Ants are small in size, and may seem harmless. A relatively small percentage of ants are considered pests. But they can become a big problem in the home, both indoors and outdoors. When left unchecked, ants will forage and spread en-masse—quickly turning into a full blown infestation.
Fortunately, there are effective precautions you can take to make sure that your place stays an ant-free zone.
How to Find the Ant Nest
The ants that you see are known as “scout ants”—they establish well-defined trails towards food in the home. Scout ants represent a small minority of the greater colony, which you’ll rarely see at first. This is why it’s best to find the ant nest, to deal with the infestation at its source.
To find an ant's nest, simply follow their trail. Ants prefer damp areas, so look for water damage or foundational cracks. Scout ants carrying food will also lead you to the nest. We will get into more detailed ant nest removal and prevention below!
Ant Removal Inside the House
Ants build their nests in:
- Walls and foundations
- Stacked and piled debris including wood, bricks, stones and leaf litter
- Indoor potted plants
- Poor sanitation
- Small spaces between fittings and walls
- Areas with water damage and/or not enough ventilation
How to Stop Ants in The Kitchen
Ants are often found in places with food: many people attract ants to the kitchen without even realising. As ant colonies can only be wiped out at the source, sometimes this is as simple as removing the spill, wiping the bench or washing your dishes.
If you’re dealing with a persistent ant infestation in the kitchen, here’s what you can do:
- Dry dish towels and mats by placing them near the fan if you have one, or put them in the dryer for a few minutes.
- Place a cup over the drain of your kitchen sink, to prevent ants from that particular area. Identify any leaky pipes that could be attracting them.
- Clean your kitchen to remove their food source. Sweep up crumbs, and take out the garbage. Make sure you regularly sanitise your kitchen, even after the ant species is gone.
- Spray the room’s entry points with an ant removal product, as well as on your house’s foundation and the first row of garden edging.
How To Kill Ants in The Garden
Ants in the garden aren't pleasant to look at. Furthermore, they can ruin outdoor entertaining spaces and impact the time you spend entertaining outdoors. To understand the size of the ant problem, you will need to find the nest. Ant nests in the garden can be found:
- In garden soil
- Around pots
- In damaged or wet tree stumps, lumber, or old outdoor furniture
- Between tiles and bricks
- Under garden edging/siding
- In cracked stucco garden walls
For ant colonies limited to one area, you will only need to spot treat with an ant killer product
How To Get Rid of Ants Permanently
Ants can return, so it’s important to take measures to continually deter ants.
Store Food Properly
Store food in reusable, airtight containers and keep ripe fruits in the fridge. Bear in mind: ants are also attracted to pet foods, so it’s important to store this in a well-sealed container. Ants can gather around your pet’s bowl also: so it’s best to regularly clean this area and the bowl itself.
Get Rid of Stagnant Water
Houseplants’ stagnant water can attract other pets such as aphids. Aphids leave a residue which attracts ants: to avoid this, mix dish soap and water. Spray and wipe down the leaves regularly.
Make Home Repairs
Seal crevices and holes and replace broken window and door screens. It’s a good idea to also replace any rotten wood near entry points in the house: and avoid stacking firewood near these points.
Maintain Your Garden
For ant control and prevention in the garden, do regular yard work. By raking and mowing the lawn, and trimming bushes, shrubs and trees, you can ensure worker ants don’t make their way into your house. Clear layers of debris and grass.
Dirty or messy countertops, floors, cabinets and pantries can attract ants. When taking out the bins, it’s especially important to check if the rubbish bin is covered as well as spotting any lingering residue.
Read on to learn about professional-grade products, which you can buy at your local supermarket.
Ant Removal & Prevention with Mortein
If you’re looking to kill ants easily and effectively, Mortein offers a range of products to meet your needs. Mortein Kill And Protect Ant Sand, for example, is a fast-acting product to get rid of ants on contact. Apply directly to the nest or around the surfaces they travel.
For indoor ant control:
- Mortein PowerGard Crawling Insect Killer can be used on surfaces where the ants travel.
- Mortein PowerGard Easy Reach Surface Spray can be used on nests in difficult to reach areas such as wall voids, cracks or window sills.
For outdoor ant control:
- Mortein PowerGard Crawling Insect Surface Spray Barrier Outdoor protects for up to nine months. This product creates a barrier against ants and insects, before they can get inside.
- Kill and Protect DIY Insect Control Bombs and Mortein Naturgard Crawling Insect Control Bomb can help control ants in garages and sheds.