There are many different kinds of pests that can wreak havoc on your home or property. Insects can burrow, they can invade, and spread like wildfire in no time, making getting rid of them just one more annoying thing on your to-do list.
One such insect we see regularly is ants. These creatures are social, meaning that they interact with each other, work together and group together. Thankfully, we have a way to get rid of them. And not just one or two, but the entire colony.
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The Basics of Killing Ants
Ants come in and out of their colony through an underground tunnel system that makes up the entire colony. These systems can be quite large and sometimes go as deep as 25 feet. The colony’s queen lives far inside the system to protect her from invaders. All ants live to serve her and the colony as a whole. In order to get rid of the ants, you must destroy the entire colony, including its queen, or the entire thing will simply be rebuilt again. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can do this.
- Baby powder: Ants, like many insects, do not breathe through the use of lungs, but take in Oxygen through their abdomen. The idea is that when an ant tries to crawl through a substance like baby powder, the fine particles will clog up those opening the ants use to breathe, suffocating them to death. Another way baby power works to kill ants is through scent. If you sprinkle a mound of it where the ants are entering your home, the powder’s smell will throw of their scent trail and the ants will be lost, not knowing how to get back to the colony. They will soon die as a result. To use baby powder as an ant killer, simply pour a barrier between their Colony and their entrance to your home.
- Diatomaceous Earth: This substance is non-chemical and non-toxic to humans, which is a great benefit to not only you but the environment. Diatomaceous Earth is made up of finely ground remains of marine phytoplankton. These tiny particles make an off-white powder that is sharp on a microscopic level. When it gets on any kind of insect, like an ant, with an exoskeleton, the particles get inside the shell, cutting them up on the inside. It also causes the ant to rapidly lose moisture and dry out until they die. Since the method of death is mechanical instead of chemical, Diatomaceous Earth is actually safe for humans to consume. To get rid of ants, sprinkle it on and inside the anthill, and all around the area you find them entering your home.
- Bleach: Using bleach to kill ants has shown to be effective, but be careful – it can also harm humans. Make sure the area you’re in is well-ventilated before using bleach on ants in the home. The corrosive nature of bleach will kill the ants and its powerful smell will conceal the scent of food in your home that’s drawing them in. Mix two parts bleach with one part water into a spray bottle and spray into the places ants are entering your home.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is a common ingredient in some home cleaners. You can use a spray cleaner that includes pure ammonia, or just ammonia itself. The substance is highly caustic and can cause burns to your skin so be careful. To use against ants, put in a spray bottle and apply wherever you find ants, along their trail, and especially where they enter your home. A strong amount of ammonia will kill ants quickly, but will not kill off the entire colony.
Ants come in different varieties. One such type are red ants. They can be larger, bite more, and be difficult overall. If you’re wondering how to get rid of red ants, click here.
Liquid Ant Killers
The materials used to kill ants don’t have to be made up of only one type of substance.
Along with powders there are also liquids used as pest control:
- Terro Ant Killer: This product is used as bait for ants using Borax as the main ingredient. Borax interferes with the ant’s digestive system, slowly destroying it until death results. The reason a slow death is required is because of the purpose of baiting. Using a small carboard square loaded with Terro Ant Killer, the ants will be drawn to it and feast on the liquid inside the carboard. They will then take that liquid back to their colony to share it. Terro lets the ants live just long enough to share the poison with other ants before dying. This way, an entire colony can be killed over the course of a couple weeks, getting rid of your ant problem for good.
- Raid: This pesticide uses many different chemicals as it’s ingredients that are powerful killers against ants. Coming in a can, you spray the liquid all along any ant trails you may find, along with their entrance into your home. Not only does it kill ants quickly, its residual effects will continue to kill ants for weeks afterward.
Using methods like bleach and Diatomaceous Earth are effective at killing ants, but won’t kill the colony where thousands of other ants live. To make sure your ant problem is finished for good, it may be a good idea to combine these methods with others that reach the colony and its queen.
