Home Ant Control Made Easy Home Ant Control Made Easy
Natural ant control, often referred to as organic ant control, can be effective if you persist in your efforts. But, even with chemicals and organic alternatives, ant control can be difficult. Outdoor ants generally don't come into a home or other structure unless they're looking for food or shelter. But once they're inside, they may be hard to eradicate. Ants, by their nature, deliberately nest in your home make elimination of your problem even more difficult. The best organic methods will fail if you don't destroy the nest because as long as there's a queen, she'll continue to produce ants that will continue to produce pheromones which, in turn, will continue to attract more ants.
By eliminating an ant's food and shelter in your home you'll go a long way toward eliminating your ant problem. Better yet, work to prevent the ingress of ants into the home. Seal cracks, holes or other opening ants may use to access the home. Scrub entry points and potential entry points with a strong detergent and water to eliminate the pheromone trail ants lay down. This chemical odor trail tells other ants where to go and how to get there. We can't smell it, but ants certainly can. It is hard to eliminate, but a strong mixture of ammonia and soapy water will help.
Keeping food stuffs in tightly sealed containers and wiping down counter tops helps eliminate obvious food sources. Ants like the same foods people do, but they also feed on starchy substances, wood and plant substances. If you have house plants with aphids or pests, your plants may be attracting ants. Ants love the sweet sticky honeydew that aphids produce when feeding on houseplants. If you find an ant infestation, you may also have an aphid infestation in or around your home.
Carpenter ants seek out wet, decaying and dead wood in a home. Check under your home and in crawl spaces, under decks and other areas for wet wood and fix the moisture problem. Window sills, porches, leaky roofs and decks or stairs are often spots where water drains, creating problems.
Tips for Natural Control of Ants
- Plant colorful and strong smelling marigolds around your home to deter ants.
- Trim all shrubs and bushes so they are not touching the house.
- Eliminate moisture problems, dripping faucets and water sources, leaky roofs and plumbing.
- Remove compost piles, leaf beds and straw mulch from areas close to your house and locate compost piles at least 100 feet away from your home.
- Repair or remove rotting wood in decks and wood structures, window sills, steps and porches.
- Do not store or stack firewood against your home.
- Preventive control is better than eradication efforts. Be proactive in eliminating ant problems.
- Use bitter cucumber, crushed mint leaves or cloves to deter ants.
- Disrupt ant feeding by leaving lights on in areas where ants feed.
- Prepare a mixture of equal parts of honey, borox and sugar in small bottles and leave it out for ants to take back to their nest. The borox is a natural pesticide. Extreme care must be taken when using this method around pets and children.