Tips on Solving an Ant Infestation
An ant infestation can be a difficult problem to remedy. Prevention, if at all possible, is the first step since once you have an infestation it can take a bit of effort to get rid of them.
In the inside of the home, ants will be attracted to food sources, especially sweet foods and drinks. Wipe up spills immediately of sugary drinks. Rinse out soft drink and juice containers before discarding them or putting them in the recycle bin. Fruit skins and cores should be in sealed plastic bags or ground in the garbage disposal. So should any left over vegetables. If you compost, keep the compost bin tightly sealed.
Wipe down counters and pantry shelves often. Before putting away syrup or honey bottles, wipe them clean. Keep dry food such as cereals and sugar in sealed containers. This will also keep away other pests besides ants.
If you have a severe infestation you may need to rely upon chemical sprays to rid your house and yard of them. Inside ants most generally have an ant hill in the yard. This will be a mound of sand with an opening at the top. You will be able to see ants coming and going through this opening. One solution is to pour insecticide, such as mixed Malathion or any good household bug killer, into this ant hill. You can lay a board or brick over the opening to prevent them from escaping. Restrict pets and children from this area.
You can also use powdered insecticide in the same way. Sprinkle it around the top of the opening and ants will actually track it back into the hill killing other ants also.
These are very potent chemicals and should be used with care.
There are a couple of natural or green remedies that also work well, but generally take a bit longer to see results. The first one is to sprinkle Borax where the ants will track it back to the nest and the young will eat it. This can be harmful to pets and children so put it in places that ants will track it, but not exposed.
Pull out the bottom drawer in your kitchen cupboards and sprinkle it onto the floor under the drawer. Put it behind the refrigerator, stove and under the sink. You may also want to put it on exterior window sills. Borax is available on the supermarket aisle where laundry detergent and bleach is sold.
Another natural remedy is to use peppermint oil on cotton balls on the shelves of your pantry and under the cabinet drawers in your kitchen. Ants don't like peppermint and will stay away from the area. Some people have reported success dropping drops of the oil along windowsills and around the foundation of their house. You can also try drying peppermint plants around your foundation and in your garden to repel ants. Pure peppermint oil is available at natural food stores, some pharmacies and online.