What to do with those pesky little ants..

You get up from the table, walk in your kitchen to clean your plate off. As you place the plate and silverware in the sink, you notice out of the corner of your eye something moving. You turn your head to look on the counter. Your eyes get real big, a couple of foul words escape your mouth, and you take a slight step back. No the cats not up on the counter although you wish it was at this point. Ants and a long line of them at that. Hundreds and hundreds of ants are moving back and forth. It looks like they are heading to a concert. Where the heck are they coming from.? At this point you know that you have just received a notice that you will be drafted into the war and the first few shots have been fired.

This has happened to me more than once and in 2 seperate states I might add. Both times weren't the counter invasion, one was actually the back door but nonetheless ants and lots of them. So what did I do and how did I get rid of them. Believe me I tried a couple of different avenues (home remedies) and they worked very little.  I will give you the best way shortly along with a few other ways to remedy the situation shortly. Before I do that though let's understand why you are having this problem in the first place.

The reason for the ants is more than likely your cleanliness, or lack thereof. Now that being said a relatively clean house can still get ants. They are simply looking for what every other creature is looking for and that's what they need to survive. Unfortunately with ants you don't get one, you get thousands, and they can get into your house just about anywhere due to there size. The ants are quite simply looking for food and water. If they are in your house have found a source of it. With food we have a by product called crumbs. If you have kids then you undoubtedly have crumbs riddled throughout your home. Most of us also have the trash in our home and depending where it's located can produce more crumbs or worse yet actual pieces of food. Dishes also are a great source of leftover food as well as a water source. We also leave drops or small puddles of water on countertops, the floor, in the sink, around pet bowls any number of places within your home. These things all contribute to the ant problem.

So what are they and what do you do. If they are small blackish looking ants, and I will bet they are ,then they are carpenter ants. Simply put carpenter ants live in wood. They carve out wood for nesting thus creating the army/colony. They tend to like moist wood but will nest in dry wood as well.  Since houses are made from wood...well you get the picture. OK what to do. Your first instinct is to get rid of them by spraying them with some sort of household cleaner. Restrain yourself because this is what not to do. You are actually going to turn those ants into your own little soldiers and turn them against their colony. What you need to do is follow the ant trail and find out where they are coming from. It is more than likely a baseboard, door, window, or some kind of crack in the home. Once you do see if you can locate the nest. This is often easier said than done but if you happen to come across it then destroying the nest is the best way to get rid of them immediately. To destroy the nest boric acid is your weapon of choice. Puff some boric acid into the nest and at least 3 feet around it and ants be gone. This scenario is unlikely though because ants are often in your walls and in order to do this some drilling and exploring is required which can be a pain. There is an easier way.

First clean...clean your house and eliminate anything they can live on. Move any trash our of your home and all trash outside as far away from the home as possible. Store all food that you can in the refrigerator and seal up tight any food remaining out. It would be good to seal up any cracks that you are aware of around the area preferably with a silicon non toxic caulk. Ok now that you have fortified you base. It's time to wage war. Now when I mentioned borax is a good way to kill the colony then what we need is some kind of borax weapon for our use. You can make a borax bait by mixing borax with syrup or honey, this will work but I have a product that does it for you. It's called Terro liquid ant bait. It's active ingredient, well you guessed it is Borax, and it's inert ingredients are sweet food based products similar to pancake syrup. It comes in premade ant based stations. Just place them around the trail of ants and where you think they are entering the home and now it's just a matter of time. You will soon see hundreds of ants at your bait stations and nowhere else. At first you may think oh my gosh there are lots of them but don't worry they will be gone soon. What happens is the worker ants have left a scent trail for all the other worker ants to follow and they are now all going to the bait stations instead of searching for food sources. The worker and will take the liquid back to the colony share it with the colony and eventually die from the borax. If there is a queen within the colony she will move the colony or if it is a satellite colony not consisting of a queen it will die out. It may take a week or so to not see any ants but after a few days you will see noticeably less. The great thing is that Terro is safe for pets and children and costs about  $8 for 6 baits which should do the trick just fine.  If you want to get rid of ants this is the method I've found that works the best.

So keep your house clean. I know easier said than done. At least try and keep crumbs and water to a minimum at all times. If the ants show up then use Terro and ants you will have no more.