An ant hill is often the first clue of an ant infestation. Ant hills serve as a colony entrance, but simply removing the hill won't deter these pests. The ant colony goes deep underground, and as the ants dig, they displace dirt, dust, and other debris to the surface. Because of this, homeowners often notice mounds of dirt or clay appearing within their yard. Removing an ant hill is normally followed by another one popping up a few days later. This can be extremely frustrating for homeowners who have young children or pets, as the ant hills pose a safety risk for those who venture too close.
There are two basic ways to treat an ant hill: Drenching and baiting. Most pesticide sprays labeled for ants give instruction to mix the proper amount of pesticide and then to spray the entrance of the ant hill directly for an extended period of time. This creates a puddle that drenches the mound. Pesticide seeps into the dirt and into the colony tunnels. This is usually a very effective ant control method but it does have limitations. Some species of ants have large colonies that span great distances. Argentine ant colonies can cover more than one property. A drenching application will not kill ants deep within the soil, nor will it destroy the entire colony if it is spread out a great distance.
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Baiting is sometime more effective than a drenching application but requires much more patience. Pesticide bait in a granular form or a gel form is placed near the ant hill. The ants will take the bait and share it with the other ants deep within the colony. The best ant baits are slow acting, allowing sufficient time for the bait to be transferred and shared throughout the entire colony. The bait slowly kills the ants. The dormant ant hill left behind can then be removed.