Expert's top tips on how you can eliminate ants from your home

I’m a pest control expert and here’s my eight-point guide to eliminating ANTS from your home

  • Pest control expert reveals that ants are attracted to food, water and shelter
  • So this is how you can get rid of these pesky bugs in your home once and for all

Ants are friendly enough in the garden, but there’s nothing more annoying than the little bugs infesting your home.

You may have tried all manner of methods to rid of them from your property – from homemade remedies to shop-bought sprays and powders – but if nothing has worked so far, there are still a range of potential solutions.

Pest control expert, Jonathan Nicholls at spoke to MailOnline and revealed that the reason why many households have a problem with ants is because the insects are attracted to food, water and shelter.

So here’s how you can get the ants out of your house…. 

Pest control expert, Jonathan Nicholls at spoke to MailOnline and revealed how households can get rid of ants in their home once and for all

1. Why do we find ants in our home more in the summer periods than in the winter?

There are several reasons why we find ants in our home more in the summer rather than in winter. During the summer, people tend to have more outdoor activities like barbecues, picnics, and gatherings. This can lead to accidental spillages or crumbs that can attract ants. Additionally, the warmer weather can lead to an increase in things like ripe fruits and other food sources that can attract ants.

Warmer temperatures increase the metabolic rate in ants, leading to increased activities and foraging. The heightened activity of ants in the summer months can increase the likelihood that ants may enter your home during these months.

The peak breeding season for ants is during the summer. During this time, they require more resources and the worker ants will go out to find food sources. This can result in an increased presence of ants in your garden or in your home.

During the summer months, doors and windows tend to be open more frequently. This provides the ants with an opportunity to enter your home.

2. How to identify where they are coming from?

You may have tried so many things to get rid of the ants around your home – from homemade remedies to shop bought sprays and powders (File image)

The ant’s scent trail will usually lead from a crack or gap in the floor or wall. Other entry points may include unsealed holes to the exterior or plumbing entry points. The trail will usually continue in a straight line towards a food source. 

The easiest way to find the scent trail is by watching the ants travelling. They will very rarely break off from the line. The line of ants will mark the pathway of the scent trail. Following this line will lead you to the food source on one end and the entry point on the other end.

3. What’s the easiest way to get rid of ants in the home?

The first step in getting rid of ants is to find out what is attracting them into your home in the first place. Whether it’s a stray spoon in the sink or a sticky bit of jam on a jar, there is always a source. Begin by cleaning up whatever is attracting the ants and, if you’re lucky, they may just move out on their own.

Ants work in teams and search for food sources using pheromones. These pheromones then leave a trail for the other ants to follow. This means that simply sweeping the ants away won’t be effective as the pheromone trail will still be present. Instead, you’ll need to destroy the trail. You can do this by mixing one part vinegar with three parts water and simply spray this mixture in any space where you’ve seen the ants.

It is quite easy to naturally repel the ants from your home. Ants hate the scent of lavender and peppermint. Mix together a solution of either lavender oil or peppermint oil with water and spray this mixture on any entry points such as around windows and doors. 

The way ants can get into your home may include unsealed holes to the exterior or plumbing entry points. But it is quite easy to naturally repel the ants from your home

Alternatively, you can use a chemical solution for deterring ants, but these can be harmful to pets and children, so it’s important to be careful when using these products. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using chemical deterrents.

It’s also a good idea to seal off all of the entry points to prevent them from coming back. This means that you will need to caulk and seal any exposed crevices or cracks in doors or windows.

Black garden ants are the most likely types of ants to invade homes. These ants are particularly prone to sweet things. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that all food, especially sweet foods such as syrup, honey, and sugar are kept in airtight containers or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap or foil.

If you want to ensure that the ants are kept away, it’s important to regularly clean your floors, countertops, pantries, and cabinets where crumbs and stray bits of food are most likely to be lurking. It’s also important to keep your pet’s food stored away properly between feeding times and regularly clean your pet’s bowls.

Always make sure that you empty your rubbish bins (particularly the kitchen bin) regularly. Your bins should always be covered properly and you should always take rubbish bags outside as soon as you remove them from your bin. When you remove the full bags from your bin, be sure to check the inside of the bin for any crumbs or residue that might be lingering. Clean your bin regularly to ensure it remains residue-free.

4. Does killing the ants deter them from coming back? How to get to the root of the cause?

You can buy many different ant killer sprays from supermarkets. You can also purchase ant traps. These will attract the ants and then trap them where they will then die. But killing the ants will not prevent them from returning (File image)

Killing the ants may not prevent them from coming back. You will need to take some additional steps as listed above such as sealing off entry points and ensuring spills and crumbs are cleaned up as soon as possible. You will also need to ensure the bins are taken out regularly and that you don’t leave any open food in the area.

5. Best natural/homemade remedies for getting rid of them in the home.

There are several smells that ants hate. They really hate the smell of peppermint and lavender. They also hate the smell of citrusy fruits such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit. In addition, they are also repelled by the scent of cinnamon, eucalyptus, and garlic. These can be used to deter ants and prevent them from wanting to enter your home.

Diatomaceous earth is a great way of killing ants as it absorbs the oils in their skeletons, causing them to dry out. However, you should avoid breathing it in or getting it on your skin as it can be an irritant.

Ants leave a scent trail behind that can act as a map for the other ants. Mix together glass cleaning spray with some liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture in places where you’ve seen the ants and then wipe it down, leaving behind a light residue. This will remove the scent of ant pheromones and can prevent the ants from coming back.

6. And the best products to buy from UK supermarkets to get rid of them

You can buy many different ant killer sprays from supermarkets. These should be sprayed anywhere where you’ve seen ants. However, it’s important to keep children and pets away from the area and you must ensure the area is properly ventilated.

You can also purchase ant traps. These will attract the ants and then trap them where they will then die.

There are several smells that ants hate, including: peppermint and lavender as well as the smell of citrusy fruits such as lemon, lime, and grapefruit (File image)

7. How many times should you treat the infestation before calling a professional?

Ants can sometimes be difficult to get rid of. 

If you have treated the ant infestation three times and you’re still finding ants in your home, this is the time to call a professional. If the ants are still active after the first treatment, this may indicate a heavy infestation.

8. What can cause the ants to come back?

Ants are attracted to any type of food source. So if your kitchen is dirty or if there is open food available, this will attract the ants back into your home. 

It’s important to thoroughly clean your kitchen if you’ve had an ant infestation and seal entry points to prevent them from returning in the future.

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