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get rid of ants by preventing their access to food

In the spring, you may notice unwanted visitors coming into your home. Ants are pests that can find their way inside through the tiniest of holes and gaps. They will invade your kitchen and become a nuisance. Here are a few tips for getting rid of ants in your home.

Get Rid of Ants in the House

To get rid of ants, first, you’ll need to find out what’s attracting them and where they are coming from. Ants need to eat and they may be in your kitchen because there is easy access to food. Look for foods the ants are interested in, such as a sticky jar of honey or maple syrup, and clean it up. Store things that appeal to ants in air-tight plastic containers or Ziploc bags. Finally, make an effort to always keep your kitchen table and countertops clean.

Ants leave pheromone trails for other ants to follow, so be sure to destroy the scent to keep more ants from invading. Mix one part vinegar with three parts of water and spray this solution along the trail.

You can also use an insect repellent on their trail. Some natural repellents are lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint essential oils. Likewise, leaving cinnamon sticks in the corners of your cupboards can help keep ants out.

Finally, if the ants have made a nest somewhere inside the home, you can set out store-bought ant traps or make them yourself. Most ants prefer sweets; mix sugar, shortening, and borax, and place the mix into a few bottle caps. Make sure the mixture is crumbly, not greasy. Place the bottle caps wherever you see ants. They’ll bring this poison back to the nest and contaminate the rest of the colony. This mixture has low toxicity for pets and children.

Prevent an Infestation

Find out where the ants are gaining access to the interior of your home; this could be a crack in the wall, via a window sill, or under a door. Destroy the ant trails coming inside using your vinegar and water mixture.

If there is pet food outside, remove it. Feeding your dog or cat inside can help to keep ants away. Make sure your outdoor trash cans are not attracting ants. Ants that find an outside food source may eventually find their way inside.

Get Rid of Outside Ants in the Yard

Outside ants can easily migrate to inside the house. To prevent an invasion, you’ll first need to find their nest. It could be an obvious ant hill, they could be hiding in old, rotting wood, or elsewhere in the yard.

If you can find the nest, pour a pot of boiling water over it. You can also use the same treatments as inside by placing ant traps near the nest.

If these steps fail to cure your ant problem, then it may be time to call in a professional pest control company. A pro can identify the specific ant species and use the proper methods to get rid of ants for good.

OBX Home Inspections offers home inspection services to customers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Contact us to request an appointment.