Feeling A Little Antsy

The recent wet weather has been found to force ants from their nests into our homes, but what can be done about the infestations?

antsAttack Pest Control have been taking an increased number of calls regarding ant infestations in recent weeks.

Springtime is when ants always seem to appear in large numbers anyway, but if homeowners are seeing a few more six-legged guests than usual, take comfort: you’re not alone.

Just about anywhere that’s been getting heavier-than-usual rainfall has been experiencing the same thing.

So what does wet weather have to do with anything?

Well, the same rain that keeps some people indoors and restless can flood ant tunnels and force them to go on the move. They nest underground, so the rain may be driving them out to search for new homes.

Most ants found in the United Kingdom are fairly harmless, but that doesn’t mean that people want them in their home, or worse, their food. So how do you keep them out, or get rid of them once you’ve got them? The first trick: sort the garden out. Specifically, trim back any trees or shrubs that are touching the house. Those might as well be insect motorways, offering easy access to your home. Second, seal up any cracks and crevices in the house that you can find, particularly any leaks near doors and windows.

Keep an eye on your ornamental plants as well for aphids. Ants feed off of the honeydew that aphids excrete. And of course, don’t leave food out if you can help it.

Over-the-counter products can help repel an invasion, but read the label carefully to make sure it’s effective against ants and safe to use in the house. The most effective substance to use against an ant infestation is probably boric acid, which is very safe around kids and animals. When ants walk through it, it sticks to their feet, and as they groom themselves, it carves holes in their exoskeleton and they die.

There’s a lot of other chemicals and substances that will repel ants, but those don’t really solve the problem. The ants simply avoid the substance and go around it. Most exterminators prefer baits and non-repellent chemicals inside the home – the sort that an ant will take home to its nest – along with spraying outside of the house and working with the homeowner to check nearby trees for nests.

And of course, everyone has their own home remedies for ants. You’re always free to try what you like, though there are no guarantees any of it will work.