If you find yourself wondering how to get rid of ants in the house, you're not alone. Especially since it can be hard to get rid of them.
Getting rid of ants shouldn't wind up becoming your latest obsession. We want to help you solve your ant problem.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to get rid of ants with this comprehensive guide.
Identifying the Different Types of Ants
Before you learn how to eliminate ants, you first need to identify what type of ant infestation you have in your home. While they all might look similar, there are some subtle, but important differences.
Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are small dark brown or black in color. They're also the type of ants most commonly found in homes.
You'll find them running on top of your counters or along your floorboards. These ants will eat everything from sugary foods to dead insects.
If you're wondering about the odd name, it comes from the smell they give off when crushed. Some people say it smells like blue cheese while others argue it smells more like rancid coconut.
Pavement ants are aptly named since they live in sidewalks and under rocks. But they won't hesitate to come into your home if they're looking for food.
These ants also love sugar, but will also eat your greasy foods and meats.
Unfortunately, pavement ants are known to battle to the death. And they'll return to that battleground repeatedly until they establish a colony in your home.
These ants tend to prefer to do battle during the spring and summer months.
Carpenter ants are one of the biggest ant species in the U.S. They're usually black or brown in color.
And luckily, few of them enjoy living inside homes. However, you might if they find decaying wood in your home. While they won't cause the damage, they will weaken the structure.
As its name suggests, ghost ants look ghostly due to its pale legs and abdomen. The rest of the body is typically dark.
And like odorous house ants, if you crush them, they'll give off a nasty smell.
Ghost Ants Like Sweets
Ghost ants prefer the heat and are most commonly found in Florida. They'll come into your home for sugary snacks.
You'll find them most often in your baseboards and flower pots.
Rover ants are tiny and can be as small as one-sixth of an inch. They also range in color from dark brown to pale blonde.
They too like sweets. And if you see a crumb moving across your counter seemingly by itself, trust there's a rover ant underneath.
Crazy ants don't move in a line like most organized ants. Instead, they move in unpredictable patterns.
They're reddish-brown and about one-eighth of an inch long. Crazy ants are found most commonly through the South, especially in Texas and Florida.
They love sugar and electronics. And if you're infested with crazy ants, you'll know, thousands of crazy ants will be crawling over piles of dead ants.
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The Strategy Behind Getting Rid of Ants
If you spot ants, the first thing you should do is remove their food and water sources. Place sugary treats in plastic bags or bins to prevent the ants from accessing the food.
Your next step is to call a professional exterminator, like Viking Pest. When the exterminator arrives at your home they'll do a thorough inspection of both the inside and outside of your home.
The Proper Control Program Begins
The inspector will also ask you questions such as where you've spotted the ants and what they look like. Once the species of ant has been properly identified, the exterminator will begin the proper control program.
He or she will then recommend which current conditions can increase or maintain ant colonies. The exterminator may suggest other steps you can take to make to prevent further problems such as repairing a water leak or caulking around utility lines.
Ant Elimination Takes Time
Keep in mind that part of the process is having the ants take the bait back to their nest. Ants won't automatically disappear right after the exterminator leaves. The process usually takes up to three weeks.
While you're waiting for the process to work, do not try to kill or disturb any ants you see. The ants need to head back to their colony for the bait to work.
How to Prevent Ants in the Future
There are several steps you can take to prevent ant infestations such as:
- Wiping down all surfaces, especially in the kitchen
- Vacuuming thoroughly
- Storing items in pest-proof containers
- Regularly emptying the trash
- Rinsing recyclables
If you see any cracks or leaks in or outside of your home, fix them immediately.
Schedule Your Pest Control Appointment Today with Viking Pest
Getting rid of ants isn't always easy. But it's a lot easier when you have the right professionals helping you out.