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Of all the pests, insects, flies, rodents or any other living being found in houses, ants are the toughest to get rid of because they infest in millions of numbers and they form a colony in no time. The kind of nuisance that ants create is something that can’t be described in words.
Ants are not a big threat to human health but yes they have the capability to turn your life upside down with the havoc that they create. They enter your home in millions and stay there like forever. You need to take serious efforts to make your house free of ants.
Types Of Ants
It is quite unbelievable but there are close to more than 800 ant species in India. The most common ones that you can find in your house are the following:
1. Common Black Ants
The most commonly found ant specie in almost all Indian households, the black ants usually don’t cause much nuisance. They are found in clusters and are led by multiple queens. They are smaller in size as compared to other species.
2. Carpenter Ants
The ant specie you must be worried about is carpenter ants. They mostly attack the furniture in your house and love it even more if the furniture is moist. This creature can play havoc if not controlled timely.
3. Red Ants
Other common species found in households are red ants. They have a tendency to sting people and leave red itchy bumps on the skin. If spotted in the house, you should take measures immediately to avoid any threat.
4. Fire Ants
Counted amongst dangerous ant species, this one should be immediately removed if found anywhere close to the house. These ants are very aggressive and tend to attack if their anthill is interfered with. It is a bit difficult to deal with fire ants and you are suggested to opt for professional services if you want to deal with this specie.
What Makes Ants A Cause Of Worry?
People have a notion that ants do not harm humans and they are not a threat in any way but it isn’t true for all ant species. There are certain species of ants that can cause damage to human health and also your property. Ant infestation is as bad as any other pest infestation and you should totally look for ways to get rid of them. For now, let us first tell you what makes them dangerous.
Messing up with your health
If you think these creatures roam around your house for fun, you are highly mistaken. Ants form a line and always stay in clusters. They tend to stay near filthy places and look for food. Whenever they visit filthy places, they tend to carry microbes from the filthy source and then they can easily spread diseases by invading your kitchen or dining room in search of food. Messing up the unattended and uncovered food is what they do next.
That contaminated food when consumed by humans makes them fall prey to diseases spread by ants a few being shigella, e.coli etc.
Spotting a cluster of ants anywhere in the house or seeing them moving in a straight line anywhere in the house or compound is mentally disturbing. When you don’t see a cluster but a few ants scattered here and there, it is a must that you have an ant infestation and there are several colonies formed already.
Red ants, in particular, are dangerous and they can give you painful stings that look like bumps on the skin and you get itchy for hours. You should be worried about an ant infestation in your house but when it comes to red ants, you should be prompt in taking severe measures to get rid of them.
Threat to your property
Yes, you read that right. Ants can play havoc when it comes to damaging your furniture. There is a specie of ants known as carpenter ants and they are very much like termites. They eat up your furniture pieces from within making them hollow and finding shelter there. If not taken care of timely, they can demolish your precious furniture pieces in no time.
Ants invade your property in search of food and they also look for warmth. Making a home for themselves by eating up walls and furniture in your house is something they love doing and they ought to do as well.
Ways To Stop Ants From Invading Your House
- Do not let any kind of debris stay in your yard or any outdoor area attached to your house.
- If branches of any outdoor trees lean onto the exterior walls of your home, make sure to get them pruned and create a barrier between the two.
- Always keep an eye on plants in your yard, garden, or balcony as soils and plants can be home to ant colonies.
- Any cracks in the wall should be immediately repaired.
- A ripped-off window screen should be changed or fixed immediately.
- Look for other entry points and try to seal them at the earliest.
How To Get Rid Of Ants: Home Remedies
There are innumerable home remedies that are effective in keeping ants away and we have listed the best ones here.
1. Black And Red Pepper
Ants are believed to hate the smell of ground pepper and you can dust either of the two around places you spot ant clusters. It keeps them away for a long time.
2. Boiling Water
Whenever and wherever you spot ant holes, you should pour as much boiling water as possible. Although these holes look small to the naked eye, deep within they have a huge colony built and you should treat every hole with effort.
3. Neem Oil
Neem oil is an effective remedy to get rid of not just ants but several other insects. It works great on ants as well as aphids. Spray some oil on areas you spot ants in the house or anywhere near your home. It is observed that concentrated neem oil works instantly and effectively but other products with neem extracts do not give you immediate results.
4. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a very effective remedy to get rid of ants and all you need to do is infuse 5-10 drops of the oil with 2 cups of water and make a spray liquid. Use this spray on ant-affected areas and in no time your house will be free of ants.
The calcium carbonate content of chalk works as an ant deterrent and keeps these creatures away. You can dust chalk powder in affected areas. The best way is to draw lines with chalk at the points from where ants can enter your house.
6. Orange Peels
The orange peels that you usually throw away in the bins are very useful to keep ants away. You can make a paste with warm water and orange peels and use it in areas attacked by ants. Also keeping these peels on kitchen slabs will save your kitchen from ant invasion.
The table salt you consume daily is not only an effective but the cheapest way to keep ants at bay. You can dissolve salt in boiling water and spray this solution anywhere in your house wherever you fear ant infestation. You can get your daily floor cleaning done by adding salt to the water. It works great as an ant deterrent.
