‘Erase’ ant infestations in the home with ‘effective’ pantry items

Ants may play an important role in the ecosystem of the garden but they can become incredibly problematic for homeowners in spring. According to an expert at PestUK, April is the busiest month for ant-related call-outs as colonies make their way inside, and can be an expensive problem to fix. However, it is possible to control the problem without professional help, using just a few affordable remedies. 

Ants are among a handful of common pests that are active in April, along with rats, mice, flies, wasps and bees.

While the small black insects are easy to miss in small numbers, infestations are harder to ignore around the home.

An expert at PestUK said: “Depending on the weather ants come out of “wintering” in March or early April. Often ants in April will forage inside buildings as it may still be too cold outside. When it’s cold, they can be difficult to control. 

“The reasons for this are that the metabolism of the ants is still slow and so any uptake of insecticide will take time to work.”

How to get rid of ants

Chemical insecticides are usually the go-to remedy to banish ants from the home but there are other ways it can be done.

The pest control professionals at Rentokil recommended white vinegar and citrus to kill the small black insects, though first, it’s important to determine where they are coming in from.

An expert said: “Ants don’t emerge out of thin air. They must be getting in somewhere. So your next step is to find their entry point.

“By simply observing their movements, you’ll be able to identify where they’re entering your house. They might be coming in through an open door, a window or even small cracks and holes in the building structure.”

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Once you find the entry point, clean it and seal it off to prevent a further infestation before removing the ants already inside.

Lay the bait

Luring the insects to one spot will make it much easier to eliminate them quickly, and is as simple as leaving a plate of sweet, sticky food on a plate.

Honey or syrup will work well though you can substitute this for fried food like chips or meat.

The bait may take a few days or even weeks to attract the ants, and will only work if it is left well away from other food sources.

To kill the ants, it is as simple as mixing a capful of liquid soap with water in a spray bottle. Melted soap bar shavings can be used instead, as long as there is a good ratio of soap to water.

Once the ants die, clear them away before eliminating the scent trail. The Rentokil expert explained: “Ants leave scent trails when they find food.

“You need to erase these trails using cloths soaked in disinfectant or bleach as water alone will not remove the trail.”

An alternative remedy made of white vinegar and water can be applied instead to “effectively erase the trail”. 

Another solution that is particularly effective against ants is anything with a strong citrus scent. 

The pest control expert said: “Ants don’t like citrus smells so you can create a repellent by blending lemon juice, orange peels or cucumber rinds with warm water.

“Then dip a cloth into the solution and use it to wipe down your surfaces. You can use a similar solution to mop the floor.”

Spices and herbs including garlic, mint, basil, cayenne or chilli pepper, cloves and black pepper.

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