The heat and humidity of summer favor the appearance of very diverse pests. And although some are more dangerous than others, there is undoubtedly an insect that can become really annoying because it invades our homes, and even our food, with total peace of mind. We are talking about ants, an animal that is really important for the planet’s biodiversity, but which can become a persistent problem when it sneaks into our space .
In Spain there are about 300 species of ants registered , some of which come from other continents. As explained by the pest control company Anticimex, most of these insects live in the countryside, but often the invasive species cannot compete with the native ones for resources and move inside buildings, where they have more facilities to subsist.
Ants find in our homes the optimal conditions to settle. Here they have good air conditioning , corners where they can build their nests without being detected and, above all, a lot of food scraps to collect. Once they appear, they are very difficult to get rid of completely. For this reason, the best strategy that we can follow if we do not want to live with hundreds of them is prevention.
1. Block their way: watch out for cracks!
Due to their size, they have it very easy to sneak into the house through cracks, but making it difficult for them is not complicated either. It is enough to use silicone or plaster to seal the holes through which they could enter. At the same time, this takes away spaces where they might otherwise establish their nests. We must especially check the cracks in the kitchen, although they can also be installed in any room and parade from there in search of food.
2. Starve them: no crumbs!
That is another of the fronts that we must watch. To avoid pests, we must ensure that they do not find a power source in our homes. This can be tricky, as scout ants use their sense of smell to detect food and navigate, so they always know which way to go. In addition, although they have a predilection for sugary substances, any type of organic matter is worth it.
The key to prevent them from appearing is very simple: maintain a good cleanliness at home, paying special attention to the kitchen and dining room. After meals, you have to make sure that there are no residues anywhere. That is, you have to sweep and wipe the different surfaces where we routinely use food. And in this area let’s not forget the appliances; sweeping under the fridge or removing crumbs from inside the toaster can save us future invasions.
3. Watch for leftovers and water leaks
It is also convenient to wash the dishes after eating, since the leftovers can attract ants to the sink, where they would also find water. In this same line, it is important that we make sure to repair water leaks if we have them, because humidity can be another claim.
4. Sweets, in airtight containers
Continuing with food, we must carefully control the places where we store it. You have to clean the shelves and cabinets from time to time, especially if we have spilled some food. And those things that are most attractive to ants, among which sweet products such as sugar or honey stand out , should be stored in closed, airtight containers. However, let’s not forget that they can eat anything, so the garbage cans should be emptied frequently.
If despite our efforts, one day we find a row of these insects walking through our kitchen, there are ways to expel them again. The most direct are to contact pest control experts or buy and apply the insecticide that seems most suitable to us. But there are also effective home methods , in case we want to throw them out instead of killing them.
In the same way that ants love sugary foods, they can’t stand the smell of vinegar. Mixed with water in equal parts, it can be sprayed in the usual transit areas, and we will see that the number of explorers is drastically reduced in a very short time. Furthermore, vinegar, being so strong, eliminates the traces of smell that serve as a guide, making it difficult for them to detect the path they followed inside our houses. It is one of the many uses of vinegar that you may not have known .
Something very similar happens with lemon juice. If we sprinkle the floors with a couple of squeezed citrus fruits, the ants will also disappear. Only in this case our home will smell much better than with vinegar.
3. Smell bags of mint, coffee beans…
In general, we can eliminate ants with certain striking odors. Herbs and spices such as mint, bay leaf, garlic or even coffee beans can serve as homemade repellents. We can spread them around the outside of the house if we know which areas they enter through, like homemade pesticides . But if we are not sure, we can put some of these ingredients in cloth bags and store them in drawers and shelves , as is done in cabinets with mothproofing products.
4. Chalk and talcum powder
Chalk and talcum powder also serve to repel these insects. The most efficient way to use them is to spread them at the access points, since if we try to mark their entire route, we will surely end up with half a house dirty with dust.
5. Baking soda with sugar
Finally, it will also work for us to mix equal parts baking soda and sugar. This mixture is harmful to ants, so they will run away from it when they detect it. Throwing it through their passageways, the insects will leave our home in a very short time.