The return of warm weather in the spring often marks the return of animals and insects as well. The spring season is a popular time for insects to mate and build nests. This also may be a time when homeowners see ant “swarms” in or around their homes.
Ants and termites are social creatures, and when their colonies become too large, flying ants will spread out in search of new territories and to establish new queens. This mobility may also be coupled with an increasing number of ants marching on the ground and scaling walls.
Although many species of ants are harmless, homeowners do not want to see ants inside their homes – especially in large numbers. The following strategies can help homeowners address ant infestations this spring.
- Identify the type of ant around your property. Consult with online guides or books to identify the species of ant on your property. Knowing which species of ant is in or around your home can help you address the problem more effectively.
- Create a food trap. Ants are attracted to various food sources, such as fats, sweets and proteins. Mixing a very small amount of a food with boric acid can help control ant populations. Ants will bring tainted food back to their colonies and perish.
- Keep a clean house. Use vinegar, soap and water to clean areas where ants are seen. Many leave a scent trail of pheromones to tell others where to go for a food source.
- Treat carpenter ants at the source. Carpenter ants will not bring back food to the nest. Instead, sprinkle diatomaceous earth, or DE, around outdoor nests to eradicate colonies.
- Work with an exterminator. If home remedies do not work, consult with a trained exterminator.