There is nothing more irritating than coming home from vacation to a cabinet full of ants. Well, so I thought. Two more days later, I opened up a cabinet and was greeted by a mass swarming of ants. Then under our kitchen sink. Then we had a colony all over our bathroom walls, with a trail of ants leading to the attic. And to top that, just this morning, I open the door to my car, and there is colony (or three) of scout ants exploring new territory -- all over the passenger seat, dashboard, center console, and as I opened more doors -- the rear doors and rear gate -- MORE ANTS. Why do we have such an influx of ants???
Where Did These Ants Come From?
There are a few common reasons for ants to enter your home, car, and your life.
The most obvious reason is food -- especially, their favorites -- "sweets." (I don't know about you, but the cupboard shelf I find the ants on is the honey shelf!) They need food and water to survive, and they are always on the hunt for their next meal.
They may also be drawn to common moist areas - your kitchen, laundry and bathrooms - in your home.
If you have experienced heavy rainfall lately, ants will be on the move, relocating the colony to drier ground. (Thus the issues at our home and in our car!) We have experienced HEAVY rains lately, and yes, the ants are trying to invade our spaces!
What I Do To Rid My Space From Ants?
- Spray Ant Spray (Most often, I resort to spraying the ants with ant spray first, then coming back and placing an ant trap in the area the ants were spotted.)
- Place an ant trap or two around the space. This holds bait the ants can take back to their queen and destroy the colony.
- Clean Up - Take this invasion as an opportunity to clean up/out your invaded space. Not only are you removing ant carcasses, but possibly removing the attractant which caused the issue in the first place. Dry up any moist areas, and make repairs, as needed.
- In Your Vehicle - Get rid of all the trash in your car, vacuum the entire interior of your vehicle, spray your tires and wheels with ant spray, and put ant traps in your car.
Other Options To Reduce Ant Invasions
- One homemade poison option is to create a toxic bait mix of Borax and sugar. If you go this route, make sure to keep this option away from your pets, as it poisonous to them as well.
- Put baby powder on any trail of ants. Baby powder acts as a barrier and blocks the scent back to the colony. Those ants trying to return to the colony, will not be able to locate it and will die inside your home. The ants on the outside will not cross the baby powder, thus preventing more ants entering your home. Consider creating a baby powder barrier around your home and ants will not cross it. Chalk also works in the same barrier manner -- draw a line of chalk around entry points of your home. (This may be a more convenient option for those who live in apartment complexes, townhomes, and condos.)
- Scents that ants do not like: lemon, peppermint, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, chili powder and coffee grounds. If you are okay with sprinkling these scents around your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, then do so. I have not personally tried any of these, but if the ant issue continues, I certainly will give these a try! My husband enjoys daily strong coffee, so putting those coffee grounds around the edges of our house to defend it against ants is a better option than putting in the trash! (Just keep it away from your flowerbeds and garden areas -- it may cause more harm then good!)
Last Minute Tips
Very little gets me worked up but being invaded by ants (and the occasional mouse) just make me crazy! While their unexpected arrival is never ideal and many times inconvenient, it is a good reminder to be mindful of daily tidying up around the house, take note and make repairs to piping (if leaking), and tidy up our vehicles with a good thorough vacuuming. Although we cannot do much about the heavy rainfall, we can take the necessary steps described in this article, to reduce the enticement of our spaces for ants.