Testing 8 Common Ways To Get Rid Of Ants (PHOTOS), HuffPost Life

Testing 8 Common Ways To Get Rid Of Ants (PHOTOS)

Spring is here, which can mean lovely things: beautiful flowers, nice weather and longer days. But it can also mean something not-so-lovely: ants. Especially when you live in a home that was built nearly two centuries ago, owned by a landlord whose idea of weatherproofing is letting you know that «I heard there’s a storm coming.» Therefore, it’s possible to sit in my living room and feel gentle balmy breezes, even when the windows are closed.

And with a warmer-than-average winter, I’ve already started dealing with the beginnings of an ant invasion. Luckily, I had already written a handy guide about effective ways to get rid of ants using items found around the house. The problem? The most effective way was more of a coping mechanism than one that both killed the ants and kept them from coming back.

This time around, I decided to test a few common home ‘remedies’ that promised to do just that. (Why go the natural route? Because I have two very nosy pets.) In addition, I also had a (pet-less) volunteer in another part of the state test a few more, shall we say, stronger methods. Meaning: the top-rated ant traps.

Methodology: We both tested these methods over the course of 3 weeks. Since each of us have spotted ants in four separate areas of our homes, we had four convenient spots for testing. We measured the ‘ant factor’ (on a scale of 1-10) before and after the 3 weeks. The lower the ant factor, the more effective the method.

So, how did we fare? Flip through the slideshow to find out!


13 natural solutions for killing and deterring ants

Ants are making their way into homes this time of year. Natural pest control methods can help you cope with and eliminate the problem.

Little tiny ants have been spotted in our new home, and many people are suffering the same fate across the country. As much as I love spring, I don’t like bugs — especially bugs that can infest a house. Last week I asked for some advice on how to deal with ants naturally as I didn’t have time to research it myself since I just moved this weekend. I got such good advice, I had to share it with the readers here at MNN.

Some of these measures are deterrents. That is, they deter the ants from coming in your house. This seems to work well for those with a mild problem. Others found that they needed to use a method that kills the whole colony of ants. I’ve compiled the comments and suggestions by category, allowing you to compare the different methods a little more easily.


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How To Get Rid Of Ants

Knowing how to get rid of ants is the first step in your adventure to live ant-free. There are many different kinds of ant killer products available on the market today. One of the most professional ant control products you can buy is Termidor. This product is effective at killing the entire colony of ants and not just the ones you see. If you were to ask any exterminator which product they would recommend for a serious outdoor ant control problem, they would most likely recommend Termidor. It is easily one of the best ant killer products available.

How To Get Rid Of Ants in the House

To get rid of ants in the house, we recommend using products such as ant traps (also known as ant bait stations). Ant baits and traps are very effective solutions for getting rid of ants in the house, as well as outdoors.

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Killing Ants Is Easy With Our Help

There are all kinds and sizes of ants. Some people might fear the larger ants the most, but the truth is that the smaller ants, which live in colonies of huge numbers, are the more difficult ants to control. At Do My Own Pest control we will teach you how to kill ants effectively so you don’t have to worry about that never-ending trail of pests for a long time. Getting rid of ants is easy and we will guide you through the entire process. Give us a call at 1-866-581-PEST.

Interesting Facts About Ants

Despite the fact that ants are one of the most annoying pests around, they are actually one of the most interesting little creatures too. Here are some “did you know” facts about ants:

  • Did you know that there is a special kind of ant that just hangs up side down its entire life? This kind of ant is a group of ants that resides in the Honey Ant colonies. This ant is called a “replete”.
  • Did you know that there are approximately 8,800 different species of ants known throughout the world?
  • Did you know that Fire Ants occasionally eat little pieces of magnetite? Having this mineral inside their bodies is what creates an internal compass and allows the ants to find their way in the dark.
  • Did you know that if the average sized human being were as strong as an ant he or she could lift approximately 9,000 lbs?
  • Did you know that the largest ants in the world can grow up to one and a half inches long? That’s about this big |—————————-|! That’s one big ant! These kinds of ants are called Diver Ants and they live in Africa. Even Carpenter Ants can measure up to one inch long so don’t think you have to live in Africa to see a large ant.

