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The Ants Come Marching One by One

By: Jasna Aleksandrova

Seeing ants marching through your home is not always a reason to panic. There are many different types of ants and not all types are bad. Other insects like bed bugs, spiders, flies, moths and etc. are all prey for ants. Yes, ants feed on other insects, which is why you may not want to exterminate the ants completely but simply need to control their movement, and prevent them from being a nuisance to you.

Ants live in colonies that can vary in size depending on the type of ant, and they colonize almost every area of the Earth. Some nations even use ants in their cuisine or in medications. They are mostly known for their most valued role as biological pest control agents. However, ants can damage flowers, garden plants, and/or crops. They are also ant species that invade buildings, damage furniture, and bite you and your pets.

Ants are looking for any area in your home that has food in it, like your kitchen. To avoid having ants in your kitchen you should always keep it as clean as possible, keep the food in containers, don’t leave grease stains on the working areas or food outside of the fridge. Your should wash the dirty dishes promptly and take your garbage out often. Vacuum the floor and keep the working areas always clean to deter them.

Another way to keep ants out of your house is to inspect your home for any cracks around the entrance areas. You should also seal the windows and doors so that ants can’t crawl through. If you see any unwanted ants you can spray them with solution of water and soap. Soapy water can kill the ants and will prevent more ants coming to your home. If you want some areas to be protected from ants use defensive barriers to keep ants away from certain places. Barriers can be made from: cinnamon, baby powder, powdered charcoal, black pepper, white vinegar and water, salt or any scented items like crushed leaves, or scented sprinkles with peppermint, lavender, cloves, laurel leaves and camphor. Ants are attracted to sugar and flour, so keep these items stored and protected.

To get rid of the ants you can use traps or poison but the best way to exterminate them is to destroy their nest. If you can locate the ant nest, you can kill the queen ant and stop the colony from spreading.  Sometimes finding the nest is as simple as tracing their trail back to the origin. Also you can use poisoned ant food (one cup of water mixed with two cups sugar and two tablespoon boric acid). As always, if you use any pesticide or hazardous material, follow the instructions appropriately and keep it away from areas with children or pets.

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