Ants are one of the most persistent pests that can enter a home. Most commonly found in the summer months, ants can get themselves into the smallest nooks and crannies, slowly invading every room of a room in their constant search for new sources of food. This is more true than ever when it comes to apartments and other high density residential areas.
Fortunately, there are a few very efficient ways to prevent ants from entering your home. With the effects of pesticide use on local health so well documented, it pays to avoid overdoing it on poisons or chemicals. Try one of the following all-natural prevention strategies to keep your home comfortable and ant-free.
- Seal Off Entrances—Physically preventing ants from entering your home is the first step towards protecting your apartment against ant invasion. Since these insects are so small, they can find ingenious ways to enter homes. Take a careful look at your windows, doors and corners to determine if there are any holes through which a line of ants could march. Seal those holes with silicone caulk, plaster, glue or putty. Fine steel wool found in hardware stores (not soap pads) is very effective at filling large gaps around water and drain pipes under sinks.
- Create a Salt Barrier —Salt is a surprisingly effective ant repellant. Salt absorbs moisture, which can dry out the ants’ bodies and even devastate the nest if it is mistakenly carried back. If you want to keep ants away from a particularly troublesome area in your kitchen, try laying a barrier of salt on the ground in a hard-to-reach area where it won’t impede foot traffic.
- Create a talcum or boric acid barrier —Other natural powders that repels ants are talcum powder or boric acid. Talc deters ants, though pesticide researchers do not yet fully understand the mechanism. Avoid talcum powders that contain corn starch or other ingredients, which are not effective like talc is.
- Create a Tape Barrier—If you have an entry point that ants can use to enter your home but that cannot be caulked or otherwise efficiently shut, try laying a tape trap for the incoming pests. Double-sided tape, laid as a barrier around the entrance point, will ensnare ants and stop them in their tracks. Other ants will typically take the hint and try to avoid the area once a sufficient number have gotten stuck.
- Essential Oils—Cinnamon, peppermint and clove are known to repel ants. They carry the additional benefit of improving the scent of your home, so feel free to leave trails and barriers of aromatic essential oils such as these near windows, doors and other entrance points.
- Diatomaceous Earth—This natural product absorbs moisture much like salt does. It is very effective at drying out ants and repelling them from entering a home. Be sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth and to keep it as dry as possible. It is effective enough to repel small- to medium-sized invasions, but you may want to hire a professional for large-scale ant problems.
Of course, New York is a tough town. Not all these remedies may work for NY pests. If not, please call Ecology Exterminating at 718-972-1040 and our specially trained technicians will diagnose your pest problem and recommend an effective, professional extermination treatment that minimizes the use of harmful chemicals.