Quick Tips for Ant Control:

Tip #1: Treat most ant problems using professional ant bait. Ant bait works best because the worker ants are able to carry the bait back to the nest where it eventually kills the entire colony including the queen. Many over-the-counter ant control products will only kill the ants you see and not the queen, causing the infestation to continue.

Tip #2: Once you’ve controlled the ants with baits, it’s time to put up a defense around your home to keep ants from coming back. Use a residual insecticide spray labeled for ants such as Dominion 2L or Optigard Flex around the outside of the home and dust under baseboards and in wall voids using a pest control dust. Doing this will put a nice barrier around your house keeping ants and other insects out.

Additional Ant Control Information


The best approach to ant control in the home is cleanliness. Any type of food or food particles can attract and provide food for ants. Store food in tight containers. Remove plants that can attract ants or control aphids, whiteflies and other insects that produce honeydew. Reduce moisture sources, including condensation and leaks. Inspection. Location of the nest is the key to control because ants are social insects. Large numbers of individual ants can be killed without ever solving the problem. Determine the kind of ant species. Most species of ants never enter buildings; others build their nests near buildings and forage indoors. Others usually nest indoors.

Keep a record of where ants have been seen. Some ants follow definite trails. If possible, follow these trails to the nest. Placement of attractive materials, such as jelly, oils, protein and other materials can attract large numbers of ants so they can be followed to their nest.

Often children like to watch ants and can be very useful in tracing their trails. Outdoors, ant nests can often be located by seeing ant hills on the ground. Some ants deposit earth on the soil surface when they construct the nest. Fire ants and certain other ants build conspicuous mounds. Nests may also be constructed next to or under the house foundation, under sidewalks, driveways and patios, or in decaying logs or tree trunks.

Indoors, ants may nest in walls, behind a baseboard or under the house. Often ant trails enter through a crack but the nest may be some distance away. Some ants may also nest in decayed or rotting wood in the house.

Chemical Control:

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. However, methods that target individual trails of ants such as crack and crevice treatments and indoor space and surface treatments are usually a «quick fix» and ineffective in the long term because they do not significantly reduce the ant population and do not affect the queen.

Ant baits, however, were developed to exploit the foraging and nest mate feeding behaviors of ants. Bait treatments are effective for control of many ant species. Since ants rely heavily on trophallaxis (reciprocal feeding), the bait toxicant can be thoroughly distributed to the members of the colony, including the queen and brood. Baits are effective because they not only kill the foraging members of the colony, but they kill the queen(s) so no other ants are produced.

The ideal bait contains a slow-acting, non-repellent toxicant that is incorporated into a preferred food substrate. There are many types of baits on the market.

In general, ant baits can be found as:

*Granules for broadcast

*Ready-to-use, tamper resistant containers

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Both granules and liquids can be used in specially designed stations. Liquids are usually prepackaged for use or come as part of a system that uses a bait station. Gel baits usually come prepackaged in large syringes for crack and crevice treatments.

For large areas, the most efficient management method is to broadcast bait with a granular. The application rate for most granular bait labels is 1 to 1.5 lb. per acre. This rate translates into about 7 to 9 granules per square foot for most baits. Granular ant baits can be broadcast in the landscape around structures and in lawns. Most granular baits that are labeled for broadcast use are also labeled for individual mound or nest treatments.

Use the following guidelines for successful 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 to be effective. If the bait smells like rancid oil or stale potato chips, the bait is spoiled.

*Wash your hands before baiting to prevent contamination from other products (and after baiting).

*Do not smoke while baiting. The nicotine will contaminate the bait.

