Home > Mom's Life > Managing Your Home > Home Improvements > Ant Infestations in the Home
|

Ant Infestations in the Home

Ants are considered a beneficial nuisance insect for their role in reducing dead and decaying plant and animal organic matter. Their nests also help aerate the soil. Many ant species have a fondness for aphid honeydew -- the sweet slop that aphids produce from feeding on plants.

Ants will eat just about anything, which is one reason they're such pests. All of the meat plant and animal materials. Some ants also love sweets. Others like greasy and/or protein foods.

The ants you find foraging in your kitchen are workers charged with the mission of bringing food back for their colony mates. What's more, they're also responsible for telling their buddies where food can be found. They do so by depositing a trail of pheromone, which stays in place for a long, long time.

Integrated Pest Management for Ants

These non-chemical approaches are advised for ant control:

  • Store all attractive food items such as sugar, syrup, and honey in closed containers.

  • Rinse out soft-drink containers before placing in trash.

  • Clean up grease splatters and spills as soon as they happen.

  • Don't free-feed pets. Many animals find kibbled foods irresistible.

  • Scrub ant entry points with soap and water. This will remove trail pheromones and make it more difficult for foragers to find previous trails.

Chemical Controls

A Fine Mess

Ants will not eat bait if food is nearby. For the best results, make sure that sinks, pantries, and other ant-infested areas are free of food particles and other ant-attractive substances.

Toxic baits, either liquids, solids, or gels, applied in stations or broadcast as granules are effective for controlling ants. Of these, gels and liquids tend to yield faster results than solids do.

Indoors, place bait stations along ant trails. Outdoors, site them every 10 to 20 feet and at any nest openings you can find.

Insecticides labeled for indoor ant control can provide immediate infestation relief while you're employing other control measures. Outdoors, pyrethroids can be applied at entrance points. More extensive perimeter treatments, while often recommended, can disrupt baiting programs and pose more of an environmental concern than baiting does.

Professional pest control operators have access to newer, non-repellant products for ant control. For severe ant infestations, or areas where ants are a continuing problem, a professional company should be consulted for long-term relief.

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Printable Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!