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Antidote for ants PDF Print E-mail

antsAnts are a source of fascination for children who love to watch their processions to and from colonies. When they’re outside most ants won’t create too many problems if you stay out of their way and they are a beneficial part of the environment. They are also great forecasters of rain, moving their colonies to higher ground if they sense it coming. Inside they can be annoying and some bite or sting and can do damage if they nest in walls.

There are basically several species of brown and black ants. Some have a preference for sweet food while others seek out meat. They come inside seeking food and water. Surface sprays and broad-scale spraying around the house will not solve ant problems because only a small number of ants compared to the size of the colony will be killed.

Low-hazard ant management:

  • Clean up food scraps and utensils
  • Keep food items such as biscuits and cakes in air tight sealed containers
  • Store jam, sugar, honey, sweet sauces, cough syrups in the fridge
  • Wipe food containers before storage
  • Clean pet bowls immediately after use or create a ‘moat’ by placing the food bowl inside a larger bowl with water
  • Put out compost and wrappers with food scraps immediately into outside bins
  • Find out how ants are getting inside by following trails back to where they enter and seal entry points
  • Use natural oils like eucalyptus and lavender as repellents and to disrupt ant trails
  • If pot plants become home to an ant colony, submerge pot in a bucket of water for several hours
  • If ant baits* are used ensure you follow directions and keep away from children and pets

*Ant baits

Using baits may be useful where there is a persistent and large problem because ants take the insecticide back to the nest, which can kill the entire nest. Baits generally contain an attractant and insecticide and should be in a childproof container.

 
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