Table of Contents
Introduction for Natural Ants Control
Ants, did you get a surge of palpitations incoming? Well; surely you did. Ants are creatures of that sort only. A handful of them and there goes your food items, wooden frames and there goes your peaceful life. Therefore, ants control especially ants control in a natural way is highly necessary.
Ants are believed to have parallel existence with human beings since times immemorial. Ants are a pain in the brain for every people irrespective of their caste, clan, or creed. They have the potential to destroy your household entities and food items in no time. Imagine you return home from the office to find your entire kitchen rampaged by these devils.
Your sweetmeats destroyed, biscuit can overturn and the entire place is a mess. Yes, it is nothing but the climax of a vigorous ant infestation. Initially, you will get all flustered and try to thrash the ants with your slipper but soon you will understand that you are greatly outnumbered and after a lot of thrashing around and getting bitten by ants, you will give up.
In this situation, proper pest control measures near you of ants may come handy.
Be it spraying kerosene, using ant baits or using ant repellent paste in floor corners or applying expert preventive measures, or the necessity of calling pest control, it all depends on the degree of infestation and threat that the ants are posing on you and your household. The initial stages may be eliminated by kerosene oil or ant repellent sprays but the critical stages may require extensive control by the pest control experts.
This blog Good Bye Pest is providing you with all kinds of facts and facets that you should know to control the uncontrolled infestation of ants in your home. Be it the professional pest service or DIY control measures that are available at your home, this blog will quench all your curiosity.
What are Ants?
Ants are social creatures belonging to the order Hymenoptera. These arthropods are walking entities unlike their winged co-members – bees and wasps. Ants have their existence from the ancient Cretaceous era till the moment of this blog being etched.
Ants are compulsively social beings living in colonies ranging from few dozens to a few million. In any colony of ants, the members are classified into soldiers, workers, and a superior queen.
Ants act as a super unified entity and show an excellent sense of discipline and organization and collectively work to save and serve the entire colony. These are unique in their way as even being insects they show division of labor, working spirit, communication, and mutualistic relationships.
Ants have inhabited almost every part of the landmass other than Antarctica and some other remote islands. Being so much cosmopolitan, ants are of various kinds.
Carpenter Ant: (Camponotus sp.)
Black in color, these are found in wooden furniture and frames, they are potential competitors of the termites and destroy wood at a tremendous rate.
Black Garden Ant: (Lasius sp.)
They are most common in gardens and live underneath the soil making burrows. They are also called Common Black Ants and have a very painful and poisonous bite.
Bullet Ant: (Paraponera sp.)
Residing in central lowland forests of South America, the Bullet ant is famous for its extraordinarily painful sting, which is similar to a bullet wound. These devils are reddish-black and ferocious, particularly in the daytime.
Red Wood Ant: (Formica sp.)
Found in Europe and Anatolia, these members are also known as Southernwood ants and are found in both coniferous and hardwood forests.
Apart from these ants have immense ecological roles to play. They help in the aeration of soils, pollination of flowers, and helps in Biodegradation. Ants can prove helpful in integrated pest management as they feed on a large variety of insect larva or the insect itself, so ants are often introduced in crop fields or gardens to remove pests.
The etymological behaviors of ant are studied by humans from ancient times, their benevolent nature, unified behaviors has been from long a subject of keen interest for the humans. Formic acid present in the sting of ants is used in chemical laboratories and when properly diluted can act as antibacterial and anti-pathogenic agents in livestock feed. So, it is very obvious that apart from being a pest ants are helpful to us in other ways.
Reason to Control Ants
Having known what ants are, if one narrows it down to one single line, it would be something like: ants are small creatures, that can bite or sting us, and not leave out that their sting or bite can be harmful to us.
