How to Get Rid of Ants in Florida
Living in Florida has a lot of benefits: great weather, great people, and lots to do. But one of the major problems we have in Florida is ants. Somehow these small insects are able to find ways into almost any home.
Advice from the Pros
We wanted to provide tips on how to get rid of ants, and what NOT to do in order to prevent having an ant problem in your Florida home.
Common Types of Ants in Florida
- Ghost Ants. These ants are very light in color and very fast. They’re smaller than most ants and have a sharp sense of smell. They’ll try and attack any open food that’s sweet, and their teeth are sharp enough to break through packaged food.
- Carpenter Ants. These ants search for voids where they can nest, or excavate soft materials like rotten wood or styrofoam. Be careful when dealing with carpenter ants because their bite can really hurt.
- Pharaoh Ants. These might be the worst ant to find in your home. It takes professional treatments to get rid of Pharaoh ants because if they can survive through most conventional household pest treatments. They like sweet, fatty, and oily foods, and are yellowish or red in color.
Prevention Tips to Avoid Ants Entering Your Home
Are you attracting ants into your home? Ants love food and water just like you do. Here are some tips to make your home less inviting:
- Standing water. Fix any leaky pipes or faucets so there isn’t any standing water inside.
- Air-tight containers. Keep all food that you want to store in cabinets or on your counters in air-tight containers. If possible, keep fruit and vegetables in your fridge.
- Pet food. Don’t let your pet’s food and water stay out all night.
- Clean. Don’t let dishes stay in the sink for too long, and wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
- Garbage. Take the garbage out at least once a day and use a trashcan that has an air-tight lid.
DIY Ideas to Deter Ants
Because ants are so small there are a thousand different ways they can get inside if you don’t use professional treatments. Try these helpful DIY ideas to keep ants away:
- Caulk. You should seal doors, windows, and any tiny cracks with caulk.
- Natural deterrents. If you know where ants are getting in you can line these entryways with things that ants hate. Salt, baby powder, lemon juice, chalk, vinegar, bay leaves, cinnamon, or peppermint oil are a few items that you have around your home that will stop ants from coming inside. Lay these out in areas where you see ants and they’ll stop using that area as an entrance into your house.
- Landscape buffer. Have at least 3 feet between your home and any vegetation. Ants love using plants as bridges into your home.
How to Kill Ants in Your Home for Good
Pharaoh and ghost ants will be attracted to your food, but carpenter ants pose a bigger problem. Because carpenter ants like to live in wood you should make sure they aren’t living in your walls or foundation. You should have a pest management professional make sure this isn’t the case. But you should be able to kill small ant populations with these ideas:
- Cornmeal. Ants are attracted to cornmeal and will want to eat it, but their bodies can’t digest it. Any ant that eats kill cornmeal will die, so sprinkle it where you see ants inside, or near the colony outside if you know where they live.
- Vacuum. Use a vacuum or dust-bust the ants when you see them, then sprinkle some talcum powder and vacuum that up as well. The talcum powder will make sure they die inside the vacuum instead of just giving them a new home.
- Borax. Take 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of borax, 1 teaspoon of water, and mix well. Place this mixture on pieces of cardboard where you see ants. They’ll carry it back to the nest and the other ants will eat it die from the borax. Don’t have this mixture near infants or pets.
- Dish soap. Mix dish soap, water, and some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it on ants you see in your home. This will kill them.
- Boiling water. If you know where the ant colony lives, or if you’re able to follow them back to their nest, pour boiling water down into the hole. This should wipe out the colony.
Don’t Let Ants Make Your Antsy, Get Professional Help!
These tips should help you keep ants where they belong...outside! But for incredibly small creatures, ants can come up with ingenious ways of getting inside a home and disturbing your family. We know that your family’s safety is your top priority, and that’s why we only use the best solutions for ant control in Florida.
This blog was written by Kent D. Edmunds, CEO of Paul's Pest Control. Kent has been working with Paul's Termite & Pest Control since 1989 and is a certified pest control operator in both Georgia and Florida!