Ants prey on other pests and act as pollinators, but their colonies can wreak havoc on your yard and inside your home. Not to mention their bites are pretty painful for kids and adults. So, yeah; they’ve got to go. But evicting them permanently is way easier said than done.
Ants love compost piles, trash and any kind of organic waste (especially if it’s sugary). Be sure to move your trash, compost and recycling bins away from both your house and lawn. Word to the wise: Pick up any dropped food when hanging outside near your home. Also, ensure your home’s downspouts and gutters are functioning properly so that water flows away from your house’s foundations, reducing the risk of creating standing water (or, watering holes for these insects).
PRO TIP: Cats and dogs can inevitably invite ants into your home, so store dry pet food in a sealed plastic container and not the bag it comes in, as well as keep the area around feeding bowls clean so your pet’s bowls don’t become food sources for ants.
Ants hate marigolds and chrysanthemums as well as mint plants; but before you plant flowers and herbs, check with your vet to ensure the plants are pet-safe. Additionally, you can literally eliminate ants’ pheromone trails by spraying a mixture of vinegar and water wherever the trails are. Got garlic? Peel a clove or two of fresh garlic and place the cloves near tunnel entrances. Since ants hate garlic, doing this will encourage them to find a new place to call home, stat. (You may need to keep at this repellent technique for several days, replacing dried cloves with fresh ones.)
Mix equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar in a container like a small dish and place it near the ant hills (but only when your pets are indoors). This odd-combo will not only attract them (seriously, they love sugar) but it’ll also disrupt their body chemistry which, inevitably, kills them. The ants will take this homemade bait back to their nest (and their Queen), eventually, taking care of your ant problem.
Pest-resistant lawns are lawns with healthy soil. Ants, in particular, like stressed-out soil and long grass, so consistent lawn care is key to preventing an ant takeover.
If you’ve tried all the above attempts to get rid of ants and the problem persists, it may be time to call in reinforcements because, bottom line, carpenter ants, for example, can cause serious property damage whereas fire ants can pose health risks to your family. Find a reputable exterminator in your area who can help identify the type of ant you have and take the necessary steps to eliminate the colony.