Animals are a daily presence in our lives, whether we want to admit or not. And while on a general note there is nothing with which we are disturbed by them, there are certain times when their presence is not welcomed.
And maybe an even more annoying fact than sudden animal visits would be when insects decide to spread their territory, uncover new places and, make a new place to stay from our homes. Especially during rainy seasons in summer and autumn.
If till now you never had an ant problem, then consider yourself lucky. It does not make a difference to them if you live in a house or in a flat if you live in the countryside or in the middle of the city. Ants have a way to infiltrate in places you would never even think about. Therefore, when the 'ant-war' starts, something must be done to stop it.
Probably you never took a moment to consider what ants eat, as they seem to have an endless repertoire of food. However, you would be surprised that what they eat differs not only from their growth stage to adulthood stage, but it also depends on their species.
For example, a larva would eat a completely different type of food than an adult or a queen, and its feeding system will, with time, turn into an adult's one. But this also is different for all the types of ants out there. In fact, you do not have to know an ant species by how it looks – though, sure that is one way to identify them – you can tell them apart by their diets.
Social insects, with an inborn instinct to find, take, keep and distribute their food equally among the colony, there are over 12.000 known types of ants. According to their eating habits they can be classified (vegetarian, carnivorous, carrion and even agriculturalists, just to name a few), observed and neutralized accordingly when your house becomes infested.
But one thing that all types of ants have in common is their insatiable thirst for sweet things. And while keeping this in mind, there are several ways to combat them.
As long as they keep their territory outside the house, and away from your flowers, ants should never be considered a threat. However, things completely change when they decide to search your house for food.
At first, they might be just 3 or 4 but in a matter of a few days, they might become insufferable, as their number grows exponentially. Also, it does not help at all if you kill the ones you see, some ant types will just continue where the others left off, so your fight with them will be useless.
There are two ways to combat them: the traditional way or, for those who prefer technology, the modern way.
- I keep your house clean. Ants take advantage of any kind of spill or crumb left by humans, so make sure to keep your house neat in order to avoid an ant take-over.
- I drive them away. Ants hate peppermint, so spray the surface with any type of spray which has peppermint oil. Or, if you do not have peppermint, try white vinegar, it works the same.
- Cornmeal. Spread some cornmeal where you saw them coming out from. It will drive them away and will provide you with a safe way around your pets and children, as well.
- Use borax. One of the 'classical' ways of getting rid of ants is to use borax. Sodium borate, or borax, is a white powder with colorless and soft crystals easily dissolvable in water.
- Blended in many cosmetic or house-related products, it is one of the easiest ways to get rid of ants. Mix it with powder sugar or honey and put spread a little bit in the ant's way. It will only take a few days for the entire colony to disappear.
- Baking soda. Mix it with powdered sugar, similar to how borax is used, and sprinkle it where ants are coming inside.
- DE, or Diatomaceous Earth. If your ants are the types that prefer to reside in wood, then it is best to use DE. Made from plants similar to algae, it is dust lethal for insects.
- Pest sprays. Use sprays that kill insects. However, be careful where you spray them as they tend to be toxic. In addition, try to use them where you see the ants coming out of, as it does you no good to just kill 2 or 3 of them.
- Are you a more technology inclined person? Then try an electrical discharge insect control system, or what is basically called a bug zapper. It is an electric trap which attracts insects and rids you off them.
- Professional help. If your house is completely infested with ants and there is no way to get rid of them as they do not respond to any traditional method, then it is time to call for help. Let the professionals handle it as their products are more efficient in dealing with out-of-hand situations.
While not having to deal with ants is always the best outcome, sometimes humans and ants cross paths. For maximum efficacy, identify what type of ants you are dealing with and then plan your counter attack. That way you are sure to get your house cleaned completely.