By: Jasna Aleksandrova
As stated in my last blog, spraying insecticide all over the kitchen floor to deal with ants is one common mistake people make. Another common mistake when dealing with ants is spraying around the interior of the entire house. When doing this, you are not actually spraying the whole house. The parts of the house that you are spraying are only the places that are easy to reach. By spraying all over, you are creating two problems. The first issue is that you are contaminating the living area in your house. Doing this is not the worst thing you could do but it is very important to clean the house afterwards to provide a healthy living area again. The second issue is much larger creating a much bigger problem instead of the solution that you’re looking for. When you contaminate the open and visible places that ants are active and communicating, you force them to find another path and area which are safer for them. This forces the ants to find cleaner areas and this is where the big problem starts. They usually find paths that are hard to see and discover in order to avoid the areas sprayed by insecticide. This means that the ants will go under, or behind kitchen cabinets, or worst, travel thru cavities in the walls following joints in the insulation, or following the electrical wiring in the walls. Worse than that, the ants can establish nests inside the cavities of the walls, under the flooring, or in the attic. Rather than solving the ant problem, by spraying you can make ridding your house of ants much more difficult.
Dealing with ants nesting indoors
When nesting indoors, ants that use cavities within the walls can be almost impossible to trace to back to their nest. In this case spraying is not an option because you won’t know exactly where to spray. When dealing with ants within the walls, the most recommended solutions is for homeowners to use insecticide bait. The function of bait is simple. Bait lures worker ants to feed on it and take it back to the nest where they give it to the other colony members, especially to the queens. After a long period of feeding on insecticide bait, the entire colony is often destroyed. Insecticide bait should be placed next to the areas where ants have been seen. It is important to know that when using bait you should not spray the same area with insecticide, because the spray will deter the ants from the place where bait traps are set. Bait can be effective for any species of ant but if the house is invaded by carpenter ants then destroying the colony is only part of the solution. Carpenter ants nest in damp wood and if you find them you should also solve any moisture problems in and around house to avoid any moisture build up which will just attract more carpenter ants. When you notice that ants are coming from just one area of the house, then you should only treat that specific area with insecticide or bait.
What to do to avoid an ant attack
Any homeowner can take measures to avoid an ant attack or infestation. To deter ants from entering your home, try to keep the house clean, especially the kitchen where the food is located, get rid of any trash or waste immediately and store it far from the house. It is also important to remember to vacuum often, wash containers before storing food, seal all of the kitchen surfaces where food particles can fall into, and seal cracks from where ants can invade the house. As always, if you have an ant problem that you cannot get under control, call a professional.