The absolute best method for controlling ants on your property is to hire a professional. They will be familiar with the latest techniques and control methods and have the appropriate equipment and supplies to deal with the problem. Even if you plan on hiring a pest control professional, it still helps to have some basic understanding of the steps they are likely to take to control the ants on your property.
Start by Cleaning and Other Prevention
To complement the control methods that professionals will employ, you should also work on basic sanitation methods to reduce the attraction of your property to ants. Start by removing the potential food sources for ants. This means immediately cleaning any spills and food waste. Be sure to store your food items in airtight containers that ants cannot get into and fully seal your garbage bags or bins. Similarly, try not to keep pet food out for an extended period. If you have a serious ant problem, you will need to start feeding your pets then putting their leftovers away. You should also participate in some basic cleaning outside of your home on the surrounding property. This means you should trim back any vegetation so trees and bushes do not touch your building. Other preventative methods to keep away ants in the first place would be to get rid of standing water, ensure your water removal systems function correctly, store building materials and firewood a minimum of 20 feet from structures, and seal any cracks in the doors, walls, and windows.
It Begins with Inspection
Regardless of the chosen control method for ants, the very first step of the actual removal will be to complete a thorough inspection. During this process, professionals will thoroughly inspect your property to determine where the ants are present and where they likely entered. This is also the perfect time to determine the specific type of ants that are causing issues since problems and control methods can vary slightly based on species. Remember that different ant species also have their own preferences for nesting and food, so your natural control methods will vary slightly based on species.
The absolute best way to maximize success when controlling ants is to find their nests so you can eradicate the ants at the source. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and frequently requires an expert with eagle eyes and experience. It is nearly impossible to find all of the potential nesting sites without a thorough inspection. For those who are curious, the most important inspection points inside a home will be by the windows, doors, and carpet edges plus throughout the kitchen. In the case of carpenter ants, complete the inspection at night since these ants are nocturnal. The outdoor inspection should focus heavily on mulch, vegetation, and foundation walls. It is important to be thorough since ants may create their nests in well-hidden spots.
Using Chemical Treatments
Most of the ant control methods will involve some sort of chemical treatment. These can vary greatly based on the situation, the number of ants, and the preferences and experience of the professional you hire. Chemical-based treatments can include granules, dry powders, liquids, or a range of other products. In most cases, modern ant control products will use synthetic pyrethroids as their active ingredients. Compared to the chemicals traditionally used in the insecticides, these are much safer for both people and animals. Even so, you should exercise caution and ask your pest control professional what steps you need to take to minimize the risk of side effects to your family. Some of the chemical treatments that professionals suggest for ants will kill the existing insects on the property. Others act as barriers to deliver ongoing protection so they can prevent future infestations. Some products can even serve multiple purposes depending on how they are placed.
Using Ant Baiting
Another very common method of controlling ants is ant baiting. This is among the most effective tools for ant control, provided that you place the bait strategically and choose the right one. The great thing about an ant bait is that you just need to place it where the insect will reach it. The critter takes care of bringing it back to its colony. When the ant baiting works, the worker ants will bring the poisoned bait to the colony, where everyone feeds on it and the poison kills them. In the case of well-placed bait jobs, it is actually possible to eliminate an entire ant colony with just a single ant baiting. In most cases, however, this will be an ongoing effort due to factors like colony size. It is likely that you will need to replenish the bait in the future and that it will not kill all of the ants immediately.
Professional Control Is the Best Ant Control
While you can see some results from attempting to control ants yourself, the best results always come from professional control methods. Their use of specialized equipment and deep knowledge regarding ants allows for the best possible strategy. Experts can easily evaluate your property and see what appeals to ants and what can be done with it. They should also have several methods that they are ready to try, without having to buy any additional materials.
Go back to the Home Pest Control home page or email us for more info about Methods for Controlling Ants