Ants are a common sight around many Australian homes. Constantly on the hunt for food, ants can quickly become a problem. You should know how to reduce ants around your home.
Types of ants
Some ants are venomous, some destructive and others can carry disease.
Bull ants, fire ants and green ants are known to deliver painful stings. Allergic reactions to these stings can prove to be fatal.
Carpenter ants can damage wooden structures, though not as badly as termites can. It is important to distinguish between a carpenter ant and a termite, as termites are not ants.
Black house ants are known as a nuisance. They enter homes in search of food and can contaminate areas like your kitchen.
Other types of ants like ghost ants can spread germs and cause diseases in humans.
Regardless of the type of ant, you do not want a major infestation around your home. They are destructive, unsightly and potentially dangerous.
How to reduce ants
It is not enough to simply kill any ant you see, because individual ants can be replaced by the Queen.
Instead, you must take several steps for any action to be effective.
Keep them away from any food
Knowing how to reduce ants around your home involves understanding what attracts ants to your home.
Ants are generally attracted to our homes because they are looking for food.
They will get into our cereal boxes, bread, fruit and more.
As such, keep as much food as possible sealed away in containers.
Avoid leaving crumbs or food scraps around the kitchen and regularly throw the rubbish out.
Taking this step makes your home far less attractive to ants, thus reducing their number.
Seal entry points
Ants are tiny and will enter your home through small cracks and openings.
As such, you should make sure to seal any cracks in walls, around windows and doors.
Furthermore, patch up any cracks in the foundation of your home.
By blocking these entry points, you are limiting the number of ways ants can invade your home.
Ants need moisture to survive and grow their colonies.
Even the moisture from a damp rag is enough to sustain hundreds of ants.
Therefore, you should limit the amount of water around your home.
Ensure there are no leaking gutters or taps is one such way to stop ants getting the water they need to survive.
Ants and other bugs are repelled by strong smells.
First, you should identify ant trails used by worker ants to move around.
You can leave small bowls of essential oils like lemon eucalyptus oil, cinnamon leaf essential oil or other essential oils near these trails.
This will kill and deter ants.
You can also use other products like vinegar and borax which will have the same effect.
A popular method of destroying an ant’s nests is through boiling water.
First, find an entry point to the nest in the ground.
After you’ve found the hole, boil a kettle of water.
Pour the boiling water into the opening. This will kill the ants and potentially collapse the nest.
However, if you do not kill the queen, the nest will survive.
As such, it may be necessary to pour multiple kettles of hot water into the nest.
Slow acting poison
Simply using a pesticide spray on visible marching ants is not enough to stop an ant infestation over the long term, because the queen will simply produce more ants.
Instead, you must wipe out the nest at the source by killing the queen.
The most effective way to kill ants is using a slow acting poison.
A slow acting poison will spread through the nest and kill the ants, including the queen.
You can purchase these types of poisons come in liquid, gel, or spray forms or in the form of a bait station.