Poisonous ant killer can pose a threat to your pets. There are options to choose from that aren’t toxic and harmful. Go here for more information on pet safe ant killer.
Is There an Option Proven to be Most Effective?
When it comes to killing ants, you want to get rid of not only the insects, but their source – the colony. If you’re going to get rid of a colony consisting of thousands of ants, bait is going to be your best bet.
Besides the Terro system, Combat Source Killing Max A2 Ant Killing Gel works as a bait system as well. This thick gel is sweet, attracting ants to it, which they eat and carry back to their colony. It comes with a syringe so you can place the gel right in the ants’ path. Once they carry the gel to the colony, other ants will eat it as well, including the Queen. The slow death is key here – worker ants need to be able to stay alive long enough to carry the poison back to all the other ants. Although it may take days or a couple weeks to get rid of the entire colony, baiting is the most effective way to destroy the root of your ant problem.
I need something that will kill the ants instantly
Sometimes you need ants out of the way quick. If you’re looking to get rid of those annoying ants immediately, there is more than one way. Although remember – this method may not eliminate the colony itself.
- Vinegar: This can be a good insect killer if you’re looking for something natural and non-toxic. Use two parts water to one part vinegar and put into a spray bottle. Apply all along ant trails and pour into an ant hill. The creatures will die almost immediately.
- Chemical products: Brands such as Raid carry products designed to kill ants on contact. The ingredients in them are corrosive and destroy the ants’ shell as well as suffocating and poisoning them.
All over the internet you’ll find recipes for ant killer you can make at home. Products you already have in your pantry or garage are easy to throw together for some homemade ant killer. Go here for more information.
Using Cornmeal to Exterminate Ants
One method out there that doesn’t use any kind of chemical or harsh ingredients is corneal. Yes, that may sound pretty funny and odd, but it’s become an often-used way of getting rid of ants.
There are two ways in which you can use cornmeal as an ant killer:
- Sprinkle the cornmeal near ant trails. The insects will pick up pieces and bring them back to their colony for everyone to feast on. While it may taste good for them, ants cannot digest cornmeal like humans can. Also, once they ingest liquid, the cornmeal will expand and burst their stomachs apart, killing them.
- One very effective way to use cornmeal is to mix it with a pesticide. Ants can take pieces of it back to the colony just like a regular solid. Not only will the cornmeal do its job, the poison will also ensure that all ants in the colony die.
When you’re using an ant killer that contains chemical poisons and pesticides, be very careful that you keep it away from children and pets. And not just the bottle or box – the actual bait or liquid you set out can leave residual particles behind that an animal could lick, or that a child could get on their fingers and into their eyes. It’s best to set the poison in places far less likely for anyone to get to.
Different Types of Pesticides and Poisons
We all need ways to kill insects, and sometimes a pesticide or poison is the best way to go. Remember to employ caution when using these products around children and pets, as they can be harmful.
Ingredients for these products include Boric Acid, Hydramethylnon, Avermectin, Neonicotinoids, and Fipronil.
- AMDRO Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait: This killer is made up of poisonous Hydromethylnon granules that ants eagerly take back to their colony. Fellow ants eat the granules and die quickly.
- Terro Liquid Ant Baits: These baits look like small little traps that ants crawl into. Inside is a liquid that may taste good to them, but is actually poison, as it contains Borax. The workers then transport it back to the colony to share, slowly eliminating all of them.
- Advion Ant Bait Gel: This product uses a powerful insecticide, Indoxacarb, mixed in a sweet gel to kill ants. The ants are attracted to the sugary taste, then taking it back to their colony.
If you’ve spotted ants in or around your home, look no further than your kitchen or the grocery store for a solution. Not only are there at-home ways to combat these pests, there are plenty of poisons at your fingertips as well. Ants don’t have to plague you for long, and with the right products, their entire colony can be destroyed in no time.
You can find further details of Ants Control here.