Ants can be a major irritation to homeowners. Not only are they unwelcome visitors, but they can also damage your home’s structure. If an ant infestation is not handled quickly you can be climbing a real uphill battle. They breed quickly through a process called ‘budding’, where the colony splits to invade multiple locations. Fortunately, if you actively try to prevent infestations before they grow too large, you can keep ants relatively far away from your home. Should you feel it’s too late and they’ve already moved in, don’t despair! Call a professional local exterminator to take care of the issue. Until it gets to that point, try our four ways to keep ants out of your home!
1. Tea Tree Oil is a Natural Repellent
An all-natural ant repellent is the fan-favorite tea tree oil. This natural oil, found at most health food stores, has a strong odor which ants don’t care for. Reach for a bottle of the pure stuff and mix 5 – 10 drops into two cups of water. This mixture can be sprayed onto any area you suspect ants may be entering from. While the smell repels ants from your home, it will potentially repel humans as well. Many people find the scent of tea tree oil overwhelming; if this is you, try diluting it with some peppermint oil to neutralize the odor.
2. Vinegar Does Double Duty: Cleans the Home and Repels Ants
Vinegar is the homeowner’s wonder liquid. It’s an odor neutralizer, natural disinfectant, and tasty for salad dressings. Another relatively unknown property of basic white vinegar is its ability to repel ants. Just like tea tree oil, ants abhor the smell of white vinegar. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle, shake to combine and saturate problem areas like door cracks or pantry shelves. The smell fades quickly to humans but will drive away ants for days to come!
3. Fill Obvious Holes to Stop Ants at the Source
The easiest way to stop ants from coming in is to plug up their entry points. As homes settle, cracks in the foundation open up and create spots for critters to enter. Ants like to sneak in around floorboards, windowsills, and doorways. Grab a caulk gun from the local home supply store and fill in any areas wide enough for an ant to fit through. This not only prevents them from inviting themselves inside but can also help lock your home A/C during the summer.
4. Seal Up Both Human and Pet Food Containers
Ants generally won’t enter a home unless there’s food present. They send out one or two scouts from the colony to look for new food sources. Should they come into your home and see open boxes of sweets, shelf-stable goods, or fruit lying around they’ll assume it’s open season. Once they tell their family of the buffet in your home, you’ll suddenly find thousands of unwelcome dinner guests. The easiest way to avoid this is by removing temptation. Buy containers to safely seal up loose goods and refrigerate any leftovers, especially sweets. If the scouts don’t find anything, they’ll move on!
For more tips on how to handle ants and other pests please contact Dr. Death Pest Control.