Cockroaches, bed bugs, spiders, and ants; just a few of the many invertebrates that make us feel icky just at the thought of them. Many of us have some amount of fear of insects in general — and for a good reason too!
According to an article published on the BBC, the most painful sting in the world is that of a bullet ant. Like its moniker suggests, its stings are said to be as painful as a gunshot wound and the pain lasts for 24 hours. Scientists so far have recorded approximately 15,000 species of ants in the world and some of these ant species can be lethal to humans. For instance, the Australia’s bulldog ant can kill adults within 15 minutes after getting bitten.
Fortunately, the ants that we encounter in our homes on a regular basis, such as the black house ant, aren’t as lethal as the ones we’ve just described. Though relatively harmless, these ants can still cause you serious/considerable pain and we do not mean literally! These microscopic scavengers can be found pretty much anywhere, with some causing damage to your property, getting into your food or even ruining the reputation name of your business.
Like it or not, ants are here to stay. But that doesn’t mean that they have to be a constant presence in your homes and businesses. We have put together a list of D.I.Y. solutions to keep these places borderline ants-free.
Ants-free recommendation 1: Keep your food properly sealed
Obviously the best way to prevent an ant invasion is to remove any food that attracts them in the first place. Most ants are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever they can find. However, just like you and I, they are especially attracted to sugars, grains, and meat, so it’s best to keep your food in airtight containers or put them in the refrigerator. That way, the airtight design can prevent food odors from escaping and attracting these pests to infest your food.
Ants-free recommendation 2: Seal up any openings in your homes
Inspect your home for any cracks or crevices – be it in your windows, walls, door frames, etc. Should you happen to find any cracks, seal them up using caulk. Ants can travel anywhere and you can be sure that these minute creatures are exceptionally adept in breaking and entering.
Once attracted by the scent of something edible, ants can and will find their way in even with the tiniest possible point of entry, so barring the way is a good approach in keeping these home invaders away.
Ants-free recommendation 3: Ensure that the place is kept clean
Ants cannot find a reason to infest your homes if there’s nothing edible lying around. Wipe down your tables and shelves with soapy water to remove any crumbs or spills, clear out the trash and keep your pet bowls clean to remove any traces of food residue.
Ants rely on the use of their olfactory senses to navigate towards food sources and their nest. Thorough cleaning can help to remove the pheromone scent trails the ants may be leaving to attract their other allies, preventing a full-blown ant invasion from erupting in your hands.
Ants-free recommendation 4: Vinegar and Lemon Juice
Another method to disrupt the scent trail, discouraging the ants from coming back is to use vinegar. Try mixing a solution of white vinegar, water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice in a spray bottle and apply them in places that are most vulnerable to ant infestation as well as any other places where ants may enter your home.
While the vinegar may not put an end these ants, it can influence their behavior by interfering with the pheromones that ants use to communicate with each other. The acetic acid contained in the vinegar covers up the trail pheromones the ants leave for other ants to track food sources, which causes the next group of ants to scatter.
However, note that this is only useful as a short-term solution. Once the vinegar scent wears off after a few hours, the ants may come marching right back. As such, you may need to reapply the mixture often until you figure out what they’re after.
(Hint: If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you try adding peppermint, orange and clove essential oils to mask the odour and boost the ant-repelling properties of your vinegar-lemon spray mixture.)
Ants-free recommendation 5: Water
Another approach that you can take is to flush these ants away with water. While this is an extremely easy solution to adopt, there are two key points to note: first, let’s not waste precious water.
Secondly in the long run, this approach could backfire on you, given that the leftover water attracts other kinds of pests that favour moisture, such as mosquitoes, cockroaches and termites. Stagnant water could result in the growth of mold and other bacteria, which could become a health hazard and even weaken the structure of your home.
Click to read this article and learn about the Top 4 Ant Species in Singapore
If the problem still persists, it may be time to engage an ant control professional. Call us at (65) 6347 8138 to learn more about our Rentokil ant control solutions.