Get rid of ants without pesticides
You can control ants by removing their water, food and shelter.
Remove their water source.
Ants cannot live without water. Use these tips to reduce their water source:
- Drain water from sinks.
- Wipe water and liquids off the counter.
- Fix (or report to the property manager) leaky faucets, radiators, dishwashers, and washing machines.
- Empty extra water in flower pots, plant stands and pet drinking bowls.
If ants can’t easily find food in your home, they will go somewhere else. Use these tips to reduce their food source:
- Store all food, including flour and sugar, in covered plastic containers and in the cupboards.
- Clean dirty dishes right away. Keep kitchen counters and your stove clean and dry.
- Keep a tight lid on trash and empty it often.
- Empty pet food and water dishes every night.
- Get rid of unnecessary cardboard.
Lock them out.
Ants usually live in walls or other confined spaces.
- Seal cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks, and around pipes and windows.
- Clean up clutter, especially stacks of newspapers, paper bags, and cardboard boxes.
- Check boxes and bags for ants before bringing them in your home.
Vacuum them up.
- If you find the ants’ nest, vacuum up as many of the pests as you can, and then dispose of the vacuum bag in a closed container, away from the house.
Last resort – use tamper-resistant pesticide bait stations.
- Place stations in areas where children and pets cannot reach them.
How bait works: Each ant carries the bait back to its lair to feed the rest of the colony and the queen. Bait can reduce ant populations very quickly.
Do not use spray insecticides when using bait. They will prevent ants from reaching baited areas, making it impossible for the bait to take effect and do its job.
Do not use insect foggers or bug bombs for these reasons:
- While somewhat effective against some ants, most ants - especially the queen - live deep inside walls and other hard-to-reach areas where the fog can’t reach them.
- Bug bombs can expose your family and pets to the pesticide. Using bug bomb results in pesticides on your counters, bedding, toys, pet food dishes, and all exposed surfaces in your living space.
- Bug bombs are flammable - they can easily catch on fire. In some cases bug bombs have triggered house fires and even explosions when the fog reached a pilot light on the stove, water heater or other ignition source.