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How Do You Get Rid of Ants for Good?

Like other uninvited house guests, ants will enter your home once they discover a suitable food source. Once inside, the scout ants will then leave pheromone trails, and before you know it, you’ll have an entire ant colony inside your home. So, how do you get rid of ants? Well, before calling McDonald Pest Control, there are a few practical things you can do to keep ant problems at bay.

Common Ant Species in Florida

While there are more than 10,000 ant species, only a few of them love to swarm into homes and yards.

1. Big-headed ants

Big-headed ants are invasive species which means they can cause harm to the native species and environment. These pests tend to nest on the soil. Therefore, your front yard makes for an ideal shelter. Fortunately, big-headed ants don’t sting humans. However, an infestation can lead to gaps between your home’s baseboards.

You might also spot tubes around your yard, usually along the sidewalk and driveway. As for the colonies, you’ll see them in the kitchen and bathroom. This South Florida ant reproduces throughout the year, so it would be wise to call pest control to address an infestation quickly.

2. Fire Ants

Fire ants are another type of that’s ant common in Florida homes. These reddish-brown insects are known for their painful stings. They love to feed on sugary and greasy food substances. You’ll likely spot these ants outdoors between pavement cracks or along your driveway.

3. Carpenter Ants

The carpenter ant, also called a bull ant, is among the largest ant species in Florida. These ant species also account for about 20% of homeowners’ complaints. Like fire ants, carpenter ants feed on sugary foods such as pet food and sweets. They build two types of nests, namely satellite and parent nests in decayed wood. Common areas include bathrooms and dishwashers.

4. Odorous house ants

Odorous house ants are tiny brownish-black ants known for the atrocious coconut-like smell they produce when crushed. They tend to nest outdoors and consume the honeydew that comes from aphids. And will only search for food inside if their outdoor food source is disrupted. You’ll likely spot them in wet areas such as leaking pipes and fixtures.

How to Check for an Infestation

Before we get to how to get rid of ants, you’ll need to identify their nesting sites to determine whether you have an infestation. You’ll need three tools for the inspection, i.e., a magnifying glass, bait, and a flashlight. The inspection process should follow the following steps.

  • Begin by identifying the ant species present in your home.
  • Check potential nesting sites, e.g., decaying wood or shallow soil, to confirm whether there’s an infestation.
  • Look out for ant trails. The scout ants will create pathways from the food source to their nesting site.

How Do You Get Rid of Ants?

There are a few things you can do to get rid of ants that have invaded your home.

1. Baiting

Ant baits are a suitable method of dealing with your ant problem, especially if you’re struggling to find ant nests. These baits work by leading the colonies to the bait stations, carrying the poisoned food to the queen, the primary target.

The most widely used active ingredient for baiting is boric acid. To prepare the bait, you’ll need to mix one cup of distilled water with half a cup of sugar and three tablespoons of borax powder. You can then mix it with a sugary food substance and leave it across pathways where the workers will quickly find this bait.

2. Essential oils

Essential oils like peppermint and lemon oil are excellent at obstructing the ant trails that worker ants leave behind to lead their colonies to the food source. To prepare the solution, you’ll need to mix fifteen drops of the essential oil with a half cup of water, then transfer it to a spray bottle before spraying it on ant pathways.

3. Pepper

If there’s one thing that ants hate, it’s pepper. So how do you get rid of ants using this food ingredient? You can either use cayenne or black pepper, mix it with water, and spray it on all openings. One thing to note is that pepper won’t kill the ants. However, it will prevent ants from invading your home.

We recommend against chemical ant control such as ant sprays and powders. Despite what many believe, most chemicals and sprays are only effective in dealing with one entry point.

Tips on how to prevent ants from invading your Florida property

  • Secure all food in tight lid containers
  • Keep your house clean by wiping spills immediately, routinely cleaning your appliances, and mopping floors, especially in the kitchen
  • Minimize moisture by fixing leaks and ensure proper drainage both indoors and outdoors
  • Carry out regular outdoor maintenance by cleaning and sealing trash cans, getting rid of fallen tree branches, and removing unused items that might collect water
  • Secure all entry points around your home

Keeping Ants Away from Your Home

Getting rid of ants inside your home requires more than DIY remedies. The most effective solution to your ant problem is enlisting the help of reputable pest control in Clearwater. McDonald Pest Control is highly experienced in dealing with ant infestations in both residential and commercial property. To learn more about our pest control services, contact our team at 727-734-0963 today to schedule a free consultation.