A clean home elicits a very calming feeling. After a thorough disinfection of your kitchen and living spaces, you finally exhale knowing not a surface was left untouched. You excitedly call friends and plan the next barbecue outing, wanting everyone to see your handiwork.

That is, until a few ants begin to appear on your kitchen counters.

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Your anxiety kicks in: how do I get rid of these things? You’ll naturally scroll through countless Pinterest articles detailing the “humane” tactics homeowners can take to mitigate an ant problem. Weeks later, however, this will inevitably result in contacting a pest management company. In the next few paragraphs, we’ve outlined the natural progression of your steps to free your home of an ant infestation and why a pest control team is your best option.

Homemade Solutions

When a few ants begin to trickle into your kitchen, you notice that something is amiss with the once perfect environment. You wipe a few off your counter and squish a few under your shoes, relieved at an ant-free sight. When they come back, however, you start taking advice from your crazy neighbor, who swears by a concoction of sweet liquids to draw the ants away from your home.

This doesn’t attack the problem at its source: the anthill where these insects are emerging. Underground colonies can be massive, so wiping up a few ants from your kitchen counter doesn’t mean your home is ant-free now. Even the most humane solutions, such as adding a sticky barrier to your foundation or wiping a vinegar solution near the ant trail, will only divert the ants’ attention to other parts of your home. Now, you get creative.

Bait Stations

Bait stations are engineered to directly take advantage of an ant’s biology and primal instincts by having the insect itself bring the poison to its domain. Ants invaded your home due to the sweet-smelling aromas of spilled Kool-Aid or the remnants of last night’s lasagna bake soaking in your sink. Insecticide traps deceive the ant scavengers into believing nourishment exists within the trap, tricking them into foraging poison. The scavenger subset of the ant colony is trained to bring any food back for its other members, effectively killing the remaining creatures. So you place a couple bait traps on your deck and call it a day, right?

The problem here is twofold. One, if you were given a piece of cake and stalk of celery, which would you eat? Most of us would take the cake, for ants, your crumbs are the cake; the bait station is the celery. If you put a bait station out but there is another food source (even a tiny crumb under the table) the ant will likely ignore your bait station. Two, your children or pets could accidentally ingest the bait if not utilized in the correct manner. Although a professional pest management provider will occasionally use baits to help prevent ants, they know where and how to use it to most effectively eliminate ants and protect your family.

Destroying the Ant Hill Yourself

At this stage, you’re fed up. The ants won’t go away and each method has proven to be unsuccessful. You notice the ant hill in your lawn and decide to take action, boiling a pot of water to drown those suckers. Perhaps you take this one step further and create some concoction with over-the-counter products to flood the ant passageways.

The ramifications fall on a spectrum. You’re assuredly causing damage to your lawn, as the scorching liquid will harm the surrounding vegetation and potentially ruin growth in that area, and you could get seriously hurt! Using over-the-counter products in a mixture could be disastrous, and the amount you’d need to “drown” the ants is way too much and exposing you to unnecessary risk. It is also impossible to kill every ant in a colony in this manner, some will be out of the nest foraging, and others may be unreached by your concoction due to the complex network of tunnels. Regardless of which method you choose, DIY success is hard to come by when it comes to ants, so it’s prudent to contact the professionals if you really want to see success.

For help controlling ants, contact Wil-Kil today.