Nearly every homeowner faces an ant invasion at some point. A security system can protect your home from burglars, but an army of ants can be nearly as troubling and more difficult to guard against. Here’s how to protect your home with effective ant control.
Roaches are disgusting and spiders terrifying, but at least they show up alone or in pairs. Ants bring their relatives to your kitchen or bath by the thousands. To win this battle, you need a combination of offense and defense.
The best defensive strategy for ant control is to keep the pests out in the first place. Spring and summer months provide optimum temperatures for ants and other creepy-crawlies to enter your home. When rain is scarce, ants come to your kitchen and bath looking for hydration.
Depriving ants of food and water is the most important preventative step you can take for ant control. Don’t leave food out on counters. Instead, refrigerate it, or store it in sealed containers. Avoid leaving dirty dishes around, and clear the sinks and counters of any traces of food. Take trash out regularly, especially if it contains food scraps.
Seal openings around windows, doors and siding with caulk. Replace old, cracked weather stripping around doors. Shoot pesticides into masonry weep holes.
If you find a trail of ants anywhere, inside or out, first eliminate them, then wash the area to remove the pheromone scent trail they leave behind to lead other ants into your home.
Go on offense with organic and synthetic treatments
Insecticides, whether chemical or organic, are an important offensive aspect of ant control.
Ortho’s Home Defense Insect Killer is a comprehensive chemical pest control spray. It kills ants as well as a range of six- and eight-legged creepies,and leaves behind a chemical barrier to keep them out. Simply spray it around doors and windows and along baseboards and outside perimeters.
Talstar is a chemical treatment that professional pest controllers use for ant control. Before application, remove pets, food, food containers and utensils. Once it’s dry, Talstar is safe for humans and pets.
Drione is a chemical dust that can be shot into cracks and wall spaces to kill insects, especially ants, where they enter the home. It is a desiccant, which means that it damages the insect’s exoskeleton and causes the bug to rapidly dehydrate and die.
Many organic pesticides are based on pyrethrum, a derivative of chrysanthemums, or a synthetic version of it. One of the highest-rated organically based insecticides is Eco Defense Home Pest Control Spray. Safe for use around humans and pets, it was formulated by pest control professionals and is guaranteed to work.
Another organic pesticide effective for ant control is Orange Guard. It uses a pleasantly scented extract from orange peels as part of a formulation that kills bugs and leaves a protective barrier behind. Citrus is the basis for several effective organic pesticides.
A destructive ant
Carpenter ants don’t march into your kitchen and demand food. Instead, these ants are classified as wood-destroying insects similar to termites. They will build nests inside your walls and severely damage your home’s wood framing by chewing on it. You can hear a carpenter ant infestation inside a wall; it sounds like crackling cellophane.
Carpenter ants have brown heads and thoraxes and black abdomens. You will often see them on tree trunks. If you see carpenter ants inside your home, contact a professional pest control company for ant control treatment. Thereafter, shoot a chemical dust such as Drione into wall cavities, masonry weep holes, seams along siding, and outside posts.