Another kitchen ingredient used for killing ants instantly, cornstarch is very effective in ant eradication at home. You need to dust cornstarch directly on ant clusters and pour little water to form a paste. Ants will die struggling to come out of the paste. Alternately, you can also dust the powder on ants and use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up.
Just like tea tree oil, peppermint oil can be used in the same manner. You need to dilute 5-10 drops of the oil in water and spray this liquid on the affected areas. You can re-spray once it dries up.
10. White Vinegar
White vinegar helps in the overall cleaning of the house and it also keeps several kinds of bugs away. As an ant deterrent, it works amazingly good. The process involves filling up a spray bottle with half portion white vinegar and the other half with water and then using this spray directly on ant clusters. You can also use this solution to wipe kitchen counters, dining table tops, floors and other hard surfaces in the house.
11. Freshly brewed coffee grounds
Whenever you spot ants in a cluster in your house, you can sprinkle coffee grounds on them and in no time they will be gone. Make sure that it is freshly brewed as it works faster and is more effective. Also, the coffee grounds do not work against ants once it dries up so make sure to keep changing it from time to time.
Lemons are effective when it comes to getting rid of ants as the smell is strong enough to keep the smell of food items away from ants. You can also keep your kitchen cabinets ant free by throwing in lemon rinds there.
13. Essential Oils
Apart from peppermint and tea tree oil mentioned above, there are other essential oils that work wonders when it comes to eradicating ants from your house. Lemon eucalyptus and cinnamon leaf oils are a few of them. You can use cotton balls soaked with these oils and place them at places you spot ants.
By now you must have noticed that ants hate strong-smelling compounds. Another one that helps in keeping them away is cinnamon. You can dust cinnamon powder in the corners of your house and also near ant holes. Placing cinnamon sticks near entry points is also regarded as an effective remedy to keep ants in control. This in turn will also keep your house smelling great as the earthy aroma that cinnamon releases in the air is amazing.
Take a few pieces of cloves, tie them in a cloth and keep the cloth in several places in your house. It is an amazing technique to get rid of ants permanently. The sharp smell of clove irritates the ants and they tend to run away from it. You can also use clove oil for the same.
Almost all of these are readily available in your house and you can do the needful whenever required. Do try the remedies and see for yourself which one is more effective in keeping ants at bay.
Although the entire house is prone to ant infestation the kitchen is the place they love the most. You can try almost all of these remedies to treat ants in the kitchen. Additionally, we also have tips for you to keep your kitchen ant free.
Tips To Keep Your Kitchen Ant Free
Most ant species love all things sweet and they tend to invade your kitchen in search of sugar and other food items. This can lead to them carrying diseases in the form of bacteria, germs, dirt etc. You should always take preventive measures to keep your kitchen ant free at any cost. Here are a few tips that could come in handy:
- Make sure to wipe off and clean your kitchen counters as well as floors twice a day.
- While storing food items, make sure to use either air-tight containers or zippers that seal nicely.
- After feeding your pets, clean their dishes immediately and check if there are any pet food crumbs on the floor. If any, please clean up the space instantly.
- Do not let your dishes accumulate in the kitchen sink. Make it a habit to clean the dishes immediately after eating.
- Use ant deterrents at kitchen window sills or any other entry points.
- Keep your dining areas and table clean always. Wiping off the table after every meal is suggested.
- Keep your under sink areas and cabinets damp-free. Ants love moist and damp places and they will invade your kitchen quicker if you do not pay heed to this.
Reasons To Look For Professional Pest Control Services For Ant Eradication
The pest control services available in your city are capable of dealing with all kinds of pest infestation in any household. When it comes to ants, home remedies do not work very effectively and we will tell you why.
- Ants do not invade in a small cluster. They enter your house and live in large colonies and it is difficult to kill or get rid of such large colonies of ants by using home remedies.
- Ants can give you very painful bites and stings and it is better to opt for professional services than to take any risks.
- Getting rid of ants completely is a really tricky task and it is not always possible for an individual to deal with them using home remedies.
- Professionals have expert knowledge about ant eradication and they can easily get your home free of ants.
- The home remedies can sometimes be a threat to pets and little ones in your house and it is better to opt for professionals.
Are ants a threat to human health?
Yes, ants thrive in dirty places like sewers and garbage areas and while entering your house they can carry disease-causing germs, bacteria and other foreign substances.
Can you get rid of ants permanently?
Ants usually live in large colonies and it is quite difficult to treat them completely but there are ways that can eradicate them completely from your house. You can opt for professional help if home remedies are not effective in your case.
Do ants cause damage to property?
Not all but certain species of ants do damage properties and the most common ones found in households are carpenter ants. They can eat up your furniture to make a home for their colonies.
Why do ants enter your house?
The most common reason for ant entry into the house is in search of food, especially sugary foods. They also get attracted to any damp areas in your house.
Which ant species is the most dangerous?
Though there are around 800 ant species found in India, the ones commonly found in your homes are a few. Out of those common ones, the fire ant is the most aggressive and ferocious of all.
Do ants harm humans?
Yes, not all but some species of ants can give you painful stings and bites. You should never take these nasty creatures lightly.