Timing of the application is as important as the choice of control. Granular broadcast applications should be done in good weather. A good rule of thumb is to bait on a day that you would have a picnic; about 70 to 90°F and not immediately before or after a drenching rain. Also, turn off any irrigation for a few hours before and after baiting.

*Bait after the dew, rain or irrigation has dried. Water can ruin baits.

*Bait where you see the ants foraging.

*Store bait in an airtight container and place in a cool dry place, away from other pesticides or potential contaminants.

*Gel baits are particularly useful in crack and crevice treatments. In all cases of bait use, do not spray any insecticides around the bait application. Sprays are repellent and if they contaminate the bait, the bait treatment will be ineffective because the ants will not eat it.

For heavy infestations, we recommend a 3-Step Program:

1. Treat the perimeter with a repellent liquid or granular insecticide.

2. Broadcast bait with the appropriate product for your ant problem.

3. Individually treat remaining infestations, whether they are indoor or outdoor, such as fire ant mounds.

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Pet Safe Recipe for Organic Ant Killer

Although more prevalent in the summer months, ants can be an unwelcome guest any time of the year, both inside and outside your home. There are plenty of commercial sprays and poisons for killing ants, but not only are they expensive and sometimes unreliable, but also, in many cases, they are not safe for children, pets or the environment. Inexpensive, safe items in your pantry can work just as effectively.

Ant Killer Recipe

Several products that can be found in your cupboard or easily and inexpensively purchased will do away with ants without harming your pets. Instant grits, oats, cream of wheat or cornmeal sprinkled dry around an ant hill or where you see ants in the house works best in killing them, particularly the larger types of ants, like fire ants and carpenter ants. The instant grits, cornmeal, oats or cream of wheat must be kept dry to be effective. The ants eat the dry cereal which then swells from the fluids in the ants’ stomachs and the ant dies. The ants will also carry the cereal back to their nest and share it, causing the rest of the ants to die.

Ant Traps

This ant trap recipe is effective, tidy and controllable when trying to kill ants in your house. It works very well and quickly for small ants.

Mix together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/4 cup baking yeast. Spread a thin layer of the mixture on index cards, using a spatula or flexible knife. Place the card traps where you have seen the ants. The cards will trap the ants and kill them because the yeast will absorb the fluids in the ants’ bodies, killing them.

What Not to Use

Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, are reported to be effective at killing ants. But a study conducted by Snopes.com resulted in the ants not dying, but thriving. It is also unresolved how safe aspartame is for children and pets.

Many ant killing recipes include boric acid or borax in the ingredients. There is no clear answer regarding the safety of boric acid and borax for pets and children. It is far better to avoid these recipes if you have pets or children.

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Kate Carpenter

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and Web content for several well-known marketers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.


How To Get Rid Of Ants

How can I get rid of ants?

Ants are a social insect that lives in colonies. Ant control treatment plans should include killing the entire colony. Just spraying an ant with a typical ant spray, particularly a repellent spray will only kill a few at best and scatter the colony.

Ants may enter your house foraging for food or seek shelter. Understanding the behavior of ants will help you with the recommended ant control procedures outlined here. Ants enter through the smallest openings, foraging for water or food. They are in search of either sweet based food or protein/grease based foods. Once the ants find a food source, they will leave a pheromone trail for other ants to follow.

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Do I have Ants or Termites?

Many people can’t tell the difference between ants and termites.

Ants have segmented waists, and termites are approximately the same width along their entire bodies, without pinched waists. Ant antennas are bent whereas Termite antennae are straight.

The most important ants in the United States are Argentine Ants, Carpenter Ants, Crazy Ants, Fire Ants, Ghost Ants, Leafcutter Ants, Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants and Pharoah Ants. Understanding their behavior patterns will help you achieve the best ant control. When in doubt of which type of ant you have, give us a call.


To get your ant problem under control, inspection is an important first step.

