Oh no! There are ants in your house. They have got to be one of the worst things to find in your home. Your first reaction is to get the fly spray and take them out there and then. And it's understandable because they're probably on your kitchen counters, stove or sink. You can’t have such a filthy insect roaming freely where you live.
Ants can be a real problem in the home especially if they're found regularly in the kitchen. They aren't easily impeded by physical barriers and fit through cracks, crevices and gaps. They'll get to the source of food and will keep coming back time and time again.
Spraying or squishing them only deals with the scout ants that are visible. It doesn't in any way address the root cause. You have an ant colony nearby that needs to be taken out.
To completely get rid of ants, you have to use a method that eradicates the entire colony, including the queen. Baits are the number 1 option for getting rid of ant infestations. The most effective baits are those which combine Boric Acid with a household food that the ants like. The scout ants consume the bait and bring it back to the nest where it's able to work its magic.
There are many ant bait recipes which use Boric Acid, but not all baits work for all ants. So before you race off and start brewing your bait, first you need to figure out what kind of ant you have.
What kind of ants are there?
There are two main types of ants which invade your home; Sugar Ants, and Protein (or Grease) Ants. From a scientific point of view, there's no such thing as a sugar or protein ant. But over time people have used this classification to describe the ants from the most helpful perspective, that being the best way to kill them.
Sugar ants are those which love all things sweet. Depending on your location, these types of ants can vary greatly. Some of the more common sugar ants are the field ant, pavement ant, pharaoh ant and the carpenter ant.
Protein ants (also known as grease ants) tend to consume protein instead of sugar. But this does not mean they won't eat sugar. The Fire ant has largely a protein based diet and sugar based baits won't work well. But the pavement ants and carpenter ants will eat sugar, but prefer foods which have some protein in it.
What kinds of ants do I have?
The easiest way to find out what kind of ants you have is to do a test. To conduct this test you'll need 3 tablespoons. Get a teaspoon of honey or mint jelly, a teaspoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon with a combination of both. For the combination, see if you can mix the honey in with the peanut butter. The combination is optional, but it's helpful to know if the food is a decisive factor in the consumption of the bait. Then place the spoons right near where you see the ants. Hopefully it won't take too long for the ants to find it.
Once the ants arrive, watch which teaspoon they prefer. If it's the honey, then you have sugar ants, if it's the peanut butter you have protein ants and if it's the combination then they should be on all three spoons.
Now you've identified you're ready to make the bait. Check out our recipes online to help get you started. We have boric acid bait recipes for sugar ants as well as boric acid bait recipes for protein ants.
Do you have any of your own methods of determining what type of ants you have? If so, please leave a comment in the section below.