As little and harmless as they may look, ants can be just as much of a headache for homeowners to get rid of as larger or more dominant types of pests. Do-it-yourself methods are often ineffective in ant situations because smashing or spraying the few you see won’t do anything for disposing of the entire colony. Truly eliminating an ant infestation is no easy feat, so finding that an army of ants have invaded your home is just as good a reason to call for the help of a pest control company as any other.
The first step in achieving success when battling an ant problem is to identify the kind of culprit you’re dealing with. Different species require different strategies due to varying nesting, mating and feeding habits. This ensures that the issue won’t actually be made worse and that you are able to completely eradicate their presence and not just receive short-term relief. The trained eye of a pest management professional will be able to classify the kind of ants that have made their way inside before deciding on an appropriate treatment.
Finding the Rest of the Troops
An ant problem doesn’t begin or end with the one or two you found crawling on the counter or even with the hundreds you discovered trailing along the baseboard, but rather with the home base of the colony. The next step is usually to seek out where the rest of the colony is nesting. This is done by backtracking the steps of a trail if one can be observed or scouting out individual ants to see where they are taking food back to. Identification also comes in handy here so that specific areas the species is known to nest in can be checked out. Without wiping out the whole colony, you are likely to see an infestation continue.
Implementing a Pest Control Plan
Once species and colony identification have been taken care of, your pest control expert can begin to implement a plan that will free your home and outside property of creepy-crawly ants. This can include liquid baits, insecticide sprays, barrier treatments etc. It may sound like something you can handle on your own, but the products used by the professionals are generally much more powerful than anything that can be store-bought.
Practicing Future Prevention
Your pest control efforts will need to remain consistent long after the ants have been removed in order to prevent any future outbreaks. Keep all food on the counter, in cupboards and in the pantry in tightly sealed containers, frequently wipe down counters, sinks and floors, caulk or repair holes and cracks in the foundation as well as window and door screens, replace weather stripping, take the garbage out often and have entry points regularly sprayed.
Those that are hesitant to pay for the professional services of a pest control company should keep in mind that the time and money spent on DIY methods can add up to be quite a bit before you realize it, only to find you’re still stuck with an infestation after all is said and done. You can save yourself the trouble and additional expense by having the job done right the first time.