To find ant nests, follow their trails. Ants lay down a chemical pheromone trail along their established routes to and from a food source so other ants can easily find the food.

Inside a house, inspect along the carpet edges, doors, windows, and all areas of the kitchen. The easiest way to find a trail to the nest is to watch where ants go after reaching the food source. If you are targeting Carpenter ants, inspection at night is more effective since the larger Carpenter ant is nocturnal. You can spot Carpenter ants emerging from damaged wood inside the house, or foraging outside in woodpiles, rotted or water-damaged wood, and tree stumps.

Outside the house, inspect around foundation walls, areas of vegetation, and mulch. Any vegetation found near patios and walls may hide some Ant nests or their trails. Check under any item that is on the ground. Some ant nests are well hidden.

  1. Follow the trail to find the nest.
  2. Treat the nest directly if possible or use bait or non-repellent insecticide around the perimeter of the house and on the ant trails.

Ant Control Tips and Strategies

There are two main types of ant problems that are commonly encountered with an ant problem.

  • Ants that live outside and forage inside
  • Ants that already have a nest built inside

Your ant control strategy should depend on the type of infestation and the type of ant that is responsible. Identifying which type of ant you have is helpful, but may be difficult without a magnifying glass. It is also helpful to use a magnifying glass to inspect ant trails and nests.

1. Ants that live outside and forage in the home.

Ants that live outside will travel inside your home to search for food. Some species ultimately reside and nest inside houses. Follow these steps to help prevent either type of infestation:

  1. Caulk and seal cracks and crevices to eliminate passages into the home. Since Ants are extremely industrious in finding entry points, you may not be able to seal them all.
  2. Clean around entry points with a detergent to remove the chemical trail pheromone, then spray a non-repellent residual insecticide such as Taurus SC or FUSE Insecticide around the perimeter and entry points.
  3. Refer to Ant Control Outside for more in-depth information.

2. Ants that live (nest) inside your home.

  • Some ants don’t just enter your home foraging for food. Some ants will establish a colony inside.
  • Indoor colonization occurs year-round, especially in warmer climates. Ant species that live in homes include Argentine Ants, Crazy Ants, Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Pharaoh Ants, Thief Ants, and Carpenter Ants. All of these ants may infest food products.
  • Ant Baits are a very successful method of controlling ants. They are safe to use around pets and children when you follow directions. Ant baits come in gels, granules, or stations. The active ingredients in these baits may be sugar-based or protein/grease-based, to lure a variety of ant species and target their dietary needs.
  • Refer to Ant Control Inside for more in-depth information.

3. Special Considerations for Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are most active in the evening hours when foraging for food, both inside the house and outside. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood for food, but they will tunnel into the wood to make nests. By observing ants at night, you may be able to tell where to spray or bait. Treating the nest itself is the last resort for Carpenter ant control. Unless the entire nest is effectively treated, the colony may simply scatter. Use a non-repellent insecticide to minimize this risk.

For more Carpenter Ant inspection tips Carpenter Ant Inspection.

The best way to treat Carpenter Ants inside the house:

  1. Place recommended Carpenter Ant Baits on the Ant trails.
  2. Use a non-repellent insecticide aerosol such as Spectre PS Aerosol, Alpine Aerosolor Phantom Aerosol. Non-repellent aerosols are superior to repellent aerosols because the Ants do not detect them and can’t avoid them. A typical Ant spray will kill only a few Ants and scatter the rest.
  3. For more in depth information : Carpenter Ants

To prevent further Carpenter Ant infestations:

  1. Trim all trees and bushes so branches do not touch the house.
  2. Correct moisture problems such as leaky roofs and plumbing.
  3. Paint and/or seal exposed wood construction before it becomes wet.
  4. Replace rotted, water-damaged, and previously Ant-infested wooden parts of the structure.
  5. Eliminate wood/soil contacts.
  6. Remove dead stumps on the property and store firewood off the ground and away from the structure.


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