If you have ants invading your home or commercial building you may turn to the internet to search for “How to Get Rid of Ants” or “How to Kill Ants”. The search will yield a variety of sources such as local pest control companies and a few websites that sell ant control materials to the public. Before you add these materials to your cart and spend your hard earned money, consider that getting rid of ants may not be as simple as you hope and you may even make the problem worse.
As a pest control company, we often send a pest management technician (or exterminator in old terminology) to properties to kill ants. The success of killing ants relies not only on the specific materials are used, but also in their placement and application, as well as an inspection that understands the behavior of ant colonies. It’s not as simple as spraying, baiting, and filling out an invoice. You may not want to assume that the skill of getting rid of ants is based on finding a nice website with an article about basic ant control and 5 or 6 materials to choose from. Take some time and read reasons we have seen people fail at killing ants yourself:
1. You used the wrong material to spray for ants. Ant colonies can be huge. In fact, a colony of Odorous House Ants can get as large as 100,000 workers with hundreds of queens. If you spray the wrong kind of ant control and in the wrong location, you will actually cause the colony to segment. This means your ants are now in 3 spots instead of one and now are working extra hard to get around your spray materials. A lot of ant killer sprays you’ll find will be repellent materials. This isn’t always what you want to get rid of ants.
2. You have a moisture problem that isn’t being addressed. Using the right materials is critical, but ant control is more than applying sprays and baits. A pest control professional will find conditions that may be conducive to harboring ants and even areas that are providing moisture for the ants indoors. That’s one of the reasons you’ll often find them near a sink during hot, dry periods in the summer while they are trying to find moisture. Excessive moisture around your foundation may also force ants indoors at other times of the year as well.
3. You didn’t properly bait for ants. One of the ways an ant control technician gets rid of ants is to place gel baits in very specific areas. It’s not as simple as finding a trail of ants and squeezing a little line of bait. If you put baits in the wrong spots, you’ll actually bring more ants in than you had in the first place. If you put baits in areas where they can dry out or wash away too quickly, they will also not work as well. Depending upon the colony’s nutritional needs, they will completely ignore baits. Some baits contain protein and others carbohydrates. Without understanding which type of food they are looking for, you could be wasting your time and money.
4. You’re only addressing part of the population. Like we said earlier, ant colonies can be very large. Even if you treated that area of your structure where ants are being noticed, doesn’t mean you are addressing where the colony is located. You may be finding the 3% of the colony that is foraging, but you’re missing the 97% living somewhere else. The whole structure needs to be inspected and addressed as necessary.
5. You gave up too soon. It may be easy to get rid of certain pests, but ants, particularly Odorous House Ants, are not one of them. It can take the best professional months, if not longer, to get rid of ant colonies. Ant control is not a one-time treatment service. That will not be effective. You may do significant damage to the colony, but it won’t be eradicated. Treating your home or commercial building with a Quarterly Pest Control program will continuously target ants and other pests and not only address presenting problems, but also offer some preventative treatments so problems won’t get out of hand.
If you need help with killing ants or other pests in your home or commercial building, we would be happy to talk to you.