Insects, spiders, and other pests inside your home are always unwelcome, so when you find a pest problem, you should take the proper steps to handle the issue. Here are some recommendations to help you take care of a home ant problem and protect against infestations.
Confirm an Ant Infestation
One of the first steps you should take with an ant infestation is to confirm it is, in fact, ants and not another insect that can be more damaging to your home. Termites, for example, can look similar to ants but will provide different signs of their presence, and they can cause structural damage to the wood in your home. If you see small puncture holes and tubular tunnels through wood or discarded wings or droppings, then your home has termites — not ants.
Ants on the other hand will swarm along the edges of walls and near water and a line of ants traveling across your floor, up a wall, or inside the pantry space. Ants will be out in the open more than termites will. This is because their activities and interests are different — termites eat wood (which is typically inside your walls) while ants will hunt for crumbs and food sources left in your home (which are typically out where you can see them).
If you are having trouble determining the type of infestation, you should contact your professional pest control service to identify the problem. They will also be able to recommend and supervise the appropriate treatment for the infestation.
Determine the Source of the Problem
As part of a solution to rid your home of ants, you need to determine the source and cause of the infestation. An ant infestation will usually start off with something in your home that has attracted the ants to swarm. Scout ants go out through areas inside your home and in your yard constantly on the lookout for a food source. When they find a food source, they will notify the nest and an ant swarm will follow. Remove any food source by cleaning up spilled food or sealing off food with a glass or metal jar.
Once you have removed the food source, you will need to also clean off the scent trail that the ants leave behind to direct other ants to the food source. Spray a solution of vinegar and water or use a cleaner containing ammonia to wipe off the scent trail of pheromones. You can also contact your local pest control professional to apply ant bait and pesticides to prevent a return ant infestation. They'll also tell you more ant removal treatment options.