I only seem to find ants in my house just as I am about to host guests. Maybe the ants can hear me scheduling the party and inviting friends! Ants in the home can be a nuisance because they eat our food, disturb structures, and can cause bites and stings that may be painful. While ants won’t eat fabrics or leather in the house, they may build nests in wood that is rotting in structures.
The key to solving an ant problem is to track down the nest. It may help to keep track of where ants have been spotted and follow their trails. Placing items such as protein, oils, and jelly can lure ants out. The ants can then be followed back to their nest. Ants may build their nest within walls, underneath a house, or behind a baseboard. The best way to prevent an ant infestation is to clean up messes and put away food items.
Ants can be controlled with baits, crack and crevice treatments, indoor space and surface treatments, outdoor barrier and broadcast treatments, as well as void and attic treatments. The best bait for controlling ants in a house has a non-repellent, slow-acting pesticide that’s mixed into food. Ant baits may be found in the form of liquids, gels, granules for broadcast, or tamper-resistant containers.
The following guidelines can be followed for effective baiting:
Use fresh bait. If the bait is not fresh, ants will be less likely to eat it. Ants must eat the bait in order for it to be effective. If the bait smells like rancid oil or stale potato chips, the bait is spoiled.
Wash your hands before and after baiting.
Don’t smoke while baiting.
Bait in good weather—avoid applying bait right before or after a heavy rain. Irrigation should also be turned off for a few hours pre- and post-baiting. Water can ruin baits; do bait after rain or irrigation has dried.
Bait where ants are gathering.
Bait should be kept in an airtight container and placed in a place that’s cool, dry and dark.
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