Dealing with ants can be frustrating.
Depending on where you live, they can appear seasonally or year round. Some species of ants build nests outdoors, foraging for delicious food inside your kitchen before bringing it back to their colony. Others, however, make themselves at home, invading your residence and deciding it’s easier to just live there instead. There are a few different species of these ‘ant invaders’— namely, pavement ants, carpenter ants, odorous house ants, thief ants, acrobat ants, and pharaoh ants. And while they differ in characteristics such as name and behavior, they do have one thing in common: they’re an inconvenience to your daily life.
Unfortunately, hiring an exterminator is expensive.
According to Angie’s List, most homeowners can expect to pay between $150 and $300 for a one-time visit from an exterminator. However, if the infestation is stubborn, the final costs can be much more.
Luckily, there are a few different ways that you can control an ant infestation by yourself!
Before beginning, however, please ensure that ants are indeed the source of your problem. Richard Kirschner, CEO of Aerex Pest Control Services, says homeowners often confuse ants and termites, especially because carpenter ants nest in wood and leave behind bits of sawdust. A good tip is to inspect the insect’s body. Kirschner says ants have a pinched or segmented torso, while termites have a straight body with no segments. If, after inspection, you’re sure you’re dealing with ants, try a few of the inexpensive tips below!
$2 Homemade Cotton Ball Bait
Homemade traps don’t have to be complicated! For this brilliant ant solution, you only need four things:
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp. borax
- cotton balls
Once you’ve gathered the items, simply mix the sugar and borax into the warm water and soak a few cotton balls in the solution. Once the cotton balls are nice and wet, place them in areas where you’ve been seeing ants. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and will be killed upon eating the borax powder. PLEASE NOTE: If you have children and pets, it may be wise to seal up the bait in a jar. Simply punch 2-3 holes in the lid, so ants can get inside. Then, seal it all up.
After a while of not seeing ants, the bait should be removed. You wouldn’t want to attract a new colony with the sweet smell!
Another alternative is to use borax, peanut butter, and honey, and to simply spread the mixture onto a small piece of cardboard. The bait will last a few days before drying out and needing to be replaced. Regardless, they should be changed weekly until the ant problem is under control.
Killing the Trail
Have you ever wondered why you see ants following the exact same path or line? It turns out ants leave a pheromone trail that tells members of their colony where to go. If you see a trail leading into your home, it’s wise to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Simply wipe the area with soapy water, all-purpose cleaner, or a bleach solution. This will kill the ants and remove the smell that’s guiding their friends into your home.
Please Note: Because of the many different species, not all ants behave in the same manner. If DIY ant-removal methods are not working for you, it’s best to contact a professional who can identify the species of ant and recommend the most appropriate method of removal.
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