Black ants are a common type of pest found in many houses. While relatively harmless to humans, they can cause some structural damage to the house as they create holes and tunnels in the structure to get through. Most often you will notice them on kitchen countertops or in bathrooms as they provide a warm damp environment with a nearby food source.
So how do you get rid of black ants in your house? It depends. If you’re experiencing a massive infestation of black ants, it may be time to call a professional exterminator. However, if you’re only dealing with small colonies of black ants, then this can be effectively treated with a few over-the-counter treatments or even homemade solutions.
Learn More: How To Get Black Ants Out Of Your House Without Killing Them
When black ant colonies enter your home, it’s often because they’re in search of food and water. During the summer or any dry months of the year, you’re more likely to see an ant infestation in your house as it’s the nearest available water source to most insects. While a very common occurrence, no one wants black ants in their home swarming areas in their home. Here are a few ways to get rid of black ants in your home:
Ant baits are kind of like ant traps that make use of scent pheromone trails and the ant’s natural habit of searching for access to food. Replicating a sweet substance and the scents of food, the ant bait stations have food laced with toxins that are harmful to ants when in close contact or ingested after some time.
How this works is that worker ants will be drawn to the laced sources of food and bring it back to the colony itself for all the ants including the queen to share. Slowly, the toxins found in the sweet bait will kill them off and fix the ant infestation inside your home.
You can buy ant bait traps over-the-counter and they are relatively safe to use indoors as long as you follow the instruction guide. Some effective and fast-acting bait for ants that can be found across the country includes Amdro ant bait, Terro liquid ant killer, and Advion ant bait.
These are great options as ant bait not only targets the black ants that are visible to you but also treat the entire colony. Once the queen has been exposed to the ant bait, the colony will no longer be able to reproduce thus effectively eliminating them all and preventing future infestations.
Ant repellent or bug spray can refer to anything that deters ants from your home and makes it an unsuitable place for their settlement. Often these things have to do with scents or tastes that ants naturally keep away from due to an innate aversion. By using an ant repellent you are able to create a barrier between your home and black ants so that rather than entering your home they go elsewhere.
This differs from ant baits as ant repellents do not necessarily kill the black ants. Ant repellents were created to simply make an uninviting environment for the ants and signal them to settle in a different area. While this may work well in some cases, there’s a risk that the ants will simply avoid one room in your house and settle in another. They also do nothing to prevent the reproduction of ants as the queen ant is left unharmed so it may cause a larger infestation in the long run if not done correctly.
Ant repellents come in both liquid and powder forms and are effectively treating your home temporarily. However, once the powder and liquid repellents get swept away or dry down, they’re no longer effective in protecting your home against black ants. If ant repellents are your chosen form of ant treatments, then you’ll have to constantly reapply them around the house to effectively protect your home.
If you would prefer to not use any chemicals in your home for whatever reason, there are natural substance solutions that you can use as an effective method to repel ants from your home. Some solutions you can make are glass cleaners and dish soap solutions, pepper or chili powder, white vinegar and water, and hot water.
To control the amount of ants entering your home without any toxins or chemicals, you can use a mixture of any glass cleaner and dish soap to wipe down areas with a paper towel that you usually see ants in.
While this doesn’t exactly repel the ants, this solution will remove the scent trail emitted by other ants that directs other ants to your home. By destroying their scent trail with the DIY solution, they are less likely to recognize your home as a food source and won’t see the need to enter your home.
Black pepper or Cayenne pepper as well as chili powder are both known to release an irritating scent to insects, especially ants. While this won’t cause any harm to the ants, it will work as a repellent and keep them from areas that have this scent. To use this method as an ant treatment, simply place pepper or chili where you have seen ants congregate or enter from. You may also place them behind appliances and areas that are prone to attract ants like the kitchen counters and bathroom.
Though proven to be an effective ant treatment, you’ll still have to sweep your house eventually subsequently causing the repellent to be removed. If you’re looking for a long-term one-time treatment, this may not be the best choice for you. This treatment is only effective for short periods of time and requires constant reapplication to remain effective against ant infestations.
A common DIY cleaning combination, a mixture of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle can also help repel ants from surfaces treated with this solution. While cleaning your surfaces, the vinegar will create a barrier treatment between your home and repel them as the smell irritates black ants.
