The scoop on ant killers and which type works best
Unlike roaches, who can live in your home undetected for some time due to their wily and nocturnal nature, when ants invade your home you generally know immediately. You probably discovered the pillaging ants in your kitchen when you found them during their well-planned raid on your sugar bowl, a box of cereal, or a plate of muffins. But now that you know they are there, what should you reach for in order to kill them and keep them from coming back?
Before you reach for a pesticide spray, you should think about your options. While ants are unpleasant, and ruin any food they items they attempt to raid, they are generally not dangerous to humans. The toxic chemicals in a can of ant spray, on the other hand, contain numerous chemical agents that are known carcinogens as well as respiratory irritants.
Ant Pesticides: Take a Day Before you Spray
Many times, you can get rid of an ant problem without having to resort to using toxic chemicals. You can kill ants in your home by spraying them with a mixture of soap and water, or even a handy bottle of window cleaner. You can then thoroughly wash your counter top with any citrus- or mint-scented cleaner to erase the pheromone trail that the scout ants used to mark the trail from their nest to your muffins. This will help prevent backup ants from replacing the raiding ant troops that you’ve already killed.
Your next step in warding off further attack is to try some repellents. Repellents are not the same as pesticides. Repellents actually direct insects away from your home, or prevent them from wanting to invade at all.
The first step in repellents is to put out some homemade ant baits. You can make a simple ant bait with molasses, sugar and yeast. The ants are lured in by the decadent surprise banquet of sweet sugar and molasses, and then later die when the yeast inflates their abdomens.
Using a sprinkling of dried, instant grits on your counter is another surprise tactic that will leave your raiding ants dead when the grits rehydrate inside a gut that is too small to hold it. This is the ultimate way to get even with the ants who ruined your cereal and muffins.
The final counter-attack you can launch against the infiltrating ants is to sprinkle cinnamon and/or cayenne pepper on your window sills and the corner of your counter tops. These ant-unfriendly substances effectively deflect ants away from your home, and hopefully they will move on to more easily conquered territory.
If Pesticides are Necessary, Which Ones are Best for Indoor Use?
If after repeated attempts to dissuade ants from invading your home have proven futile, it might be time to reach for the stronger defense methods. But which pest control products should be used in your kitchen?
When using a chemical pesticide in your kitchen it’s best to stay away from sprays and foggers. Both sprays and foggers release tiny droplets of poison through the air and it ends up all over surfaces and floors and can end up contaminating foods prepared in the kitchen for weeks. Instead of an imprecise spray, try using a pesticide gel. Gels can be squirted directly into the cracks and crevices of window and door frames where the ant scouts are gaining entrance. A gel can also be carefully squirted into corners of your counter tops where it can do its dirty work without leaking into your foods.
Baits are another good choice to use in your kitchen. Baits contain a substance that appeals to ants, but also contain a poison they unwittingly carry back with them to their nest, and hopefully feed to both the ant troops and their queen to effectively destroy the nest.
Granules are another ant poison that is easier to control and contain than sprays. Granules can be placed on window sills and on the ground outside windows and doors and outer walls to attract the ants attempting to get in and then wreak havoc when they carry them back to their nest.
Regardless of which type of repellent or pesticide you use, it’s vital to attack the ants at their base, and not just battle the marauding troops. You can engage in a bit of counter intelligence and follow a trail of ant scouts back to their nest and destroy them at their source with either poison, or a large pot of boiling water mixed with cayenne pepper. This will kill all of the ranks of ants and then take out the queen so she’s not able to breed a new wave of troops.
When this is accomplished, you’ve not only won the battle, the war is over.