Sometimes ants can seem a nuisance, as insects tend to appear. While they can be annoying, it’s not always appropriate to get rid of them. However, if you’re experiencing an infestation, it can become problematic. Few infestations of ants outside remain entirely outdoors. Eventually, some of those little creatures could make their way indoors—to your kitchen or living room, your bathroom or bedroom. That’s when the trouble begins.
Even if they remain outdoors, they could wreak havoc on your plants or gardens, or even your animals. If you find yourself in a situation in which you need to eliminate ants, here are some helpful tips.
First things first: don’t bother wasting your time killing individual ants, or even clusters of ants. While it may eliminate immediate problems, it won’t do anything to affect your infestation. Instead, spend your time seeking out the source: their nest. That’s where you’ll find many of the ants and, more importantly, the queen. To eliminate ants permanently, you must wipe out their means of production. Going after the queen is a surefire way of doing it.
Fortunately, in this day and age, you have access to a variety of ways of getting rid of ants. From bug killing chemicals to more natural means, such as diatomaceous earth, there are countless ways to eliminate your problem.
Once you choose your method of choice, you’ll have to find their nest, as noted above. Finding a nest is sometimes easier said than done, however. You’ll have to watch the ants, to follow them, to observe where they seem to go. If you find large clusters of ants congregating around a crack in the sidewalk or the side of the house or in the dirt in the yard, you’ve most likely stumbled on their nest. Search for opens where they congregate. You could find them in concrete or in wood or dirt.
If it’s in the dirt, ignore the impulse to stomp on the opening or to try to seal it. If you do, the ants will eventually create another opening, and your infestations problems will remain.
Using your chemical of choice—for example, a spray you’ve purchased—spray it inside the opening of the nest. Make sure you spray it with an ample amount. Depending on the size and depth of the nest, it’s unlikely that you’ll directly hit the queen. In a sense, modern pesticides will infect the ants, who will carrying the chemicals to their queen and pass the chemicals onto her.
If you’re opposed to pesticides, you do have alternatives. Using soapy water is another means of eliminating the nest. If you pour the water into the opening, drenching the interior of the nest, you’ll compromise their nest and force them to relocate.
Using powder called diatomaceous earth is another means of eliminating ants without resorting to pesticides. You can usually buy diatomaceous earth at your local DIY story. It’s a white powder that you’ll want to sprinkle around the nest. Of the many ways to get rid of ants, this one requires patience. It could take several weeks before your ant problem is eliminated. Ants not immediately killed by the powder will get it on themselves and carry it into the nest, passing it along to ants that weren’t directly exposed by it.
You can find more ways to eliminate ants, but these methods seem to work best. Remember, find the nest. Going after individual ants will waste your time, unless you want to cover your yard and sidewalk with diatomaceous earth, but consider yourself warned: that powder will likely get on your and your clothes. It can get messy.