Although ants are important to the ecosystem, they can be a nuisance when they enter a home, especially if they manage to sneak into the kitchen. How to get rid of ants in the kitchen is a question many people ask, as once these pests enter a home, they head straight to the kitchen to feast on crumbs and food debris that they can find. Any ant removal process is not about using just a single removal method. Instead, it has to be a multi-pronged approach that makes use of several elimination methods.
Ant removal makes use of natural or chemical-based products. How to get rid of ants in the kitchen does not have to be a constant query in your life. Here are some tips that will teach you how to get rid of ants naturally, without making use of any chemicals, which can be toxic to household pets and children.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
One of the most important ant removal methods is keeping the kitchen clean:
- Ants tend to make their way into kitchens to eat spilled food, bread crumbs, or attack foods that they can get access to.
- Spills and crumbs should be immediately cleaned.
- Use white vinegar mixed in water every day to wipe countertops and around the kitchen sink. White vinegar acts as a deterrent against ants and also erases the trails left by scouts.
- Make sure that you never leave dirty dishes lying in the sink or standing water in the sink. The ants will come to feast on the food remains in the dishes and the sink water will provide a source of drinking water.
- When cleaning the sink, pour some bleach down the sink drain to get rid of food odor, which tends to attract ants.
- Ensure that you take out your trash regularly and place it outside in a tightly closed garbage bin.
- Mop and vacuum clean the kitchen floor every day to remove food debris and particles from the floor.
Use Ant Bait
At times, you may still find ants entering your kitchen even if it is spotlessly clean. If this should happen, use an ant bait. These baits can be protein- or sweet-based and are available in the form of gels, liquids, granules, and pastes. If you are uncomfortable using commercial baits, you can make your own homemade ant bait. Mix one part Borax to three parts granulated sugar and place the bait where you often see ants walking in the kitchen. The ants will consume the bait and take it back to the colony. However, it will be a couple of weeks before you get the desired results.
Seal Cracks and Crevices
Often ants enter a home and find their way into a kitchen through cracks and crevices in the walls and floors. Seal these openings with glue. If you are unable to locate the opening, sprinkle some baby talc along the ant trails. This will not only kill the ants, but also work as a deterrent against future infestations.
A truly time-tested way of getting rid of ants indoors is by mixing one part soap water and one part oil. Any oil will do for this natural ant repellent. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray away in areas that tend to attract ants. The soap-oil water tends to kill the ants and keep the rest of the colony away. Also, wiping your kitchen counter with soapy water will not only prevent ants from attacking foods, but also keep the counter sparkling clean.
How to Get Rid Of Fire Ants
How to get rid of fire ants, you ask? People in the southern parts of the United States have faced this problem for many years, ever since they first appeared on the shores of Mobile, Alabama in the 1930s. Originating in Brazil, the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, came to the US when cargo ships offloaded goods that were infested with ant colonies.
These aggressive ants have a very painful sting and are known to attack in a swarm by climbing up a person’s leg and then all stinging at once, and while each individual sting is fairly harmless, they have been known to kill, and calves are particularly at risk. They are also aggressive enough to clear an area of all invertebrates and ground birds as well. The ants have amazing survival instincts as well, if a nest is flooded, the ants will form a ball that will float, and a single queen is enough to completely revive a colony.
Are there any effective ways?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, red imported fire ants, RIFA, cannot be eradicated, but they can be kept under control, with daily diligence. A homeowner will first notice a single mound and then over the next couple of days, more mounds will form, often becoming a nasty surprise to someone mowing the lawn.
If you ask anyone who has lived for years in the deep south, they will either have used, or know someone who has used, the technique of pouring gasoline on the nest, and then burning the ants out. Alas, this does not work because the queens typically live over two feet below the ground and after the nest is burned out, they will simply move a few feet away and start-up another nest. Also, the gasoline sterilizes the soil, making it difficult for grass to grow back where the mound was.
In order to keep the insects under control, a daily stroll through your yard is necessary. Treat all mounds with one of many commercial products containing pyrethroid insecticides, usually labeled to kill the queen. After approximately a week, you will find that all the mounds are dead and your fire ant problem is under control, or so it will seem.
Actually, fire ants swarm often and will travel anywhere from fifty to two hundred feet, and the new colony will take root quickly and before you realize it, the mounds seem to have returned; this is even faster after a rain when the ground is soft and moist.
With this in mind, as well as treating your lawn, be a good neighbor and treat all the mounds in a radius around your house. Besides making your neighbors happy, you will be more likely to make your lawn fire ant-free as well. So, the next time someone looks at your ant-free lawn, house or kitchen and asks you, “How to get rid of fire ants,” just smile and tell him that it is easy, but requires dedication.
How to get rid of ants in the kitchen? The solution to this question will no longer be challenging or frustrating with the above tips. While you may have to try multiple methods simultaneously to be successful in getting rid of ants, you will have peace of mind knowing that there are no pesky little creatures constantly foraging in your kitchen.