a garden hose, soak the nest and saturate the soil for at least 15 minutes.
Known for their tenacity, Argentine ants are troublesome and invasive species. They look small and ordinary, but these brown Oregon ants are very aggressive and can overtake even larger ant and other insect colonies. Truly, they lived up to their ‘pest’ tag.
Argentine ants like damp environments and love to make mulched beds their home. They usually feed on sweets, fruits, and budding plants.
Baiting is the preferred method for treating Argentine ants. To make a slow-acting ant bait, mix the following:
- ¼ tsp boric acid powder
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp honey
Stir until dissolved and put in a container with a flat surface. Place the bait on areas where Argentine ants are commonly found. Once worker ants find the bait, they will surely share it with the rest of their colony, including the queen. When baiting, remember to keep any other food sources at bay to allow the colony to consume only the bait.
You can also remove any tree or bush near your home and seal cracks and holes in the house exterior to prevent them from entering your home.
Crazy ants act like crazy with their fast frantic movements. What’s mysterious about them is the fact they gravitate towards electrical equipment, causing major electrical damages to your home. Although they don’t bite or sting, these Oregon ants can be the most annoying and destructive pest you’ll ever encounter.
Here’s how you can get rid of crazy ants.
- Clean your floors and counters regularly. Wipe off spills and smudges right away.
- Dispose of dead insects, if there’s any. Crazy ants won’t think twice to feed on them.
- Spray diluted vinegar (or pure vinegar) over crazy ant trails.
- Baiting is the most effective method to eliminate crazy ant colonies. Make the boric acid mixture and use it as an ant bait.
Also known as grease ants, thief ants are considered one of the smallest ants in the world. They are known to steal food from other ant species. These Oregon ants love to feed on protein and greasy food, but that does not mean they ignore sweet food. Thief ants also eat dead insects, so they can possibly transmit diseases and contaminate your food. These small ants do not bite.
To keep your home free from thief ants, you can do the following.
- Use slow-acting ant bait. Baiting is preferred to get rid of the entire colony of thief ants. Leave the bait on areas frequented by thief ants and see if they respond to it.
- Drench any visible mounds of thief ants with hot water mixed with a detergent until the whole nest and its surrounding area are drowned.
- Spray homemade vinegar ant repellent on ant trails. Wipe counters and tables with the vinegar solution.
Pharaoh ants mean business – they have multiple queens and can tolerate common pest control methods. When threatened or disturbed, they can move their colonies from one place to another. If not controlled, these Oregon ants can grow rapidly. Pharaoh ants are known to spread diseases and are one of the toughest types to control.
Spraying is not recommended when controlling pharaoh ants. When you use an insecticide spray, you only kill a small number of ants, not the entire colony. It may also threaten them, which may cause them to bud or divide to start a new colony. If this happens, your pharaoh ant infestation becomes worse.
The better way to get rid of pharaoh ants in your home is to use ant bait. Pharaoh ants are attracted to both sweet and greasy foods, so you might need to offer both sugary and protein baits and see which one they like more.
Seeds are the primary source of food for these ants; hence, the name, but they also feed on dead insects. These large, hairy Oregon ants are commonly found in lawns where they create visible mounds. Harvester ants are generally aggressive and bite and sting with their powerful stingers. A bite from a harvester ant is painful and poisonous.
To get rid of harvester ants in your lawn, make a natural ant bait by mixing 2 cups of hot water, 1 cup of boric acid powder, and 2 cups of sugar. Let the solution cool, then dip cotton balls. Place the soaked cotton balls near areas where harvester ants are foraging.
Other Common Natural Ways to Kill Oregon Ants
Diluted vinegar, when wiped on hard surfaces, can effectively kill and repel ants. Make a solution of 50-50 vinegar and water (vinegar alone if you can tolerate the strong scent) and spray over surfaces and ant trails. You cannot smell vinegar once it has dried, but ants can.
Ants love sugar; pepper is another story. Pepper serves as an ant repellant. Make a solution of pepper and water and spray it near entry points. This doesn’t kill ants, but it discourages them from returning to your house.
- Peppermint oil – Not only peppermint oil can make your house smell good, but it also effectively gets rid of ants and mosquitoes. Mix 10 to 20 drops of peppermint oil with 2 cups of water, and spray it on your windows or doors where there are ants.
- Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil does wonders in eliminating Oregon ants. To use as a spray, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. You can also dip cotton balls in the mixture and place them around your home.
- Lemon eucalyptus oil – Another natural insect repellent is the oil obtained from the lemon eucalyptus tree. Among its ingredients is citronella, which repels insects, including mosquitoes. To use, place cotton balls in areas where you spot ants.
- Cinnamon leaf oil – Powdered cinnamon contains compounds that have been shown to repel ants. The oil works best when you soak cotton balls and leave them behind ants’ hiding spots. You can also sprinkle the powder around your windows, doors, and pathways.
In case you encounter an ant army, you can sprinkle cornstarch over the group, then add water on top. Expect a big mess, but you will also get plenty of dead ants covered in cornstarch. Alternatively, you can vacuum instead of adding water ate.
Save your coffee grounds! After brewing, use the coffee grounds to repel Oregon ants. Leave coffee grounds near areas where ants gather. Make sure to replace the grounds often as they lose effectiveness once dried.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that dries the skeletons of bugs and works as an effective ant killer. Simply sprinkle the powder over ant trails and on areas frequented by ants.
You can safely use soapy water to get rid of ant trails by simply wiping them off. Without the trails, ants cannot communicate.
A simple chalk line drawn on a wood surface daily is found to keep Oregon ants away and protect your wood. Surprising, isn’t it? So, what does chalk do to ants? Turn out, chalk helps in breaking up the scent in ant trails, and the calcium carbonate in chalk keeps ants at bay.
Get Rid of Oregon Ants with Professional Help
Ants infest many homes in the United States. They can be problematic to get rid of, but it is not impossible. With the above mentioned natural ways to get Oregon ants out of your home, you can expect an ant-free house in no time.
However, if all else fails and you still encounter Oregon ants every day of your life, a reliable pest exterminator is your best bet. An ant infestation may result in serious damages and health risks, so don’t wait until something happens before you call a pest control professional.
If you are worried about the use of toxic chemicals and substances, look for a company that uses organic products. Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control applies organic home pest control products that are safe for your family and pets and friendly to the environment.
Being pests, Oregon ants can ruin your lawn and damage your property. The good thing is you can control and eliminate them using the right remedies. There are natural ways to get Oregon ants out of your home, though sometimes, they are not as effective as when a professional pest control expert like Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control in Beaverton takes charge, especially for larger infestations.