Treating Ant Infestations with Ant Baits

The best way to both prevent ants and to get rid of them is to clean your house regularly and make sure that there is no food lying around that can attract the ants in the first place. Food should be kept in air tight containers, dirty dishes should not be left around, and surfaces should be wiped down in case there is any leftover food residue. Seeing one ant might not cause you any alarm, but nests of ants will send out scouts to seek out food and then they will go back to their nests and bring back the cavalry. It is best to squish that lone scout ant.

An Ant Up CloseThere are thousands of tiny holes and cracks in your house in which ants can find routes in, so do your best to barricade your home by sealing up the cracks with caulk. Sometimes the only way you will be able to find the entry way for which ants get into your home is following the line of ants to their origin. If you can’t seal some areas, such as doors, you can line the area with substances that deter the ants, such as Raid for ants, diatomaceous earth, talcum powder, whole cloves, cinnamon, and pepper. Keep in mind that these substances only work for a short time; they do not fix the problem.

Eradicating Ant Baits

In order to know the proper way to get rid of ants you need to know which type of ants you are dealing with. One of the most common types of house ants in the US are brown pavement ants, which are sometimes mistakenly called sugar ants. These types of ants commonly build small sand mounds near sidewalks and driveways. The best way to get rid of this type of ant is to use a mixture of 5% boric acid and 95% karo syrup, mint jelly, or mint apple jelly. Keep in mind that if too much boric acid is used you stand the risk of killing the immediate ants, but not the colony, while using too little boric acid will only temporarily weaken the colony. Put the boric acid mixture on masking tape in various areas where you have seen ants. If the sugar based bait doesn’t work well, consider adding peanut butter to attract ants that eat protein.

Liquid Ant Bait Treatment

The brand Terro makes a sweetened boric acid bait that works well on pavement ants. When fighting a fire ant infestation make sure to use bait that contains Hydramethylnon. Some insecticides that contain Hydramethylnon include MaxForce, Raid Fire Ant Killer, Amdro, and Precise.

This type of bait works well on pharaoh ants as well. Argentine ants are very hearty little creatures, so to fight an infestation of these little pests you may need to use two different types of baits since these ants eat both sugar and protein. Using a sugar based bait, like Terro, and a protein based bait, like MaxForce, should work.

Tips When Using Ant Bait

There are a few tips to remember when fighting ant infestations. Do not put bait right in a line of ants, it will disrupt them and may make the ants less likely to take the bait, instead put the bait next to a line of ants and they will be attracted to it. Try to put the baits as close to the nest as possible.

When using baits, do not kill the ants on their way back to the colony as the bait works because the scavenger ants bring the bait back to the colony and spread it to all the other ants. Using repellants on the ant mound will only make the ants create a new nest, most likely only a few feet away from their current mound. There are numerous ant baits out there, so make sure you are getting the proper one for your needs, and always make sure that no children or other animals can get into the bait.

How to Get Rid of Ants

How to Get Rid of AntsAnts are little pests, extremely little pests, which is one of the reasons it is so hard to get ride of them. They can invade your home through the smallest of cracks and quickly organize themselves into colonies that always seem to find ways to steal your food, no matter how well you protect them. Ants can find their way into jars, Tupperware, cereal boxes, etc. and compromise your food which, in addition to being entirely maddening, is very costly. Ants in your house can also interrupt your peace of mind. It seems as though they can appear out of solid walls, running trails that lead into your electrical fixtures or baseboards, adding to their colony.

Below are some ways that can show how to get rid of ants, for good!

AntsClean Up

The first thing one can try to do is simply clean up the house. This might seem obvious, but if the house is clean, then there is no food for the ants to feast on. This might be more difficult than one thinks. Ants will pick up on the smallest sent, the smallest morsel of food. It is good to properly seal all of your containers, wipe down your counter tops and clean your dishes so that they do not stack up and remain long enough for the ants to take notice. It is also good to keep your floors swept and mopped.

Seal the Cracks

Another option is to properly seal any seams you have in your house. It helps to caulk your window seams and door jams. This will prevent ants from finding any open conduits to travel through. An additional benefit to using caulk is that it can also help reign in energy costs by providing better temperature control.

There are certain substances you can put at suspected entryways that deter ants from passing. Talc powder or salt can be used for this method. There is also a substance called diatomaceous earth that will dehydrate the ants to death, although, this substance can be harmful to household pets, so use with caution. In addition, cornmeal can be a tool to kill ants. If ants eat the cornmeal and then consume water, the cornmeal expands and kills the ant.

Baits and Poisons

Raid Ant BaitOne could simply poison the ants as well. A lot of poisons can be concocted with items in your own home, such as maple syrup combined with borax. A small amount of research on the Internet can reveal a number of homemade ant killers. Of course, there are also certain substances that can be purchased from certain retail stores, but be sure to read the directions carefully.

Professional Treatment

Last but not least, there is always the option of fogging these pesky ants. A quick call to the exterminator is a sure way to get rid of ants. The only drawback to this method is the cost, but sometimes it is the only suitable option. Ants that continue to appear in your house, even after all previous attempts to get rid of them, may require more direct action.

What are Flying Ants?

Many people are under the impression that all flying ants are female ants. This is not true, it actually depends on the type of ants. Certain species not only have female flying ants but male flying ants as well.

Depending on the species of ants, most of the queen ants are what are known as Asexual. This means, they do not need a male to produce offspring. Typically what happens is when the female ant in a colony is ready to reproduce, they will fly away from the colony to start a new colony. Some may flies many miles, while others maybe only a few feet from where they actually were born themselves. When the queen ant finds the perfect place for them, they will land, loose their wings and then begin their new colony.

An Asexual queen ant can produce thousands of ants for her new colony being the parent for the entire colony. There usually is no other ant involved in this continuing cycle. She of course will produce a series of queen ants that will follow in her footsteps to create the next colonies and so on. Each queen ant can produce hundreds upon thousands of other queens in her life time. Of course this varies on species of the ant.


With other species of ants, it is truly amazing the ritual that is put into motion to create a new colony. As with many species the female or rather queen ant will head into flight, but so do the sexually matured males. The female and male will mate in flight, when the mating cycle has ended in many species of ants, the male will die. The female, however will fly to a location to create a new colony, when she has landed in the spot that she has chosen, she will first loose her wings. This ritual is called the nuptial flight.

Another misconception that many people may have is about the queen ant. She does not govern over the colony in any way. Her general job is simply in the reproduction and building of a colony. A colony of ants works together they are not like many species of creatures where there is a hierarchy. In an ant colony they work more like an individual family in some aspects, each working and helping one another. A good example of this is the worker ants and how they help make sure the queen ant is fed and taken care of so that she can continue to reproduce.