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How to Repel an Ant Invasion

Dec 29, 2022

No matter where you’ve lived in the United States, or the world, you’ve probably had to deal with an ant invasion at some point in your life.

Ants live almost everywhere on the planet– there are about 12,000 different species of ants, which means there’s a species for pretty much every climate that exists on Earth.

Are ants dangerous?

Most kinds of ants are not dangerous, but some do bite.

All ants have powerful mandibles, which are required for transporting food back to the nest. These powerful mandibles can also be used to bite when they feel threatened, or if their nest is being threatened.

There are some species of ants that are harmful to humans, too. Fire ants are probably one of the most common examples of this. They live across the entire southern United States, and they have a painful sting.

Technically, they both bite and sting; they attach themselves to your skin with their mandibles and then sting you with their abdomen. These bites are extremely painful and itchy, and even potentially fatal if their victim is allergic to their venom.

The “bullet ant” is another harmful type of ant that lives in rainforests in Central and South America. As you might be able to guess from the name, the sting from a bullet ant has been described as feeling like a gunshot.

With a few notable exceptions, though, ants in general are largely harmless to people– more of an inconvenience than an actual danger.

Why are ants invading my home?

If you’re suddenly seeing a lot of ants in your home, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Although the ants aren’t posing a threat, they can still transmit bacteria or get into foods in your pantry and contaminate them.

Ants show up where there’s a good source of food or water available to them. They are usually motivated by their search for food, so if you notice a trail of ants in your home, you should track the trail in order to figure out what they’re searching for.

However, ants might also enter your home in search of water. If it’s been dry lately, they might enter your bathroom or another damp environment to find water. You also might see ants if there have been heavy rains in your area recently– ants whose nests have been flooded are often forced to relocate as a colony.

How can I keep ants out of my home?

Figuring out their motivations is the first step. Follow the trail of ants in order to discover what they’re after in their home. Once you’ve solved that piece of the puzzle, you can plan your defense.

Ants use pheromones to communicate to members of their colony, letting them know where to travel for food and water.

If you spot an ant trail, you can use Windex (or another glass cleaner), or just some soapy water, to carefully clean the spot where they’ve left a trail. This will get rid of the pheromone “map” they’ve created and prevent more ants from following the path.

You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth at your doorways or in areas where ants are gathering. Diatomaceous earth is a very fine powder that sticks to ants and kills them. You can purchase diatomaceous earth online or at home improvement stores.

However, be aware that diatomaceous earth can be very harmful to household pets– so if you have cats or dogs, think twice before using it in your home.

Bring in the pros

For very minor ant invasions, home remedies like glass cleaner and diatomaceous earth can work very well to get rid of the ants in your home and prevent any more from coming in.

However, for a more severe problem, you should leave it to the professionals. At West Termite & Pest, we’re equipped to safely handle even the worst ant invasion.

Give us a call or reach out for a free consultation today.

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