Ants are a common sight in any English garden, where they do little harm and help to keep down bugs and insects, but they can be a problem when they invade the home. Some new-build properties have been particularly vulnerable to ant infestations, due to the design of the homes or flats, and they are also problematic in areas where foods are easily accessed, particularly sugar, cereals and sweet foods.
In the UK, it is more common to see the black ant than any other kind, although it is also possible to find foreign invasions of Pharaoh, Ghost and Argentine ants among others. These can cause significant problems because they need specialist intervention. In order to prevent any kind of ants from invading, it is a good idea to take certain steps to keep them away.
1) Ensure that there are few reasons for the ants to invade your property in the first place.
This means securing food, not leaving food trails from the bins to your home, and keeping the house cool in order to properly ward off ants. Leaking fluids between the bin and the kitchen should be cleaned up immediately. Keeping the bins clean and regularly washed – out will ensure that ants are not tempted by these places.
2) Ensure that you have few opportunities for ants to come into the house.
This means ensuring that holes or cracks in brickwork are covered over, that pipes don’t allow access into the home, and that tiles and vents are also secured. Ants can enter through very small holes, so it is important to check the house thoroughly during the early spring, and make sure that holes are filled-in. Don’t do this before the end of winter, as new holes can be created during these cold and damp months.
3) Keep the house in good order.
Make sure that you fix loose floors, tiles or skirting boards quickly, and keep corners swept clean. This will prevent ants from building a nest inside the house. You should also take steps to clean out waste areas, such as vegetable bins, before the summer arrives. Making sure that there is nothing on the floor will help to avoid tempting in ants, and will deter them from nesting in your home.
4) Make sure that any ant trails are removed as soon as they are found.
You can use insecticide if there are no pets, as this will keep ants away, but talcum powder or other fine non-food powders will work as well. Removing the ant trail is the most effective step you can take once summer has arrived.
5) Keep an eye on your home.
Look out for ant trails, or for loose ants wandering around inside the house. Make sure that there are no spaces where ants could hide, or gain access to your home, and you should have an ant-free summer. If, despite all precautions, you still have problems, then it makes sense to call in pest control to remove the ants as quickly as possible.
Tony Bond is the Founder of North London Pest Control who have a team of pest control experts and have budget friendly solutions for pest problems.