All Creatures Great and Small

Preventing and Controlling Ants

There are several things you can do to prevent ants from entering your home. The first step is exclusion.  Go around the outside of your home and inspect it very carefully from an ant’s point of view. Ants can sense cool air and aromatic odors emanating from your home and will try to gain access. Check around the house at ground level and look for cracks in the foundation, voids around pipes, areas under stucco, weep-holes in bricks and similar areas that ants can use to gain entrance. All these areas need to be sealed, caulked, screened or otherwise altered to prevent ants from using them to get into your home. Check around your windows and doors to make sure they close tightly.  If the doors aren’t tight, you may have to install door sweeps on them.  Check your bushes, shrubs and trees to make sure you don’t have any branches touching the roof.  Don’t stack firewood, bricks or anything else next to your house or ants and other insects may find a good place to nest.   If you have bushes or shrubs next to your house, periodically inspect them for aphids, scales and similar bugs as ants are attracted to the honeydew they produce.  The ants will get on the plants and eventually find their way into your home.  Don’t put flagstone or flat boards on the ground too close to your home or some species of ants will nest under them.  On the other hand, mound-making ants will generally stay outside.  They rarely leave their complicated and efficient home life in the mound to enter homes.  If you don’t want the ants making mounds in your yard, you can flood the nests with club soda or with white vinegar or food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). If you use the DE, mix 4 tablespoons per gallon of water. You can also use 1 gallon of orange juice diluted with 2 gallons of water and a dash of soap.

You can repel ants with a wide variety of products, including cinnamon, baking soda, Comet Cleanser, cedar oil, medicated baby powder, Tide, talcum powder, chalk, coffee grounds, borax, garlic, broken egg shells, bone meal, black or red pepper, peppermint, paprika, chili powder and mint leaves.

The best way to control them when they get in your home is with baits.  Different species have different food preferences. Some species will take a wide variety of baits, while others are more particular.  You can use a bait containing half baking soda and half powdered sugar and place it where you see foraging ants.  Terro Bait is a very good commercial bait made from boric acid

If you have ants you can’t identify, you can send them to me and I will identify them for you.  I can identify almost any ants in the country.  I also have an ant control manual available. My email address is askthebugman2013@gmail.com

 

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About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Preventing and Controlling Ants

  1. What are the bugs/cocoons I see hanging from long web like strings from trees along no. 4th near the bosque?

    Posted by Andri Connors | July 31, 2018, 4:19 pm

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