Ants are pretty much everywhere outdoors, so if you make it easy for them to get to food inside your kitchen, you'll probably see ants in your house on occasion too. A few ants now and then may not be cause for concern, but when you have an infestation, they can make your life miserable. The ants will swarm pizza boxes to get to the grease-soaked cardboard and they will swarm over your pet's food bowl. Once they start streaming into your kitchen for food, you'll have to be careful about leaving food out for very long or it will be full of ants. Here are some tips for getting rid of the annoying pests.
Watch Where They Enter Your Kitchen
When you're dealing with a lot of ants, it's usually easy to see how they're getting in your house. All you have to do is watch the moving ant highway from your food dish to the outdoors. You may see the ants enter through a tiny gap around a window or under the door. Once you see how they're getting in, seal the gap with caulk so they can't get inside any longer. Then, it's a good idea to wash the outside of your home to erase the scent trail so ants won't look for another way inside.
Avoid Over-The-Counter Indoor Sprays
You can buy ant spray at a grocery store, but it isn't all that helpful in controlling ants. While you can spray a line of ants coming indoors, the ants you kill are only a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the ants living in the colony outdoors. There are many more ants waiting to take their place. Plus, you expose the surfaces of your kitchen to chemicals for no reason. If you want to kill a line of ants, you can spray them with vinegar or wipe them up with a wet paper towel. Just don't bother them until you've had a chance to follow the trail back to the entry point so you can seal it.
Kill The Colony And Queen
To get to the bottom of your ant problem, you need to wipe out the queen and her colony. It may be impossible to locate the colony since it is probably hidden underground somewhere. The solution is to put out ant bait. The worker ants carry the bait back to the colony so the colony is destroyed and the ants stop coming to your home in search of food.
Have Your Yard Sprayed
Once you've sealed your home as best as you can and killed off ants that are inside your home, then you may want to hire a pest control company, like Fox Valley Environmental Pest Control, to apply a perimeter pesticide around your house. If you're not having much luck with the ant baits or if the ant nest is inside your home, you may need a professional to apply treatments inside your home as well. An exterminator can apply an insecticide that ants transfer to other ants they come in contact with. An exterminator can also identify the type of ant you have so the best method of eliminating them can be used.
While some ants aren't necessarily a big problem, some ants can bite. Fire ants in particular can leave painful and itchy welts. Carpenter ants are destructive to the wood in your home. Even if you have harmless sugar ants, they can contaminate your food when they get inside food packages or crawl over your kitchen after they've crawled over something contaminated. No matter what type of ants you have, you want to get rid of them fast, and sometimes the best way to do that is with the help of a professional and the proper use of pesticides.