Whether you’re finding these pests around your kitchen and home, or outside in the yard, you want them out and away. If you find yourself struggling with an infestation, here are some ways to get rid of ants quickly:
- Ant bait stations
- Ant sprays
- Sealing entry points
- Fruits and spices
Common Types of Ants
Idaho is home to over 80 species of ants. Most are no problem to homeowners, but several species can cause problems in houses and yards. Here are the most common ants Idaho locals are likely to encounter.
These large, black foraging ants are fond of chewing wood. Unlike termites, they can’t digest cellulose so they aren’t as destructive. However, they can still cause damage and should be eradicated if found in your home.
Little Black Ants
What they lack in size, these tiny ants make up for in numbers. Although they’re only 1 or 2 millimeters in length, once they target your home for food they will invade in droves. They often nest in the ground or masonry.
Rasberry Crazy Ants
While they may have a funny name, these small, tawny-colored ants are no laughing matter. Massive colonies of these ants have been known to invade and short circuit electronic equipment such as air conditioning units and even computers. So named for their erratic movements, this South American import is bad news.
When these small, yellowish ants arrive, they can quickly establish a formidable colony. They are drawn to food and represent a danger to humans because they spread diseases like salmonella. Pharaoh ants are often found in hospitals and other medical establishments.
Odorous House Ants
Also called “stink ants”, these ants are so named because they give off a smell similar to rotten coconuts when crushed. About 3 millimeters in size, odorous house ants are drawn to sugary substances and meats. They enter homes through foundation cracks and nest in walls or under floors.
These ants get their name for their fondness for nesting in cracks in driveways, sidewalks or anywhere else pavement may be damaged. But they don’t remain outside. While the driveway may be home base, these ants will target homes where they contaminate food while foraging.
Dangers of Ants
The small size and resilience of ants make them difficult to eradicate on your own. Ants scavenging for food pass through dirt, feces, and garbage on their way to your pantry where they spread the bacteria they pick up to your family. In addition to the spread of bacteria, some ants can be destructive to property. Rasberry crazy ants can invade and ruin home electronics while carpenter ants can damage the wood of your home by chewing. Plus, having ants in your home often attracts other bugs inside.
What are Ants Attracted to?
Ants are attracted to what they feed on, and what they feed on depends on the species. For instance, the odorous house ant prefers sugary foods and meats while little black ants will eat anything in their path from other insects to fruit to vegetables and sweets. Carpenter ants are omnivores and are fond of greasy food and vegetables, but will chew into the wood to make their nests. But the one thing all ants need is water, so leaking pipes may draw ants to your home just as food does.
How to Get Rid of Ants Outside
Ants are attracted to water sources and food. If you feed pets or birds outside you are likely drawing in ants that will eventually make their way into your home. There are a variety of commercial ant baits and sprays designed to kill outdoor ants, as well as various home remedies. Some ways to get rid of ants outside include:
- Water diluted with dish soap
- Diatomaceous earth
- Mowing the lawn
- Pulling weeds
- Treating your yard with lawn care insecticides
While these methods may help get rid of ants, they often do not entirely get rid of the problem. If you’re seeing recurring ants in your yard, garden, or on your pavement, seek out a local exterminator for help.
How to Quickly Get Rid of Ants In the House
There is no shortage of do-it-yourself products to kill ants that make their way inside your house. However, there’s more risk when it comes to toxic sprays or poison baits. Some common ways homeowners get rid of ants inside the house include:
- Essential oils
- Soap or detergent
- White vinegar
- Boiling water
- Coffee grounds
Taking a DIY approach can result in incomplete eradication or danger to pets. If you want to get rid of ants safely and without the hassle, your best bet is a licensed exterminator who specializes in eco-friendly pest control.
How to Prevent Ants in Idaho
Ants are animals and need food and water like any other living creature. The best way to deter ants is to make your home less attractive to them. Every time you leave a bowl of dog food on the floor or fail to sweep up crumbs that fall from the table, you’re sending a calling card to ants. Leaking pipes under the sink will also draw in ants, especially during drier months. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to keep a home crumb-free, especially if you have pets or kids. For most homeowners, ants are a common occurrence. If you want an ant-free lifestyle then call in pest control experts who can get rid of ants and help you eliminate further infestations. If you’re located in Western Idaho, contact our team at Vertex Pest Control, and will get rid of your ant problem quickly and effectively!