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Ant Control - How to Get Rid of Ants

While ants aren't necessarily dangerous, they are an incredible nuisance. Commonly found throughout the UK, ants can invade your home in their search for food. Once a colony of ants moves into the walls of your home, getting rid of them can be a challenge. You should attempt to beat your ant infestation as soon as you notice it is occurring, this is due to the fact that the longer you wait the harder it will be to eliminate them.

Categories of Ant Control Products

Ant Problems
They aren't really known for carrying diseases, but the fact is that you never know where that ant has been. Just as you wouldn't eat food off the floor, you can't eat food after ants have walked on it. In addition to being an upsetting nuisance, they can send your grocery bill through the roof as you are forced to dispose of food they have contaminated. The ability of fire ants to bite also makes them a danger in the home, particularly to young children.

Ant Identification
Since you never know where an ant has been you should always assume they are carrying bacteria. They are actually known to contract Salmonella which is then spread through your house and onto any food or surface of yours that they walk on. The most common ants are black ants. They lay eggs in soil, brickwork or even under bark. They are drawn to sweet foods and will leave a pheromone trail to help other ants find the meal. Their colour is a dark brown to black, and they are usually four to five millimetres in length. Along with this, Carpenter ants are also black but are larger than the common ones and have wings. Most cases of these are found in the US but there have been some reported in the UK. They will eat through your housing by swarming the object whether it is carpet or your front garden porch.
Pharaoh's ants are much smaller than black ants. They measure in between one and two millimetres in length and will be a yellow-brown colour. Because they are imported from the tropics, they require warmer temperatures. They are commonly found in heated buildings and will survive on decomposing foods. Because of its habit of feeding on rotting food, it is known to carry harmful germs.
Red fire ants are perhaps the most frightening species. They are usually three millimetres long and have a reddish-brown colour. They build mounds that can be up to two feet high, choosing open sunny areas for their homes, making the nests easy to find. They have a powerful and painful sting, so their presence is especially upsetting. Like black ants, they have a preference for foods that are sugary and sweet.

Ant Prevention through Cleaning
The best form of ant control is prevention, and the way to avoid ants in the home is to make it uninviting to the little invaders. Start by following good hygiene in the kitchen and throughout the home. Don't leave food lying around and clean up spills immediately. Food should be covered when not in use, and pet food should be picked up as soon as your pet is done eating.
Other ant prevention methods aren't quite as obvious. Appliances should be pulled away from walls occasionally, allowing you to clean underneath them. Rubbish cans should be tightly sealed, and spills on the outside of the can should be cleaned up. Any compost efforts should be kept enclosed and tightly covered to avoid pharaoh's ants.

Ant Prevention through Chemicals
The next step has nothing to do with food and everything to do with sealing up the home. Check window and door frames for cracks that ants can use to enter your home. Seal all cracks and crevices with caulk to prevent the risk of invasion.
Barrier spraying is also an effective method for keeping the sneaky pests from entering your home. Barrier or residual sprays and powders are applied around the foundation of your home, for example Pest Expert Formula C Ant Killer Spray or Pest Expert Formula P Ant Killer Powder. While they won't kill the nest, they will deter ants from entering your dwelling in search of food and new housing.

Dealing with Active Infestations
There are several options for getting rid of ants that are invading the home. Here are a few that can help you reclaim your home from these unwanted visitors.
Diatomaceous Earth Ant Killer Powder can be sprinkled into cracks and crevices. The ants will consume it and die from dehydration. An organic solution, it can even be used on nests that you find in the garden. This will also destroy colonies of fire ants by simply sprinkling some over and around the nest.
Ant bait stations are also effective for killing the queen and the nest. Choose one that is carried back to the others, allowing you to permanently destroy the nest. If you can find the nest, make the bait even more tempting by placing it near their home. Otherwise, simply place it near an ant trail and wait for them to kill themselves off.
Ant sprays are satisfying on a personal level, especially if you have been dealing with ants for a long period of time. The downside to sprays is that they kill the ants before the poison can be shared with the nest. The poison can also spread and cause harm to wildlife you don't want to kill and even the children.
Ants are a nuisance more than anything, but one that should be dealt with promptly. Don't wait until you are looking at an ant super-highway in the kitchen, start treatment as soon as you see one or two ants foraging in or near your home. Plastic containers and bags should be used to deny the ants access to your food. Keep the home clean to make it less appealing. If you are treating with chemicals, remember to be patient. It will take time for the scouts to take the poison to the nest and the queen. Once the queen has died it should usually take a few weeks for the worker ants to also die as they are unable to reproduce. With diligence and a little time, you can soon enjoy a home that is free from ants.