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How to Get Rid of Ants with Integrated Pest Management

Spraying Ant Poison

 It’s not just a fancy way to control ants in your home!

Ants in your home can be annoying! Getting rid of ants can be frustrating! They seem to appear out of nowhere and they get into everything.

If you have ever had ants in your house, it can be a stressful event trying to kill them all in that endless caravan. Even when you think that you’ve got them all, more show up!

Stop continuing to waste time and money treating ants. Why not consider the scientifically supported approach called integrated pest management (IPM)?

You may have never heard of IPM, but you are likely already using it to a certain extent. For example, you see a hole where ants are entering. You likely are not just going to spray the ants, but also seal the hole. This is a form of IPM!

When it comes to how to get rid of ants, IPMs use many approaches to eliminate them. These methods are more economical and longer lasting.

Step 1 – What kind of ants do I have?

This step is crucial. There are many types of ants and some have very different life cycles. Understanding where they live and what they eat is the first step in total control.

Carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants are the three most common found in homes. Carpenter ants are found in rotting wood piles. Odorous house ants are found in cracks and crevices in structures. Pavement ants prefer nesting in concrete or brick.

Much like their preference on nesting, food can vary too. You may think that carpenter ants eat wood, but they prefer sweet foods. House ants and pavement ants are less picky and will eat sweet and oily foods.

Step 2 – Prevent and deter ants from coming into your house

This is as equally as important as step 1. Prevention is vital to stopping ants from entering your home after you have killed the ones you see. Armed with the knowledge on where they live and what they eat, begin eliminating their habitat.

Remove rotting wood areas and seal up holes that gain entry into your home. Clean up spilled food or pet food that might be left out.

Another forgotten area that ants love are clogged gutters. These wet, dark places make excellent nesting locations and close to food in your home.

Don't forget to trim any shrubs or limbs around the house. These provide easy bridges over chemical pesticide barriers sprayed outside your home.

Ants put out pheromone trails for others to follow. Remove these “chemical breadcrumbs” to confuse ants from following previous ones to food. Natural products like vinegar, baking soda and lavender work best.

After ants have been killed spray the area with vinegar and wipe up. A paste can also be made out of baking soda and water, or just sprinkle baking soda directly. Lavender is a natural oil that has a pleasant scent that confuses ants.

Step 3 – Lets kill some ants!

Exterminator holding spraying wand

The most effective way to kill ants in your home is simple:

  1. Use on-contact killers to kill ants that you currently see in your home
  2. Use baits to kill the entire colony.

These types of ant killers come in many forms. Check out our article on ant killer to easily navigate the pesticide aisle to find the right ant killer.

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