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How to Get Rid of Ants Once and For All

a large grouping of ants in the corner of a home
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There’s nothing more irritating than pests, like ants, in your home. How do they get in? How do you stop them? And how to get rid of ants? All questions you might have frantically just googled to bring you here. Don’t worry – you aren’t alone.

Where Do You Start?

Let’s dive into the problem – you have ants. You find them in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, basement, or living room. At first, you want to scream – how do I get rid of ants? You might find yourself at an impromptu dance party, stomping on the intruders.

However satisfying, you know it won’t solve your problem. Ants tend to come back and then come back again. They get into everything, from your pet’s food to your bathroom, and they do not like to leave. This might not be the first year you’ve had problems – but you’ve decided it will be the last.

We’ve gathered steps to get rid of the pests in your home and answered the question, “How to get rid of ants?” ONIT Home will help you resolve it or find the right professional in your area to help. We specialize in demystifying and simplifying home services.

What to Know About Ants

Ants are social and live in large colonies. Colonies can consist of millions of ants. Within the colony, ants have specific roles. For example, the “queen” ant’s job is to grow the colony through reproduction. The queen ant is the most crucial in the colony. Other ants, known as worker ants, can have roles within the nest or be scavengers responsible for bringing food to the colony.

This explains why you might see a line of ants coming from somewhere in your kitchen. This means an enterprising ant or more has found a food source in your home. They’ve learned that it is reliable and worth the hassle to retrieve. You may spray them or set up traps, and they appear to disappear during the day. Then they take advantage of the nighttime to re-set up shop. Next time you prepare breakfast, you see that they have beaten you to the punch.

Ants are most likely to show up in the warmer months. They often appear when you open your home again at the end of spring. You are most likely to see one of two types of ants – odorous house ants and carpenter ants.

The good news with house ants is that they generally do not cause any actual structural damage to your home. That does not mean that they are not causing damage to your food supplies or other areas, however.

Unfortunately, carpenter ants feed on decayed wood and carve tunnels in your house’s frame to get at it. They are large and can be winged, with colors ranging from red-orange to black. If they target a structural area, this could be devastating.

an upclose image of a common pest, the ant

How To Get Rid of Ants

You may have trapped or sprayed all the ants you can see, but they keep coming back overnight. Why? The ants that you are addressing are the worker ants mentioned above. The colony anticipates that worker ants will not always make it back to the nest, so they reproduce at rapid rates to account for the expected loss. So, even though you think you may have solved the problem, they are likely taking the time to regroup and multiply.

There is only one central solution to the problem of ants – you need to address or target the queen. This will prevent the colony from reproducing. If the queen remains alive, she will continue to lay eggs, and you will continue to see ants in your home. It can be challenging to target the queen because queen ants only leave the nest if under duress. Ant nests could be within the house walls or under concrete, making them difficult for humans to access.

Don’t fear – we’ve compiled some tips on how to get rid of ants once and for all.

Track the Ants

The first step is to find the trails that worker ants are using. Though a line of ants is off-putting, it also offers you an advantage. You can identify where they are getting the food and, more importantly, where they are coming from. Ants are creative and will find entry points you didn’t know existed. This could be a window frame at the front of your house or a hole from your home to your garage.

Once an ant has found food, they leave a chemical trail behind that other worker ants will follow to continuously return to the food and bring more back to the nest. This offers you an opening in your quest on how to get rid of ants.

an upclose image of an ant on a leaf

Use Ant Bait

The key to using ant bait effectively is to ensure that you put it in a place the ants will find. Ideally, before they get anywhere close to your kitchen or the food source. You have now set up a more accessible food source closer to the nest. The ants will bring poisoned food, your bait, to the nest. You can then move the fight to the nest and the queen.

If you resort straight to spraying pesticides indoors, it will only eliminate the visible ants, leaving the chemical trail to the food behind. As the queen ant continues to produce eggs, more ants will soon replace the ones you removed.

To get rid of ants once and for all, you need to address the problem at its source. Ant bait is edible, usually sweet and sugary carbohydrates, combined with material that is toxic to ants but not toxic to humans. There are many natural products that you can combine to address ants, as well as traditional ant baits. No matter which ant bait you choose, ensure that you place it close to the ant trail but away from pets and children.

To ensure ants are attracted to the bait, keep your house clean so that it is the only sweet substance available.

Your next step is to stay patient – it may take several days for the ants to transport enough of the bait to eliminate the entire colony. Huge nests with multiple queens can take even longer.

Resist the urge to clean everything while you work to destroy the infestation. You need intact ant trails to the bait for them to continue finding it and returning it to the nest.

Use Pesticide or Other Sprays Outdoors

If you identify and locate the outdoor nest, you can also target it. This is an excellent time to hire a professional. Professionals use liquid pesticides or other materials that will soak down into the nest to locate the queen. They have specially designed spray canisters that ensure the pesticide is delivered effectively. Equipment can make all the difference if you have a recurrent ant problem that you cannot get rid of on your own.

Even if you are still determining exactly where the outdoor nest is, you can tell the exterminator where you see them coming in so that they can target that spot, window, or whatever it may be. Exterminators have experience identifying ants and can help make sure you are targeting the right nest.

a line of ants on a tree limb. these bugs are known as pests

How to Get Rid of Ants Once and for All

You may have tried some of the above steps, but they might not have worked. This can come down to what you do after the infestation is gone. It is vital to keep your house clear and clean throughout the year so that ants cannot find food sources in your home. Even if one nest is killed, you could have another the following year if you are still supplying an attractive food source, such as cat food in open bowls on the ground.

The best way to prevent future ants is to avoid crumbs and spills from settling so that you deny ants food substances they would want.

If you have tried bait or pesticide on your own before with no success, you will want to hire a professional. Professional exterminators can apply broader techniques based on their experience and equipment.

Contact ONIT Home at 1- 833- 433-0331. We can help you find the right exterminator. Save time researching as ONIT Home has partnered with top companies and professionals to get you insider pricing and discounts so you can get rid of pests in your home without going over budget. 

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