By : Nicholas Yau
14 July 2016
Ant-agonised by armies of little crawlers around your home? You are not alone. While ants are generally harmless, the sight of them ‘invading’ my home often leaves me feeling distressed. Ants live in colonies of thousands, and their nest can be anywhere – hidden between walls, or even spaces between floors. Sometimes they might be coming from the neighbours’ homes, which makes getting rid of them more difficult. 🙁
On the bright side, there are simple ways to reduce these unwelcomed lodgers that do not involve calling in an expert or splurging on pest control products.
Know your ant-nemy
It’s a common misconception that ants have a sweet tooth. Ants can be attracted to anything needed by their colony, even salt and water. So it’s not surprising to find ants drowning in a kettle.
Most of the time, you might see one or a few ants exploring your home and scouting for food. If they succeed, a dense trail of ants would soon appear… to claim their prize!
So don’t offer the ants anything – keep food in sealed containers and clear any bins with food before you go to bed. Don’t leave unwashed dishes in the kitchen sink, too!
Make sure your sugar jar is airtight
Squash them not
Resist the urge to squash ants when you see them, as that would release pheromones that would warn other ants about the ‘dangerous’ giant that’s hunting them – you! This makes the ants scatter and find an alternate path to their goal. What you could do instead, is to watch the ants for a while, and see if you could find a trail that lead to a nest, or the food that is attracting them.
Spare the spray
Spraying insecticide is a quick way to kill a lot of ants. However, this is only a temporary solution. Spraying does not keep the ants away, and it can also be harmful to your family as it has toxic substances, and leaves behind an oily stain.
Spraying insecticide is not the best option
Wipe it clean
Keep a good habit of clearing your dining table away right after meals. Wipe table and floor surfaces with a gentle disinfectant. This erases the ants’ invisible trails that guides them home. Nothing makes ants feel more uncomfortable than being lost in a clean home with no food to forage. The individual ants will wander away, while the colony will have to approach other places for sources of food.
Mark your defence
You can get ‘Ant Chalk’ from supermarkets to draw around areas where you do not want ants to cross. Use with caution if you have young children as the chalk contains poisonous substances. Another alternative would be to use baby powder instead. Ants are quite smart and will be able to find a route around the chalk and powder, so it’s always wise to keep your home spotless. After all, that means you will always get to enjoy a clean home!
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