How to control ants
It is estimated that there are between 12,000 and 14,000 species of ants. However, this number is likely to be an underestimate, as many ant species have not yet been discovered or described. Ants are not solitary insects: they are social insects which live in colonies. The size of an ant colony can vary greatly depending on the species of ant. Some colonies may consist of only a few dozen individuals, while others can have millions of ants. For example, colonies of the species Lasius niger, the black garden ant, typically contain about 4,000 workers and a single queen, while colonies of the species Atta cephalotes, the leaf-cutter ant, can contain up to 8 million individuals. The colony size also depends on the environment, the resources available, the stage of colony development, and other factors. Controlling large ant colonies can be a challenge to DIY enthusiasts. That’s when Pest Control experts come in. Pest control and fumigation companies in Kenya know the best ways on how to control ants.
There are many ant species in Kenya, for instance Sugar ants, Safari ants (Dorylus) , carpenter ants, black garden ants and many others. It is important to identify the species of ant to effectively target their colony, as different ants might have different preferences and behaviors.
What attracts ants to a house?
There are several things that can attract ants to a house:
- Food: Ants are attracted to sugary and greasy foods, so any spills or crumbs left on counters or floors can attract them inside.
- Moisture: Ants are also attracted to moisture, so leaks or standing water in the house can attract them.
- Nesting sites: Some ants, such as carpenter ants, are attracted to wood and may nest inside the walls or structure of a house.
- Warmth: Some ants, such as pavement ants, are attracted to the warmth of a house during colder months.
- Chemical trails: Some ants leave chemical trails that can attract other ants to the house, once they find a food source or a suitable nesting site.
Top tips on how to control ants
Here are the top tips that will help you get rid of ants:
- Keep food and surfaces clean: Regularly wipe down counters and tables, and seal food in containers to prevent ants from finding food sources.
- Seal entry points: Check for cracks or gaps around doors and windows and use caulk or weather stripping to seal them.
- Use barriers: Place a barrier of diatomaceous earth, talcum powder or borax around the foundation of your home to prevent ants from entering.
- Eliminate moisture: Fix any leaks and make sure there is proper drainage around your home to prevent moisture build-up. Ants are attracted to moisture, so fixing any leaks in pipes or faucets can help prevent them from coming inside.
- Use pesticides: If ants are already inside your home, use a pesticide spray specifically designed for ants. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
- Keep your outdoor space clean: Remove any piles of wood, leaves or other debris that can provide nesting sites for ants.
- Apply ant bait: Use ant bait (such as boric acid or sugar) in areas where ants are entering your home. This can help eliminate the colony and prevent further infestations.
- Use natural repellents: Some natural repellents that can help keep ants away include peppermint oil, cinnamon, and citrus.
- Professional extermination: If all the above solutions don’t work, consider hiring a professional exterminator. Some infestations may be extensive and as such, it may be necessary to hire a professional pest control service.
Does salt get rid of ants?
Salt can be used to kill ants, but it is not the most effective method for controlling an ant infestation.
When salt is applied to ants, it disrupts the water balance of the ant’s cells which causes them to dehydrate and die. However, salt is not selective and can also dehydrate and kill other beneficial insects and plants, which may cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.
Additionally, salt needs to be applied directly to the ants, which can be difficult to accomplish, especially if the ants are nesting in wall voids or other hard-to-reach areas.
Ant colonies have multiple queens, worker ants and soldiers, and killing some of them might cause the colony to split and reproduce, which will lead to more colonies and more ants.
Does borax get rid of ants?
Borax can be used as an ant killer, as it is toxic to ants when ingested.
Borax is a natural mineral that is made up of boron, sodium, oxygen, and water. It is commonly used as a laundry detergent booster or cleaner. When used as an ant killer, borax is typically mixed with sugar or another sweetener to attract the ants. Once they ingest the mixture, the borax disrupts the ant’s digestive system, leading to their death.
It’s important to note that borax can also be toxic to humans and pets, so it should be used with caution. It’s also important to keep it out of reach of children and pets, and to avoid ingesting it or getting it on your skin.
Additionally, baiting can take time to work as the ants need to transport the borax back to the colony and feed it to the queen, other ants and larvae.
It’s also important to note that using borax alone might not be effective in eliminating the colony and it’s recommended to use it in conjunction with other methods such as removing food sources and identifying and sealing entry points.
Are ants venomous?
Some species of ants are venomous, meaning that they have venom glands that produce toxic chemicals. These chemicals can be used for defense against predators or to subdue prey.
The venom of ants can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the species and the amount of venom injected. Some ants have venom that can cause pain and swelling at the site of the bite, while others can cause more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) in sensitive individuals.
Examples of venomous ants include:
- Fire ants: These ants are known for their aggressive behavior and venomous sting, which can cause a burning sensation and swollen red bumps.
- Bulldog ants: These ants have venomous sting and jaws that can cause severe pain and swelling.
- Bullet ants: These ants are known for their venomous sting, which is considered to be the most painful of any insect sting.
However, not all ants are venomous and many species do not have venom glands at all. Additionally, most ants only bite or sting as a last resort, when they feel threatened, so it is best to avoid disturbing ants or their nests.
If you experience severe symptoms after an ant bite or sting, seek medical attention immediately.
Pest control experts have the experience on how to safely deal with ants. If you are not comfortable dealing with ants, contact pest control professionals like Agile Pest.