Ants working together have always been used as an example to demonstrate teamwork, but here, the focus is not their hardworking capability, but their teamwork being harmful to us. Amidst the various damages that ants cause us, here are some:
1. Home Damage
Ants might not seem harmful, but to one’s surprise, they can be as harmful as termites. The former, just like the latter, infests woods and eats through the moist wood surfaces, that if the former is the carpenter type.
If carpenter ants infest, a light rustling sound will be evident around the walls and wood furniture as they like to travel through the paths they have created by biting on the wood surfaces and walls.
2. Health risks
Ants can either bit us or sting us. But in both cases, it can harm us. Ant bites cause irritation, swollen skin, redness etcetera. But, the sting refers to the fact that venom has been injected into the person that got stung by the ants.
Especially fire ants, when fire ant stings a person, it can cause severe effects to the person concerning their health. And, according to what the body reacts to, apart from the pain, swelling, and irritation, their sting can be life-threatening in some cases too.
3. Other than these problems
One common is infiltration of the cellar, leading to loss of food and necessities. So, getting control over ants seems to be a good option. One can’t be Ant-Man, like the one in the MCU. So, doing pest control seems to be a valid option.
Methods to Control Ants
Well, chemicals can always be a choice to get rid of ants. But, for those who don’t want to use chemicals, it might be a concern as to how to remove the ants without the chemicals. Not to worry, there are various household products which when used, can be used for repelling ants. Here are some of them:
Use Silicon dioxide
Also known as, Diatomaceous Earth, silicon dioxide is a wise choice to use silicon dioxide as; it makes its way through the exoskeleton of the ants. Also, it’s not harmful to humans for it occurs naturally. So, it’s a pretty win-win situation.
Yes, it’s that pepper which we commonly used for cooking. One might not know, but ants detest the smell of pepper. Whenever you see these little bastards, just sprinkle some pepper and the job is done; the ants will be gone.
Tea Tree Oil Spray
Take 2 cups of water and add 4 to 10 drops of tea tree oil and spray it around ant infestations. If the spray is not available, one can use cotton balls and soak them in the mixture and place them near the infestation.
Dilute white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and give the places, where the ants are, a swipe.
However, boiling water might not kill colonies of ants, but if one witnesses holes in walls and ants around them, an infestation is suspected. Pour boiling water over the holes. Well, that’s pretty much it; how you kill ants.
Infamous antiseptic, ‘neem oil’. In case, you didn’t know; at full concentration, can act as a poison. Not to humans, but the ants. If not kill them, it will repel them.
A caffeine addict? Or do you detest coffee at all costs? Well, that doesn’t matter, for ants definitely cannot stand coffee. Upon experiments, coffee proved to be good if one wants to get rid of ants without getting blood on their hands, for coffee does a great job at keeping the ants at bay.
Ants are attracted to sugar, whereas too much sugar can cause humans slow death. Boric acid, on the other hand, is used to treat human health issues, whereas boric acid can cause the ant’s death. Coincidental, isn’t it? Boric acid acts as a slow poison to the ants.
Coming back to the oils, peppermint essential oil can be a good product to rely on to repel various insects. Amidst those ‘various’ insects, ants also are present. Add 5 to 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to 2 cups water and your ant repellent is ready to use.
This one’s messy. But it is surely effective. If somehow, one happens to crossover a large number of ants, just get to the kitchen, grab the corn starch and sprinkle it over the ants. Now, you can either vacuum them or, just pour water over them. The result will be the same.
Using Ant Baits
Usually, ant baits are made of edible materials, sweet, sugary carbohydrates, mixed with substances that are toxic to ants but which have minimal toxicity to animals or humans. The bait will work most effectively if we keep other surfaces clean so that ant baits are the only sweet substance available to attract the ants.
Using Spray Pesticides
In this process, firstly, we have to find ants colonies, and then we have to apply the required amounts of spray so that we can control ants infestation. Drenching the nest with an approved insecticide spray can be effective.
But here one thing we have to keep in mind is that extreme uses of chemical sprays can be very harmful to human beings.
