The holidays are over and holiday dinners are gone, but traditional family dinners are always here to stay. As the dinner day gets closer you begin to have second thoughts, because you’re starting to notice some unwelcomed guests. No one wants to have a family dinner with tiny ants trying to eat all the food!
In Florida, a common household invader is the ghost ant. As their name implies, ghost ants are difficult to see due to their small size and pale coloration, making them a particularly difficult pest to eliminate for the average homeowner.
However, there are some effective steps you can take to make sure ghost ants don’t get past the front door:
Step 1: Identify Your Problem
Here’s a typical’s process of identifying an ant infestation: they see one and think it’s no problem, and decide to just kill it with their finger. Then they see more on the counter but decide to just wipe them off. They start to see more and more ants until finally they little pests are all over the kitchen.
As with any problem, the best way to keep your home free of an ant infestation is to kill it before it starts – but you can’t solve the problem if you don’t know it exists. Once you spot those first few ants, it’s important to start working toward a solution immediately. The last thing you want is to put off solving the problem until ants have already taken up permanent residence home.
Step 2: Search for Trails
You’ve noticed the ants, now it’s time to find out where they are coming from. Ants “see” using their antennaes, which pick up pheremone scent trails left by other ants indicating food, danger, and more. This means that, if you spot a few ants crawling along your floors, walls, or furniture, there are probably many moving back and forth along the same trail.
However, the good news is that trails work both ways. If you can find a trail of ants and follow it far enough, there’s a possibility of finding the entry point. Finding the entry points means that you can eliminate the ants from their source, possibly their nest, which takes us to step number three.
Step 3: Use Baits or Home Remedies
There are many ways you can get rid of the ants in your home. Just remember, this may require some time and patience.
Home remedies include using mint, essential oils, and chalk can help prevent ants at the entry points. Using chalk will help throw the ants off course because they can’t cross over if you draw a line. Ants will also avoid used mint teabags if they are placed at their entry points. You can also use essential oils in a homemade spray along the trails.
Using baits along trails or at entry points can eliminate a nest for good. Ants will eat the bait, invite more ants to the bait, eventually the bait gets to the queen, and from there the nest will soon die off. REMEMBER: if you choose to kill the few ants that you see on the spot, wipe down the area with soap and water to remove any pheromone trails that might have been left behind.
Step 4: Inspect Your Home
It’s important to look for the places in and around your home for entry points and things that may attract the ants. Plants that produce honeydew, improperly stored food, and even leaky toilets and sinks will attract ghost ants. They look for places around your home that have moisture and are near sugar.
Step 5: Clean and Control
Cleaning your home eliminates the factors that attract ghost ants. Keeping everything clean can also eliminate the trailing and pheromones that ants use to find their way back into your home. Removing excess moisture, especially leaks, will help you keep ants out of your home by denying them a water source inside your home.
Remember, the best strategy to combat ant infestations is to give them no reason to invade. Keep trash and clutter (especially paper, cardboard, and food items) out of the yard, and move any firewood at least ten feet away from your home. Keeping food in sealed containers, washing the dishes, and taking out the trash regularly will make your home less attractive to ant invaders.
If home remedies aren’t enough, our professionals would be more than happy to help you out. If you need assistance with your ghost ants, contact us today!