Organic ant pest control treatments are fast gaining popularity in homes and businesses all over the world. After realizing the hazards and health risks posed by chemical pesticides on humans, pets, and even our environment, more and more people everywhere are opting for safe, natural, and less toxic alternatives when trying to get rid of ants and addressing other pest issues.
How harmful can ants get?
Did you know that there are over a thousand classified ant species in the United States? Fortunately, only a very few are bound to seek shelter in homes and even a smaller percentage are likely to bite, sting, or create significant damage. In fact, the vast majority of ant species are outdoor dwellers, thriving on what nature provides them as main food sources. In homes across the country, many ant species that thrive in yards and gardens are actually beneficial—they help aerate soil and control damaging pests like aphids and other sap-sucking bugs. Ants also kill and feed off fleas, caterpillars, and fly larvae.
Still, ants can be quite annoying when present in large numbers and particularly when they have invaded your home. Since ants enter your property from the outdoors, they can be vectors of bad bacteria and contaminate food items in your kitchen and pantry. While ants don’t transmit disease directly like mosquitoes and other insects do, they can carry pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella, all of which are known to cause food-borne illnesses.
Probably you’ve never delved deeply into the possibility of ants transmitting disease, but just think of the places ants traverse and what they can pick up while foraging for food—garbage cans, commodes, drainages, decaying food particles, animal feces… the list goes on. Think, too, how these disease-laden organisms are transferred into food items and food preparation areas as ants forage around your kitchen. I bet you’re now thinking that you should get rid of ants quickly and fast because they’re actually a lot more serious than the simple nuisance you thought were!
I want to get rid of ants now! Where do I start?
Fortunately, ants invading your home isn’t exactly the worst pest problem you can encounter. The most important thing to keep in mind is to nip an ant problem in the bud before it graduates into a full-blown ant infestation and there are many safe ways to get rid of ants without using harsh and toxic pesticides. But first things first. Everyone needs to understand the structure of an ant colony to successfully get rid of ants.
The ants you see around your home comprise just about 10% of the entire colony they belong to—90% remains hidden from your site and depending on the ant species, there should be one or more queen ants continually reproducing in their nests. The rest are worker ants, the younger of which remain in the nest doing colony maintenance works and serving their queen. Older worker ants are sent out to find food for the entire colony and these are the ones you see when an infestation is in progress.
You will never prevent or control a probable infestation if you only address these ants that are visible to you. In fact, organic ant control treatments discourage the use of ant repellent sprays that kill these visible ants outright. With these ants killed, the colony will only send out new workers to replace them and the queen will simply reproduce more ants to maintain the colony so an infestation will never end. As odd as it may seem, the key to eradicating these visible ants is to go for those that are out of your sight. Specifically, you should target the queen that never leaves the nest and whose only main purpose is to produce more ants. The end of the queen means the end of the entire colony and the end of an ant infestation. Makes sense?
Finding pheromone trails to get rid of ants
Now, how do you go about targeting the queen and the rest of the worker ants hidden in a colony somewhere in your home? First, you need to spot those trails worker ants use to bring food to the nest. You see, once these foraging ants find a reliable food source, they leave scent markers known as pheromone trails which fellow worker ants will follow to collect more food. This is the reason why ants tend to “march” along a straight path—they’re simply following pheromone trails to get more food to bring back to the nest.
Once you’ve recognized this typical ant behavior, it will be easier for you to employ organic ant pest control treatments in the form of ant baits containing some sort of undetectable poison that worker ants will share with the rest of the colony, including the queen.
Using organic ant bait stations to eliminate an ant colony
Organic ant baits are formulated to keep foraging worker ants alive long enough for them to transport and share toxic substances that will eventually kill off the entire ant colony. They’re usually made up of sugary carbs mixed with ingredients that are toxic to ants but have minimal or zero toxicity to humans and pets. Boric acid is a popular choice since it’s a natural substance that’s totally non-toxic to humans. Still, you’ll have everything to gain and nothing to lose if you keep ant bait stations out of reach especially if you have small kids or pets around.
When using organic ant baits, make sure you place them close to visible ant trails so worker ants will find them in no time. Also, make sure to keep all surrounding surfaces clean so that the ants will only get attracted to the bait and nothing else. Once worker ants detect the bait, they’ll be carrying most of it back to the nest. Take note, however, that it will take several days or even weeks to eradicate the colony, especially if it’s a large one or has several queens. In some instances, you may need to replace the bait if the foraging ants consume all of it. Gradually, you’ll see less and less of the ants and your remaining bait will be left untouched. This should signal the end of an infestation.
Customized ant bait stations from an organic ant pest control expert
If you think preparing your own organic ant bait stations is such a daunting task, a professional organic ant pest control expert like Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control can do the job for you. Licensed pest control technicians have access to a wide range of selective organic ant pesticides, meaning they only target ants and will not harm other beneficial insects. This is particularly important if an ant colony has been located outside your structure after following ant trails.
If this is the case, Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control will conduct a thorough inspection of your property and place organic bait stations at strategic locations in your home. These bait stations will be monitored closely and replaced when needed. Depending on your level of infestation, an approved ant pesticide drench may also be applied where a colony has been located to speed up the process of targeting the queen. Once that has been accomplished, you have gotten to the bottom of things and you can rest assure no pesky ants will be bothering you and our home the whole year through!
If you wish to speak with Ryan, owner and master technician at Ant & Garden Organic Pest Control, visit their website agpestcontrol.net to schedule a FREE consultation. With over 20 years of experience plus a passion for ants like no one else, Ryan has all the answers you need regarding your ant problem or anything else pest-related!
This content is sponsored by Uday Tank.