Keep things Clean
Ants make colonies to get food, water, shelter. We should regularly clean our house, sanitize our living place, and destroy their survival place, in that way we can control ants infestation.
Once the infestation has been eradicated, then we have to clean up the trail surfaces and keep them clean.
Eliminating damp spots
Generally, ants make their colonies in damp areas (showers, windows, leak areas, and damp areas in the basement), so we have to take care of that and destroy their colony. After finding these spots, we should clean these places.
Cleaning Rest Pet Foods
Most of the time, ants make their colony in rotten foods, so do not leave pet foods out after the animals have finished eating. While pets need water to be available, we should limit water sources as much as possible, in this way we can reduce ants infestation.
Sealing Entry Points
We should keep ants from finding entry points ( electric wiring, cables, pipes, and other such potential entry points) by sealing cracks and crevices, keeping screens in good repair, and ensuring doors and windows are tightly sealed with no gaps.
Clean our Gardens
Ants are mainly born in the garden (bushes, small grass, shrubs) so, if we regularly take care of our garden and keep bushes at least 20 feet outside from our house, we can reduce ants infestation.
Rinse Dishes After Using
We should recycle, always rinse items before storing and keep them in lidded, pest-resistant bins. Whenever possible, we have to store the containers outdoors, and away from the home, so that we can get rid of ants.
In this process, one of the home remedies to get rid of ants is to use chalk, which contains calcium carbonate, which helps in keeping ants away. If we regularly use it inside of our house and draw a line in the entry points of ants, then ants will be destroyed.
Using Soapy Water
We can make soapy water using dishwashers and warm water. Firstly, we have to take warm water in a bottle and mix dishwashers, and after shaking this liquid, we can spray on the colonies of ants. We have to do this several times to get efficient results and this way we can reduce their colonies.
DIY Methods to Control Ants
Ants are common insects. Buildings contain many favorable nesting locations for ants. Preferred sites include spaces behind walls, cabinets, and appliances; behind door and window frames; and under floors and concrete slabs.
All types of ants are capable of biting. These insects use their mandibles and mouth to pinch the skin if they feel threatened.
These bites can cause some pain and discomfort, but they are usually not dangerous. Some ants are dangerous to our homes, businesses, outbuildings, and belongings as they are known to damage wood.
The following are some DIYs to kill and repel ants safely
Silica is a nonpoisonous chemical found in Diatoms. They act as desiccators in kill the ants in your household without any menace.
Chemical detergents and glass cleansing agents when mixed serve as an excellent anti-pest solution. They also enhance the sanity of the house. Spray it in the nooks and corners… and the ants are gone forever!!
3. Handwash or Soap
Using handwash or soaps removes the odor of pheromones secreted by the ants and destroys their colony immediately. This cleanses your house and drives the ants away.
4. Using Pepper
Pepper be it black or red is a natural irritant for the ants and they seem to run away from the pepper! Isn’t it an interesting and natural way to control ants? We are sure that it is. So, sprinkle pepper powder in the vicinity of an ant colony and watch their destruction.
Peppermint is a natural pest repellent and ants are no exception to this. Mixing 10 to 20 drops of peppermint with 2 cups of water makes the perfect pest repellent solution for any household. Spraying this solution not only drives away ants but also all other kinds of pests.
6. Neem oil
From ancient times Neem tree is well known in ayurvedic and scientific fields for its excellent antiseptic and disinfecting properties. So, neem oil is very useful as an ant repellent. In households, neem oil is diluted in water and used as an ant control measure.
7. Boric Acid
Boric Acid or Boric Powder has unparalleled disinfecting and pest repelling properties. Making boric powder solution and spraying around the household proves very helpful for any kind of pest infestation including ants.
8. Cutting off food sources
Avoid keeping food or sweetmeats open in your kitchen ad dining hall, clean your pet bowl after every mill, unclean areas and uncovered foods invite ants in your house and lures them to build up a colony. Cutting off their food source will mean less interest of the ants towards your home.
