While they may not be as dangerous or as irritating as some of the other pests that you are likely to encounter in your home, ants are still one of the most common nuisance pests in the country. There are a number of different steps that you can take to eliminate ants from your home, but the first step should be trying to identify exactly what type of ant you are dealing with in the first place. Once you have a better idea of who the little invaders are, you can get started with the process of getting them out and keeping them out.
Finding The Entry Point
When you first realize that you have ants invading your home, you may notice them walking in a very easy to spot trail. This will make finding where they are coming into the home a lot easier. If, on the other hand, you're having a little bit of difficulty finding the entry point because there is no obvious ant trail, you can use a bait method.
The bait method involves using honey and peanut butter on tinfoil or some other flat surface and placing it where you have noticed the most activity. It will usually only take a couple of hours for the ants to find this new source of food, after which you will be able to easily track them from the food to where they are entering.
Dealing With The Colony Or Nest
Eliminating an ant colony is not incredibly difficult, but will require different steps depending on where the colony or nest is actually located. For example, if the ant nest is in a structure, applying an insecticide dust into the structure will generally be adequate. Ant nests that are in soil, however, generally respond best to liquid-based insecticides. If your home has a slab foundation, you may find that bait is an effective way of eliminating ants since they will take the bait back to their nest, eliminating the entire colony.
Treating The Outside Of Your Home
You can use residual insecticides to create what is basically a long-lasting protective barrier around your home that ants will not be able to cross. Depending on the types of pests and the strength of the insecticide, certain ants may die almost immediately once they make contact with the barrier. Other pests, such as cockroaches, may be able to cross the barrier, but will die shortly thereafter. One of the benefits to using this particular method is that the residual insecticide will likely be effective for 2 to 3 months.
Preventing The Problem
Of course, the best way to keep answer becoming a problem the first place is to eliminate the source of food that they are after. Using good sanitation practices and being aware of how you store your food will keep ants from seeing your home as an all-you-can-eat buffet. It's also good idea to spend a lot of time making sure that there is no standing water from leaky faucets or tubs, which can attract ants that are on the hunt for water. Outside your home you can eliminate debris such as leaves, lumber, or even heavy mulch, which is a prime location for ants looking to build a new nest. You may also want to consider using some caulking to seal cracks and holes in your home which ants may use as an entry point.