Ants are probably one of the most common pests found at home. Being tiny in nature allows them to fit and squeeze into tight spaces and gaps to enter your house effortlessly. Additionally, groups of ants may be entering your house one after another as they are social insects. Sighting of ants is so prevalent at homes in Singapore that many homeowners turn a blind eye on the problem by simply washing the ants away with water. In this article, Bingo Pest shares the best ways to get rid of ants that work:
Common Ant Species in Singapore
Did you know? There are over 200 ant species found in Singapore. However, there are only 4 common types of ants found in homes. They are:
Ghost ants: As their name suggests, this species of ants are visually hard to spot as they are light and pale in colour. Besides, they are also very tiny in size, hence making it even more difficult to see them. Ghost ants are highly adaptable and are commonly found in kitchens.
Pharaoh ants: This ant species has a pale yellow to reddish body. They tend to have a large colony, typically with thousands of workers. When their colony is disturbed, the ants will migrate to new sites to establish numerous colonies, making it hard to eliminate their colony. They are commonly found in shaded areas.
Carpenter ants: This ant species gets its name from how they build their nests - by creating tunnels and nesting inside the wood. Despite being able to chew on the wood to create pathways for movement, they do not feed on the wood because they are unable to digest cellulose. On the contrary, they feed on insects, meat and sugary items.
Crazy ants: The workers of these ants run in an erratic and jerky manner when seeking for food. They feed on a wide variety of food including dead insects, seeds and fruits.
What Causes Ants at Home?
Similar to humans, pests require food and water sources to survive. Pests including ants are attracted to your home due to the availability of food, water and shelter. Generally, it is common for ants to enter your home to seek shelter through possible entry points such as gaps under the door, cracks on the wall or holes around windows. Therefore, it is important to seal up any openings, cracks and crevices to prevent ants at home.
In addition, poor housekeeping practices and plumbing issues can also attract pests to your home. They include:
Undisposed and exposed garbage
Leakages from pipes
Food crumbs that have not been cleaned away
Leaving food open and unattended
Poor food storage
An ant infestation in your home typically means that the ants have direct access to food and water sources. Otherwise, it may also symbolise gaining a protection and safe place to hide from predators or certain weather conditions.
Keeping the ant pest away requires hard work and patience. It is recommended to start with executing practical ways to get rid of pests. Learn how you can achieve a pest-free home here.
Home Remedies and DIY Ant Control
There are several conventional ant control methods that homeowners have attempted to get rid of ants in the house. They include the use of over-the-shelf solutions, natural remedies as well as do-it-yourself (DIY) or self-invented solutions to prevent ants at home.
Buying and setting up of baits is one of the most common pest control methods whenever a pest issue arises. Most ant baits available in the market are not suitable for use in food-handling environments such as the kitchen. It can pose a danger when children or pets accidentally ingest the baits. Moreover, the placement of the baits plays an integral role in ensuring that ants feed on them. Most homeowners would have noticed little or no feeding activities because ants actually prefer food to ant baits. Therefore, deploying ant baits on your own can be ineffective.
It is common to find insecticides in most homes in Singapore. These aerosol sprays are effective against eliminating physical pests including cockroaches and ants. However, they have limited residual effect and do not target the root cause of the pest infestation. When handled inappropriately, it may lead to stinging eyes, rashes, dizziness and even death. Besides being a health hazard, homeowners are advised to take extra caution when handling and storing insecticides at home as they are potential fire hazards.
DIY Ant Repellents
A popular way to get rid of ants includes the use of chalk. This method may have been skillfully-executed in many homes invaded by ants. It involves drawing a line around entry points or over an ant trail with chalk. It is rumoured that the use of chalk is able to derail and repel ants at home.
However, there is no scientific evidence that chalk is able to get rid of ants. Moreover, leaving chalk markings around may be unsightly and affects the interior design and decoration of the house. To add on, the powder released from chalk can lead to allergies including dermatitis and asthma. Hence, when executing your own DIY ant control, it is important to take precautions to protect your loved ones from the repercussions that may arise.
Natural Home Remedies to Deter Ants
Besides being a rich source of Vitamin C, lemon is also said to be able to repel ants. Some homeowners suggest that placing slices of lemons or spraying lemon juice around where ant activities normally happen, can help to repel ants. It works by masking scents that ants get from food sources and deters them away.
With the use of food items to deter pests at home can bring more pest problems. This is because the food items that are used to repel one pest can become a food source for another. Therefore, the practicality of the solution is often questionable.
Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in The House
The most practical way to keep ants away from your home is to actively remove sources of food and water that attract these pests. Naturally, these pesky insects are able to thrive in environments without food and water sources. With good housekeeping practices, pests are less likely to enter your home. Examples of good housekeeping habits include:
Frequent cleaning of the kitchen
Storing food in air-tight containers
Clean up spills and food crumbs immediately
Wipe and clean the dining table after use
Use a rubbish bin with lid
Wash and put away pet bowls
Alternatively, the best way to combat ants at home is to engage a professional pest control company.
Professional Ant Control in Singapore
A professional ant control treatment involves the use of several treatment methods to get rid of ants on your property. Firstly, residual spraying will be conducted to remove any traces of live ants. The solution used in this ant treatment is water-based and colourless, hence, do not leave any staining or oily residue behind.
Secondly, the pest control specialist will apply gel baits around the house. Ants are attracted to feed on these baits and will pass on the active ingredients to other ants in the colonies through social activities, leading to a total colony elimination. The ant baits used by a professional pest control company such as Bingo Pest, have a higher dose of active ingredients and can only be executed and handled by an experienced pest control specialist. They also offer a longer efficacy and faster elimination of ants as compared to over-the-shelf baits. Besides, the pest control specialists are well-trained to identify strategic locations to place the baits for higher efficacy.
Lastly, after each treatment, monitoring traps are set up in your premise to further track ant activities. These glue traps offer a 24/7 protection against ants and work by containing and trapping the ants within them.
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Ants Completely?
Getting rid of ants can be a long and slow process depending on the level of infestation, types of ants infesting your house and how long has the issue been happening. Generally, homeowners should observe more ant activities after the first few ant control treatments. This can happen because the ant pest control acts as a flush out programme, causing the ants to escape or attracting them to feed on the baits. However, with the support and partnership of the homeowners to improve housekeeping habits and proofing the house, the ants should be eliminated over the next couple of treatments. In most cases, homeowners should notice lesser ants in a week or two.
Bingo Pest Control is available 24/7 to resolve any of your pest problems. Contact us at 6517 9989 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.