You may need to learn how to get rid of pesky black ants when they wander inside your home. Some black ants are more harmful than others, such as carpenter ants that can bore into wood, causing damage.
Ant Bait Method to Get Rid of Ants
One of the easiest ways to get rid of ants is to buy or make ant bait. With this type of treatment, the ants you see crawling on your kitchen counter or around the sink carry back to their nest. The poisonous bait will kill the queen and the rest of the ants. You won't ever see the queen since she never leaves the nest.
Identify Ant Trails
You can easily identify an ant trail since it is where you see ants moving back and forth along the counter, sink or trash can. This continuous line of ants carry foodstuff to their nest, usually somewhere inside the walls of your home.
Set Ant Bait Along Ant Trails
You can purchase ant bait that is a mix of sugar and poison. Most ant baits are pre-mixed either as liquid or granules. These come in what's known as a bait station. All you need do is set the bait station along the ant trail.
Replace Bait Station
If the ant bait is used up, you can replace it with another one. It may take more than one bait station to wipe out the nest and worker ants. The goal is to kill the queen so no more ants can be produced, and the rest of the colony is destroyed.
Non-Pesticide Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
There are several methods for getting rid of carpenter ants that don't require harmful chemicals. You can try any of these methods as alternative ways to kill these potentially harmful ants.
Locate Ant Nest
You can follow the ant trail to determine the location of the nest which is usually inside the walls. You may find telltale signs of carpenter ants by the small piles of debris that looks like sawdust created from their boring into the wood.
Baking Soda and Sugar Homemade Ant Bait
You can make a sweet yet deadly bait from simply pantry staples. You'll need powdered sugar and baking soda. Set this type of mixture on pieces of cardboard for the ants to find.
Supplies You'll Need
- 1 bowl
- 1 fork
- 1 spoon
- 8" x 10" cardboard
- 1 pair of scissors
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- ¼ cup of powdered sugar
- Cut approximately 1" squares from the cardboard using the scissors.
- Place baking soda and powdered sugar in bowl.
- Mix the two dry ingredients together with the fork.
- Once the baking soda and powdered sugar are mixed, place the cardboard in the ant trail.
- Spoon the mixture onto the square.
- Set another piece of cardboard along the trail with the last one set where the trail disappears.
- Keep pets and children away from the bait.
Water and Soap Homemade Ant Bait
It sounds too simple, but dish detergent soap is toxic to carpenter ants when ingested. It will also work on other ants.
Tools and Ingredients
- 1 spray bottle
- Liquid dish detergent/soap
- Fill the spray bottle with tap water to about ¾ full.
- Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of dish detergent, depending on size of bottle.
- Shake vigorously to mix the soap and water.
- Find the ant trail and attempt to trace it back to the nest or the very least where it disappears. This is usually a small crack between the baseboard or shoe molding and the floor.
- Spray the solution generously on the spot where the ants disappear.
- You can then spray the rest of the trail.
- The ants will have to move through the spray mixture on their way to and from the next. This will force them to carry the solution back to the nest and the queen.
- Don't inhale the spray since it can be harmful to humans, too.
- You may need to repeat the treatment if the ants are still around after a couple of days.
How to Get Rid of an Ant Nest Outdoors
Ants are helpful to gardeners. You want to be certain you need to eliminate the ants before planning your attack. If the ants are nesting outside your house, but are going inside for food, then you can safely use a pesticide outside.
- Choose a pesticide
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions
- Locate the ant trail outside your home.
- Seal the entry area with caulking or a silicone sealant.
- Trace the ant trail outside to the nest.
- Once you have discovered the nest, you can saturate it with the pesticide.
- You can also apply the pesticide along the ant trail to ensure all of the ants are eliminated.
- Seal the area that the ants are using to gain entry into your home.
Once you get rid of your ant infestation, you want to discourage other ant colonies from moving in. A few preventative measures can ensure you remain ant free.
- Keep food in containers to prevent ants from finding it.
- Empty trash can regularly.
- Caulk windows, doors and any cracks where ants might use as entry points into your home.
- Don't leave food on plates in the sink or on counters.
- Clean tables after each meal.
- Sweep or vacuum to keep crumbs off the floor.
- Clean up any debris or wood piles close to your house.
- Keep outside trash cans closed.
- Inspect windows and doors outside and the foundation of your home for any cracks or crevices that need to be repairs or sealed.
When It's Time to Call Pest Control
Most people try DIY pest control methods in their effort to get rid of ants. Sometimes those methods don't reach the queen and the ants keep coming. There can be instances when the ants disappear, only to resurface a few weeks later. If you have a recurring ant infestation, it's time to call an exterminator. You may have a more severe infestation than you realize.
Learning How to Get Rid of Black Ants
There are several methods you can use to get rid of black ants. Make sure you understand where and how the ants are getting into you home so you can prevent recurrences.