Reason to call the Pest Control
As it is mentioned before, we get to know that ants are a part of our ecosystem and also the evils of our daily life. So, here our main objective is, we have to protect our homes and properties from these types of things.
So the main causes of increasing ants are global warming and natural disasters. Here we can control global warming, not disaster, so decreasing the use of plastics is one step ahead for controlling pests like ants.
If we become conscious about pollutions, global warming, 50% of pests (ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, bed bugs, termites, rats, houseflies, wasps, spiders) would be decreased.
Scientifically if we think about it, we get to know that we, people, are the main reasons for the drastic increase of the pests, and we are the victims also. Ants can make their way into our home using cracks in the walls, floor joints, and pipes. They can also damage other organic materials that contain cellulose.
It includes household furniture, clothing, and books. Ants can also damage other non-cellulose materials in their search for food. Which includes rubber, plastic, and leather?
Ants are mainly found in roof areas, in the bushes, trees, and garages, but it’s a kind of helpful pests, thankfully ants have been known to kill several types of insects that transmit diseases. But these ants can be the barrier to growing human properties and their health.
The nuisance of dangerous ants is increasing day by day and it’s now out of control for human beings, so the best way out of these types of problems is, we have to consult with experts and some companies which are taking the initiative to control these problems.
Ants are not only dangerous for an apartment’s property but also affect a company’s property such as food factories.
So, if we completely want to get rid of it, we can use some types of herbal pesticides. But we have to be conscious about the limited uses of phenyl so that these products can kill useful ants.
If we can use organic products, that will be the most appropriate solution because extreme uses of pesticides and inorganic materials bring bad effects on human lungs, and for children, these things are very dangerous.
So, it will be the thing if we go forward scientifically so that we can control these evils and can get rid of ant accumulation without harming any useful living beings.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.What are ants?
– Ants are small insects that can be commonly found in our homes. Comprising of a head, thorax, and gaster; these insects belong to the insect class of the Arthropoda phylum of the Animalia kingdom.
Generally black or red in color, but are also available in shades of green or, at times even with a metallic luster.
2.How many types of ants are there?
– To date, more than 12000 species of ants have been identified. They vary from each other concerning their size, habitat, and color etcetera.
3.Which ones are commonly found in India?
– There are 828 species of ants available in India. However, only 8 types of ants are commonly found to have invaded homes. Those ants are acrobat, argentine, Asian needle, carpenter, crazy, dark rover, European fire ants, and field ants.
4.Harms caused by ants?
– Ants are insects that might carry bacteria and hence, aid in to spread of diseases like dysentery, smallpox, and etcetera. Other than that, ant bites can be lethal too, depending upon the species of ant that stings a person and how their body reacts to it.
5.What leads to ant infestation?
– Sticky garbage, leaking pipes, open leftover food, decaying woods, and greasy surfaces: these can be some probable reasons if ants keep visiting you daily.
6.What places should be checked for infestations?
– Look for paces with wood shavings, greasy surfaces, leftover garbage, or decaying wood. One might want to check these places out if one is looking for an infestation.
7.How to get rid of ants at home, DIY?
– Homemade sprays are a great option for DIY ant removal. Corn starch, Tea tree oil spray, neem spray, and etcetera are some easily found substances for performing DIY ant pest control.
8.What is the best way to remove ant infestation?
One can opt for pest control. They can go for DIY if they have time on their hands; else, professionals are just one call away.
9.How to prevent ant infestation?
We can always remove an ant infestation in case they occur. But, the goal is to not let the matter go that far. Well, cleaning up regularly, using ant baits and etcetera can be of help.
10.Why pest control seems to be the best option?
Everyone seems to be busy in today’s world. DIY pest controls seem fine, but there’s always a chance for the ants to be back. And since, we don’t want these uninvited guests