Ants are useful animals that eat harmful insects in the garden and loosen the soil. But when they invade the home, they quickly become a nuisance. They feast on food, carry germs and can even damage electrical appliances. How do ants get into the house? How can you fight them effectively? And how can you prevent a new infestation? In this article you will learn everything you need to know about ants in the house.
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Why do ants come into the house?
Ants are constantly in search of food. They feed mainly onsugar- and protein-containing foods that they can find in nature or in our kitchens. When an ant discovers a promising food source, it marks its way there with a pheromone trail. This trail attracts other ants from the same colony, which follow the scent and also benefit from the find.
Ants can enter the house through the smallest cracks and holes. They often use existing gaps or cracks in the building fabric or leaky windows or doors. Sometimes ants nest directly in the wall of the house if they can find a warm and protected area there. From there, they can then make their way inside.
Also, flying ants can come into the house. These are young queens and males that have left the nest to mate. After mating, the males die and the young queens look for a new place for a nest.
How to fight ants in the house?
If you have ants in the house, you should act quickly to avoid a major infestation. There are several methods to control ants in the house, more or less suitable depending on the situation. Here are some examples:
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Ants baits are an effective way to fight ants in the house. These are small cans or stations filled with an attractant that is attractive to ants. However, the attractant also contains a poison that the ants bring with them to their nest, where they pass it on to the queen and brood. Thus, the entire colony is destroyed.
Ant baits should be placed on the ants' walking paths, for example near windowsills, doorsteps or kitchen cabinets. It may take a few days for the effect to occur, so be patient and do not change the baits too often.
Ant repellents and ant killers
Ants repellents are sprinkling or watering agents that also contain a poison that works against ants. You can sprinkle or pour the remedy on the ants' paths or nests to kill them. The poison usually works through the ants' body contact.
Ant repellents should only be used outdoors, as they can be harmful to humans and pets. In addition, care should be taken to ensure that the agent does not come into contact with plants or water.
Ants spray is another means to fight ants in the house. It is a contact poison that kills the ants immediately when they are sprayed with it. Ant spray is particularly suitable for targeted control of individual ants or small nests.
It should only be used in well-ventilated areas, as it can be irritating to humans and pets. Also, care should be taken that the spray does not come into contact with food or plants.
Besides the chemical means, there are also some home remedies that can help against ants in the house. These are usually more natural and gentle on the environment, but also less effective and reliable. Here are some examples of home remedies against ants:
- Baking powder and powdered sugar: This mixture attracts the ants, which eat it and then swell and die. You should spread the mixture on the paths of the ants and renew it regularly.
- Vinegar: Vinegar has a disinfecting and repellent effect against ants. You can dilute it with water and wipe or spray the affected areas. This destroys the pheromone trail of ants and drives them away.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon has a strong smell that is unpleasant to ants. You can sprinkle or drizzle cinnamon powder or oil on the entrances or paths of ants to keep them away.
- Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds are another home remedy with an intense smell that deters ants. You can dry it and sprinkle on the affected areas or pour it into the nest of ants to destroy it.
How to prevent ants in the house?
The best method against ants in the house is prevention. Preventing the ants from entering the house in the first place or finding a food source can save you a lot of trouble. Here are some tips to prevent ant infestation:
- Hygiene: The most important thing is to keep the kitchen clean and not leave food lying around in the open. You should dispose of all leftovers or close them well, empty the trash regularly and wipe all surfaces.
- Sealing: To make it difficult for ants to enter the house, you should seal all cracks and holes in the building structure or on windows and doors. You can use silicone, putty or tape for this purpose.
- Plants: Some plants have a repellent effect against ants and can serve as a natural barrier. These include, for example, lavender, mint, thyme or lemongrass. You can plant these plants in the garden or on the balcony or use their essential oils.
Ants in the house are not a reason to panic, but of course, not a reason to rejoice. They can be a nuisance and cause damage if not controlled in time. Fortunately, there are several methods to fight ants in the house, from chemical means such as baits, sprays or sprinkles to natural home remedies such as vinegar, cinnamon or coffee grounds. The choice of method depends on the situation and personal preference. The important thing is to act quickly and eliminate the causes of the infestation. In addition, one should take preventive measures to avoid a new infestation. Thus, you can make life with ants in the house easier or save them altogether.
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