Ant infestation is one of the most prickling and seemingly never ending problems a household can go through. It might seem that no matter what precautions you take, they still seem to march around your house on some kind of adventure quest.
The major reason we go through such agony is primarily due to our lack of understanding of what and how ants are looking for. Just keeping the sugar containers high and spraying water around leftover food is never enough. One needs to understand what is it that is attracting the ants and what exactly will put them off. As it has been always said, know your enemy better than you know your friends.
Ant control is a process that has both short term and long term pathways to it. Few simple habits have always been the key to a clean and healthy household. Here are some eating and storage habits that will help you to keep ants outside the walls of your house.
Ants are highly attracted to sweets rich in protein and certain plants. Make sure all your fresh vegetables are in the refrigerator at all times. Keep your pet food, protein shake powders, energy bars and similar items in sealed containers at all times.
Cinnamon and some other spices are naturally repelled by ants. Hence adding cinnamon repellents around your kitchen and near the doors and windows will keep the ants away.
Adding a few black cloves or bay leaves around your sugar or honey containers works more effectively than putting those jars in water plates.
If you are going to a picnic, putting a few spices in your picnic basket is highly recommended.
Some household ants actually seek out water in sinks and pet bowls. Keep these areas dry at all times.
Most of the ant species found in households are attracted towards insect corpses. So if ants are not the only pests you are dealing with, other insects in your house could be the ones attracting them.
Clearing webs regularly (especially around lights and lamps), keeping drainers closed when not in use, and netting your windows during evening will help to keep a lot of insects away. Taking the insects away implies having no special treats for ants at your house.
Ants are highly aversive to cucumbers. Having cucumbers as a daily part of your meals will keep your skin healthy and the ants away. Cucumber water can be used to spray away the ant trails.
Ants love fruits but they have distaste for highly acidic fruits. Thus, lemons and lemon juice can keep the ants away from your salads and sandwiches.
One of the biggest challenges of getting rid of the ants is to reach the nest where all the ants are coming from and attack the queen. Cornstarch is a food that the ants will carry to the nest, and it will attack the queen as well. Again it is recommended to take some time to understand where exactly your ants are coming from before you put such ant baits. Not putting them in the right places will just warn them about it , and the attempt will turn futile.
Though most of these solutions are common to all types of household ants, it is extremely important to know which type of ants has infested your house. Depending on the type of the ant and their preferences some hacks may work faster than the others, while some may not work at all. For instance, fire ants will disappear instantly with cucumbers and cinnamon, while black ants dont. You can read up more about the the types of ants in your house and how to identify them.