Three picture collage of ants in multiple locations

Home Ant Control Tips

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Ants Collage

“How do I get rid of ants?” is one of the most commonly asked questions that we are approached with. Since ants all look somewhat similar, you might think they can all be controlled by using similar methods.  However, better control results are more likely if the ants are accurately identified before starting treatment. Control tactics often vary depending on the ant species, due to differences in habitat references, feeding and reproductive behaviors.

In addition to correctly identifying the ant species, it is also important to be educated on ant biology.  Ants are social insects, and within each colony, different ants have different jobs.  For example, queen ants are responsible for egg-laying, while worker ants tend to younger nest members, construct nests and forage for food.  The workers that forage for food, also known as foragers, find and bring back enough food to feed the entire colony.  It is the foragers that we most often see when there is an infestation which represent less than 10% of the colony.

When it comes to controlling ants, a Technician will employ a combination of tools from their integrated pest management “toolbox.”  One common home ant control tool is chemical control, and as such, there are a variety of chemical control options available.  Chemical control options include a variety of liquid pesticide formulations and active ingredient classes.  Liquid pesticide applications are directed at nests, areas with ant activity, or perimeter applications to keep ants from entering a structure.  Another chemical control option is ant bait, which will eliminate a colony after foraging ants feed on it, and carry it back to the nest to feed it to the rest of the colony.

Ants on a wire

Ants prefer to make trails along structural elements, such as wires and pipes, and frequently use them to enter and travel within a structure to their destination, so entry points should also be identified and sealed in these locations.

On the inside of your home or business good sanitation practices should be incorporated into the integrated pest management strategy.  Good sanitation will reduce food and harborage areas for ants, making that area unattractive to them. Our top sanitation tips are:

A lucky group of ants finding a piece of left behind candy.
A lucky group of ants finding a piece of left behind candy.
  • Eliminate cracks and crevices wherever possible, especially in kitchens and where food is prepared.
  • Attractive food items such as sugary foods and pet food should be stored in closed containers.
  • Empty soft drink containers should be rinsed out and removed from your home or office
  • Any grease or spillage should be cleaned up.
  • Garbage should be removed from buildings daily and liners need to be changed

For more home ant control tips or advice on how to rid your home of other pests please call Ehrlich at (877) 650-6544 or contact us online

Do you have any questions or tips? Share below in the comments! 

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Dr. Nancy Troyano

Nancy Troyano, Training Manager / Entomologist at Rentokil North America, is responsible for leading and supporting the development and training of Rentokil technicians throughout North America. Nancy works closely with Technical Field Trainers and Line-of-Business Managers to develop and implement a comprehensive training program for new and existing technicians. Nancy joined Rentokil after receiving her PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 2009. Follow Nancy on Google+

5 Comments

  1. I had no idea that an ant species could affect how I controlled them. That is great information to know. Your comment about ant biology is great too. They are similar to humans in that they each have different roles within their colony. Thanks for the great information. I am going to keep that in mind as I try to keep ants out of my home.

  2. I’ve noticed ants around my apartment a lot lately. I know my roommates are super messy and they leave food and crumbs everywhere. Whenever I get to cleaning those up quick then we won’t have many bugs around. My experience seems to agree with what you are saying! Thanks for posting this great info on getting rid of ants Nancy!

  3. I’ve been having some problems with ants, and it is pretty disconcerting. I appreciate knowing a little bit more about ants and how they function so I can identify what it is about my home that attracts them. Using your helpful tips I should be able to remedy the situation. I will be applying these ideas soon, thank you very much for the professional instructions!

  4. Excellent post outlining how to control ants. These little buggers are a huge pain. We can all sleep better tonight knowing what can be done to eradicate them. Thanks for the valuable post!

  5. I have been trying to get rid of the ant problem in my home. I had no idea that ants were attracted to pet food. I will need to seal that container. Thank you for the help.

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