If you found yourself battling ants more often than you would have liked in the year 2014, you may wish to turn things around and get rid of these pests for good in the New Year. Resolving to take certain actions can help keep ants out of your home once and for all. Here is how you can make 2015 an ant-free year.
Set Your Own Ant Traps
The first step to making 2015 an ant-free year is to get rid of the ants that are already in your home. While there are many commercially-sold ant traps, baits and sprays you can use to kill ants, many of these products contain chemicals and are expensive.
If you are looking to keep chemicals out of your home, or are looking for a cheaper alternative to these products, you can make your own ant traps using cornmeal or farina, more commonly known as Cream of Wheat.
Simply place a small amount of cornmeal or farina on a small dish in various areas where the ants are near. As the ants eat these items, they will slowly die. Farina expands inside of an ant's stomach, killing it. Likewise, an ant can't digest cornmeal, which causes the ant to die after it has eaten. It may take a couple of weeks, but if you continue to set these traps, the ant population in your home will eventually dwindle away.
Wipe Away Scent Trails
Once you have killed the ants in your home, you will need to take action to prevent new ones from entering your home. Ants communicate with each other in a much different way than people do. They leave behind a scent trail that allows other ants to see exactly where they have traveled. This allows ants to follow one another and find each other. If you do not remove this scent trail after killing the ants in your home, there is a chance that ants that have not yet made their way into your home will find this scent trail and see exactly how other ants entered your home.
Luckily, getting rid of an ant's scent trail isn't hard. Fill a small squirt bottle with equal parts warm water and apple cider vinegar or two cups of warm water and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Then spray the areas where the ants were present. Both soap and vinegar help to dissolve and eliminate the scent trail that the ants have left behind.
Deter Ants From The Exterior Of Your Home
After you have taken care of the ants in your home, and the trails that they left behind, you will want to deter new ants that may be trying to make their way into your home. After you brew some coffee, take the used grounds and sprinkle them around the exterior of your home or in areas where you see ant hills and mounds.
Coffee grounds help to deter ants in two very different ways. First, the scent conceals the scent trails that they use to find one another and to follow paths. As such, if you sprinkle coffee around your home, the ants that have already been there likely won't find their way back and their family won't be able to follow any new ants that do find their way into your home. The other way coffee deters ants is by killing ants that eat it. Coffee has too much caffeine for a small ant and should an ant eat it, their system will be overloaded and they will die quickly.
Coffee grounds should be sprinkled around the exterior of your home every two weeks and after heavy rain to ensure the scent is poignant enough to deter ants.
If your home is infested with ants, it will take time for your home to become ant-free. However, making your own ant traps, wiping away scent trails and deterring ants from the exterior of your home should help you to resolve the problem on your own. If the infestation is extensive, or if these methods don't work, you will need to call in a pest control specialist to remove the ants and prevent them from coming back in the future. There is no reason why you have to live with ants in your home. If you lived with this problem in 2014, resolve to make a change this New Year and make 2015 an ant-free year. For more information, check out the site of a local pest control company.