Get Rid of Ants Now!

Get rid of ants
It's not your fault, really. It's only partially your fault that you have ants. The reality is, a recent University of Stanford Study showed that Ant infestations are most common when it is either really hot, or really wet outside.

Can you blame ants? It's Hot - or Wet! What would you do? Go inside. And that's exactly what they do.

You can't stop the weather. And once they are inside, they're going to get hungry. And once they get hungry, they're going to look for food. And if you are human and not some sort of anal-retentive weirdo, you're going to have bits of food in your house, that to an ant, look like a mountain of food.

So how do you get rid of them?

Ounce of Prevention
Start with making sure all the holes and cracks in your house are sealed up. It's not so much the holes from the outside (garden area) to the inside (attic, basement, between walls.) Although you'll want to seal what you can - a house is designed to breathe. So they'll be natural weep holes and other permeable areas around your house.

It's the attic or wall space to interior space that you want sealed. So that means caulking around pipes, drains, outlets, switches and baseboards.

You'll also not want to leave food out. Zipper bags for Cereals, containers that seal for sugar, etc. - all help keep food sources at bay. Obviously, you don't want to slather your kitchen counters with jelly. That's bad. So without being pedantic - try to do the opposite of that. Put the honey in the squeezey bear that always drips a little in a bag. Don't leave a sugar bowl out. You get the picture.

Sledge Hammer of Cure
You can definitely use a bug spray to kill visible ants, but that won't root them out at the nest. They'll just breed some more and repopulate. You need to eradicate the queen and the mound.

There are plenty of baits available, but I've found that ants view bait food like people view Taco Bell. It's a last resort. So they'll eat virtually anything else.

I recommend a low impact approach according to the principles of IPM (Integrated Pest Management.) Put a bait out, away from the house, safe from children and pets - but shielded from the elements. What should the bait be? Jelly. Delicious - not Taco Bell at all - Jelly. Sprinkle Boric acid around the jelly. The ants will trek through the boric acid and end up consuming it and spreading it around the nest. Boric Acid will eventually destroy the eggs and kill the ants. It's a very slow - but considerably safer way to get rid of them.

You'll have to keep the bait stations maintained for a few weeks, but it should provide a good long term solution.

You can pick up boric acid at grocery stores, pharmacies or hardware stores. Make sure you read the label directions, as although safer than insecticides - it still needs to be handled carefully.

Note: This does NOT work with Fire Ants. Fire Ants are a spawn of the devil and must be exorcised by a priest. (kidding - but it doesn't work with fire ants...) image: Sancho McCann