Repair & Maintenance

Tips for getting rid of ants

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Locate the source of the problem and show ants the door!
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Getting rid of ants is a matter of stopping their ongoing feast

We can all agree that ants are under appreciated - especially the ones that invade our homes. No? (Didnít think so.) Itís one thing to put up with ants outside, itís quite another to catch them parading around the kitchen rooting for food like they own they place. Getting rid of ants is a challenge, but you donít have to pay someone else to do it.

Some of the most effective ways to get rid of ants involve a combination of home remedies, elbow
grease and persistence. A home has thousands of entry points for ants. If you have an ant problem, do a sweep for some of the most obvious sources including cracks in floors, behind counters, windows and entryways and caulk these areas.

You donít have to use poison to get rid of ants, especially if you have pets or small children. A number of cheap home remedies and non-toxic ant killers are effective, but itís important to note that different solutions work for different types of ants. You may need to experiment a little.

One way to get rid of ants is to follow them to the source. Ants leave a trail of their scent so if your sprinkle a strong repellent on their trail, it will confuse them and keep them from coming back.

Beware of scouts. A single ant may appear harmless, but itís not. The job of a scout ant is to locate a food source (dropped food, pet food bowls, sticky or greasy surfaces) and then bring the entire colony to feast. Kill the scouts before they return to the nest.

While poisons are effective ant killers, some are only temporary and they can be harmful to people and pets. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic ant killer you can find in hardware and discount retailers. Sprinkle it in doorways, along base boards, windowsills and near pet food bowls. Ingestion causes ants to die of dehydration.

Home Remedies that Get Rid of Ants

Though food is often the attraction for ants, a number of spices and common food ingredients repel ants. Sprinkle one of the following over the ant trail, ants and the source: black pepper, equal parts crab apply vinegar or white vinegar mixed with water, scented talcum powder, cayenne pepper, cloves, salt and cinnamon.

To prevent ants from returning, mix a little water with chili powder to create a paste and rub it over the point of entry. If the honey jar, sugar bowl or other food canister of sweetness appears to be the main attraction, switch to air tight containers and place bay leaves behind the containers Ė they mask the sweet scent that attracts ants.

Consider planting mint around your home to in getting rid of ants. The smell detracts ants and the only maintenance involved is in caring for the plant.

Keeping Ants Away

In addition to eliminating the ants, you need to find the source of the problem. Greasy counters, sticky canisters and crumbs are the neon lights of the ant world. This is a perfect opportunity to give kids a lesson in why cleaning is important.

Get the whole family into the habit of wiping up and sweeping after every meal. And wash dishes regularly, standing water is an oasis for thirsty ants. Shake out the toaster, clean the microwave and rinse out grime from the trash can.

Killing ants is the best way to make sure they wonít return. One solution to destroying a colony and making sure the queen is gone for good is to pour boiling water into the nest.

Discovering an ant problem is annoying, but thereís no need to panic. Once you eliminate the pests and correct the source of the problem, you'll be clean and ant-free.

Dirt Works: Diatomaceous Earth

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