Unlike the chili powder or black pepper, when vinegar has dried down, insects including ants are still repelled by it because they can still register the lingering smell of the vinegar. Vinegar is also an effective killing agent against ants. While it will not do any harm to ants that don’t come directly into contact with the vinegar-like ant baits, it will still help in the control of ants and infestations around your home.
The most effective way to permanently treat an ant infestation is to target the ant's nest directly. While they will be often found outside in your garden, they may also live in house plants or other areas of the house. To eliminate the ants' nest, boil a pot of water and slowly pour the liquid into the nest’s opening or on top of it to saturate the entire exterior. The warm water will exterminate the ants immediately.
While it’s rare to have a massive ant infestation outbreak that cannot be treated without the need for professional help, in extreme cases commercial and DIY solutions may not be effective. If you notice a large congregation of ants or experience reoccurring ant infestations, it would be best to call your local pest control services. They will assess your home to see the root cause of the infestation and come up with a customized plan to treat your home and prevent ants from reemerging.
As part of the ant species, black ants scavengers fight for their survival. Ant colonies will come inside your home to either search for food or create an ant nest within your exterior walls. More often than not, they’re attracted to scent trails your house may omit from food waste, trash, water leaks, or anything ants may deem useful to their entire colony.
A regular sized colony of ants can have thousands of worker ants with one egg-laying queen to produce more ants at any given time. This means that once the ant colony settles in your home it may be quite difficult to keep them at bay due to the sheer numbers. While you may just want to leave the ants alone as they’re not necessarily harmful, if left untreated for a long period of time, black ants can form super colonies if left untreated for a long period of time. If this is the case, it would require professional help from pest control companies.
Read More: How To Kill Small Black Sugar Ants Surrounding Your House
While black ant colonies will most likely enter your home at one point or another, there are ways to lessen the likelihood of them reappearing. To keep ants at bay and prevent them from coming to your house in the first place here are a few things you should consider doing:
The main reason black ants will enter your home is to scavenge for food. By storing food supplies including pet food properly inside your house, you’ll decrease the chances of ants coming into your home. To avoid attracting ants to your home, you can use air-tight containers and air-tight seals which will prevent the scent trail your food may leave for ants.
In addition to this, you may want to store food wastes in a properly sealed trash can outside your home. Ants don’t have food preferences and will still be attracted to its scent once in the trash. Keeping your food waste outside in a sealed container will prevent ants from entering your home and possibly keep them away from your food wastes as well.
Ants are attracted to smells and scents more than anything. They’re heavily reliant on this sense when looking for food and water as well as in detecting threats. In the event of a food spill, while you may remove the initial spill and run a rag over the surface, the scent of the food lingers. This scent will be enough to attract ants to your house even if the food itself is no longer visible. To avoid ants congregating onto these surfaces, it’s advisable to not only wipe the food spills off the surface but also use a cleaning agent to remove any possible scent trails.
With the average black ant only half an inch long at most, they are able to enter your house through the smallest holes available. To prevent them from coming in, it would be a good idea to physically block and seal all entry points to your home. This includes small holes in your wall, widow gaps, door gaps, etc. If you can’t seal them completely, you can use ant chalk as a repellent around the areas that can’t be physically sealed.
Do note that if you chose to use an ant chalk that they’re not FDA-approved but have been widely considered to be a safe and effective way to prevent ants from entering your home.
While you may have done everything to keep ants out of your home, it may be difficult to control ants from coming into close contact with the tree stumps and plants around your garden. To avoid migration from your garden to inside your house, you can trim the overextending branches nearest to your home.
If ants are able to enter your home from the tree branches, they may recognize it as an abundant resource for food supply and attract other ants to seek food there as well. By trimming the tree branches, it will be less likely for tree ants to enter your home as the pathway is a lot harder now that the proximity is much wider.
Learn More: How to Find Where Black Ants Are Hiding in Your Home
If you’re looking to treat your home for pests or you simply want to take preventative measures, it’s best to consult with the pest management experts. Aside from comprehensive treatment plans, you’ll also be given the right guidelines to prevent re-infestations of common pests and insects.
Whether it be carpenter ants or Argentine ant colonies, we can do it all. Positive Pest Management has been a reliable pest control service in New York for years. From commercial to residential spaces, we offer you quick and effective long-term pest management solutions at the best prices across the city. Contact us at 1-800-294-3130 for an inspection and a list of our available services today.