Ants live in colonies. Therefore, if you want to rid your home of the pesky invaders, you need to kill the entire colony. A repellent spray that you buy at a local store will kill off some of the ants, but it won't solve the problem entirely. You need a pest control professional who understands ant behavior to do a proper job of getting your ant problem under control.
What a Pest Control Specialist Will Do
Perform an inspection to discover where the ants nest.
Ants make a trail to and from a food source. Following those trails helps pest control specialists find the ant nests and identify which kind of ant problem you have. While most ants nest outside in wood and soil and come indoors in search of food, some ants will build a nest inside your home. Ants that take up residence indoors often build their nests inside wall cavities, under floorboards, behind kitchen cabinets, or in rotted wood window frames and sills.
A pest control specialist will ask where you've noticed ant activity before inspecting the kitchen, around doors and windows, and along carpet edges. An outside inspection includes examining areas around your home's foundation walls. Piles of leaves, areas of heavy mulch, and ground cover plants also hide ant nests from sight. If carpenter ants are the problem, these ants often build their nests in tree stumps, woodpiles, and rotted wood.
Offer ant treatment options.
After locating the ant nest, treatment options include treating the nest or using bait traps or non-repellent insecticide on the ant trails and around entry points and the outside perimeter of your house. Non-repellent insecticide minimizes the risk that the ant colony will scatter.
Treating the nest is a temporary solution, since treatment only kills the ants on the surface. The insecticide doesn't penetrate into the ant tunnels below the ground. Consequently, the colony will abandon the area and establish new entries that haven't been treated.
Ant baits applied as gel droplets or in bait stations are an effective way to get rid of household ants. The baits lure ants, but the insecticide ingredients in the baits work slowly, allowing ants time to carry the food back to their colony and queen -- the female ant that lays the eggs.
Preventing Future Problems
After treating an ant infestation, to prevent ants from invading your home again in the future, a pest control specialist may suggest:
Caulking and sealing cracks and holes that can give ants entry into your home
Removing dead tree stumps from your property
Trimming back the branches of trees and shrubs located near the outside of your home
Fixing any plumbing problems, such as leaky faucets, which cause moisture that will attract ants
Repairing or replacing rotted or water-damaged wood you find in your home to deter wood ants
For more information on how to handle an ant infestation, contact a professional like those at Total Control Termite And Pest.