In order to effectively control ants, one needs to first understand their behavior. Behavior of ants
- Ants are known to live in colonies. The colonies consist of short lived males, egg laying females and female workers. Those that are commonly seen hunting in kitchens and gardens are the workers. When they locate food they communicate with the other workers by depositing a trail of pheromone as they go back to their nests. A trail of pheromone is a chemical message on the substrate that helps the other ants in locating food.
- During the dry seasons the ants acquire wings which they use to fly to new locations. They may end up invading homes as one of their new locations so as to hunt for food and also establish new nests.
- Ants have a wide food range. They are known to feed on sugary foods, starchy substances, greasy materials, wood, plants and animal materials.
There are two types of ants, those that live outside and forage of the homes and those that live inside the home. To effectively control them one needs to understand the type of infestation. Ants living outside and foraging inside homes Those living outside enter our homes in search of food. To prevent them from finding their way into our homes one needs to:
- Seal all cracks and crevices that lead into the home. This will eradicate their passages. Contrary to this precaution, the ants will later find their way into your home.
- By use of detergents scrub around the entry points. This will help in the removal of the trail pheromone. One should then spray a residua insecticide around the entry points so as to completely destroy them and repel them.
- Use of baits and insecticides can effectively control in the outside nests. For effectiveness the baits should be kept at locations with a high frequency of ants so that the baits are eaten and taken back to the nests. Use of dilute insecticides can also be used to eliminate ant nests effectively. However one should careful go through the label before using the insecticide.
Ants that live inside the homes For effective control of these ants, a thorough inspection needs to be carried out first. This should be done with an aim of finding the ant nests. To easily find them one should trace the pheromone trail of the ants. Thereafter, one should inspect around the doors, windows, along carpet edges and around the kitchen It should be known that there are some ants that not only enter houses to forage for foods. Instead they also establish colonies. Various methods can be employed to effectively control these ants.
- First is the spraying of non-residual repellent insecticide. To effectively stop them, one needs to first establish the ant nets. If not so this method will only provide a short term solution. If the nest has been established behind a wall you will be obliged to drill some holes which would be used or dusting of the ants.
- Second is the use of non-repellent insecticides. This is very effective since it works without the ants detecting and hence it eliminates them.
- The third method is the use of baits. Its effective since once the worker ants have fed on the baits they take back the pieces to the queen in the nest thereby killing the whole colony. To effectively use the baits; they should be placed in regions with high ant activity a residual repellent should not be used near the bait and lastly the bait should have a combination of both sweet based and greasy foods.