Insect InfestationsHow to Get Rid of Fleas in the House
You may also like:
While ant infestations are a common problem for house owners, many people will tell you that high-storey flats have also become a victim to their colonies. In order to understand why this is happening to you, try to understand the ants themselves.
Like any other living being, ants are attracted to food. That’s why the most common place to spot them on your property would be the kitchen. Dried food in open packages in the cabinets is the easiest way to attract ants. Same goes for food crumbs on the floor and tabletops. And if there is a bowl of uneaten cat or dog food – that’s an open invitation.
The one thing ants are most attracted to is sugar. Especially in the summer. It makes sense since most creatures on this planet are attracted to the biggest source of energy. Artificial sweeteners are not the same as sugar, but they’re close enough to attract ants as well.
Like any other animal, ants also need a water source near their colony, in order to prolong their stay. Unlike some other types of insects, ants don’t need puddles of water to survive, as they get most of their daily amount from food. But some species are additionally attracted to damp wood materials.
There are a few common species of ants that plague the lives of UK homeowners.
The pharaoh ant is a species found in every corner of the world. They are a huge indoor pest, which is especially interested in sterile places like hospitals. Their colony is polygynous, meaning they have more than one queen per colony, which, for a close observer, could be interesting if he or she were into investigating their caste interactions. Buildings with central heating are ants’ most common choice of habitat.
The pavement ant is most common in Europe. The name comes from the fact that the colonies make their homes in pavements. Pavement ants are considered hostile, as they pick fights and attack other ant colonies. It’s not unusual from a human standpoint to notice thousands of ants, dead on the sidewalk, or even witness a huge battle. Little kids like to additionally stomp on them, which in the end leaves no winner. Cruel world.
The Argentine ant is not typical for Europe, but, as reported, these ferocious insects have been establishing themselves in the UK. Note that it is an invasive species. These ants will set up their colonies in the ground, in cracks in concrete walls, in the spaces between timber fixtures and structures, even among people’s belongings in residential properties. This species prefers to also settle close to water sources.
Once you know you have an infestation, there are two important things you should learn: how to get rid of ants and how to deter ants from coming close. There are effective methods of how to achieve both and this way, ensure that your house is ant-free. Keep on reading for tips on DIY methods, or book ant removal from a pro.
Fantastic Services is here for you!
In need of a professional ant exterminator?
Fantastic Services is here for you!
If deterring has failed and you have a serious infestation on your hands, there are effective methods to get rid of the pesky vermin.
In any case, you can follow the general steps below:
Here are more smells ants dislike. The fragrance of essential oils tends to linger for a longer time, and unlike some other remedies, they make your house smell wonderful. All you need to do is add a few drops of your favourite oil in some water, dip a cotton swab in the solution and wipe any surface. The most potent essential oils are:
You will need:
You can mix as many essential oils you’d like, we simply love the smell of tea tree and peppermint. But you can also make your home smell of citrus if that’s more of your liking. The alcohol will remove the pheromone path and all of the scents will mask it even further. Ants usually use that path to find their way from the anthill to the food source.
It’s very hard to find the queen ant in a colony if you don’t know where to look, but if you do manage to find and kill it, different species will react in different ways. If there is only one queen, the colony will collapse, though, it will take some time until this happens. The ants will simply leave and join another colony.
In colonies with more than one queen ant, nothing will change. The other queens will simply take over the dead one’s place.
Despite everything we’ve said, ants are an extremely important part of the ecosystem, not any less important than bees. They are often called “Nature’s sanitation unit” and they work hard to do their job of cleaning up waste (especially Pavement ants). So, as long as they’re not invading your home, take some time to think about their incredible discipline and sense of duty.
Did you find our article on how to get rid of ants helpful? Have you dealt with ants before? Why not share your thoughts with us in the comments below?
Image source: Shutterstock / Maksimilian