The ecosystem consists of different species all of which have important roles to play for its survival. Ants are no exception. However, the presence may become problematic when they infest places where they are not wanted such as homes, hospitals, offices, and the likes. If you are currently dealing with ant infestations, then you are in the right place as this post will furnish you with important information about the creatures as well as homemade recipes to get rid of them. Scroll down for details.
What Is An Ant?
Ants are insects in the family Formicidae and order Hymenoptera. There are many different types of ants as about 22,000 species have already been classified. The creature varies in sizes that may range from 0.75 to 52 millimeters. The largest species of ant is the fossil Titanomyrma giganteum and their queen has been found to measure 6 centimeters long. Ants can be identified by their node-like structure with a slender waist and elbowed antennae. The creatures also vary in color that ranges from red, metallic luster, green, to black.
Some species of ants prefer to live alone, but many others can be found in large colonies. You will find that these colonies usually consist of dinergates (soldier ants), ergates (sterile females, worker ants), aner (fertile males, drones), gynes (queens) and many other groups. These groups have their responsibilities which they carry out harmoniously. They can be found almost every landmass on earth except in Antarctica and a few islands including Iceland, Greenland, Hawaiian Islands and some parts of Polynesia.
Are Ants Harmful To The Health?
Generally, ants are not considered harmful to health. A few species have been considered pests whose presence in the home and other location where they are not wanted is inconveniencing and problematic. These ants include the yellow crazy ant, Argentine ant, Pharaoh ant, banded sugar ant, carpenter ants, pavement ant, European fire ant, red imported fire ant, and odorous house ant.
They are classified as a pest because these species of ants are likely to raid your food store, agricultural crops, and even indoor structures. Even though ants are not typically dangerous, a few species may bite or sting to attack a predator or defend themselves. A few species of ants spray and inject chemical in addition to biting or stinging. For instance, formicine ants are popularly known for injecting their victims with formic acid, while fire ants inject victims with piperidines and alkaloids.
The sting of jack jumper ants and paraponera, also known as Bullet ants is the most painful and it is considered fatal to humans. The sting of these ants can be dangerous to individuals diagnosed with hypertension. For this reason, it is advised to take active steps to get rid of ant infestation in your home.
The Benefits Of Ants
Even though the presence of ants in your home may be problematic, the creatures have a lot of benefits and roles to play in the survival of the ecosystem. For instance, large ants like army ants are used in South America and Africa as surgical sutures. The ants are applied to the injury after it is pressed together. Also, weaver ants are utilized for citrus cultivation as a biological control in southern China. They help to control the population of pests in the soil.
Furthermore, some species of ants like paraponera clavata, Myrmecia ants and dinoponera spp. have been found to have toxic venoms that are important to the field of medicine. Ants are used in South Africa to harvest rooibos seeds used in making herbal tea. In addition, ants like hormigas culonas are used as food in Columbia. Their larvae are served as food in different parts of the world. The paste of the green weaver ant is used as a condiment in Thailand and Burma.
How To Get Rid Of Ants In The Home
There are different ways to get rid of ants in the home such as pesticide and chemical based repellents. You can even resort to poisoned baits if you are dealing with a heavy infestation. However, most homeowners do not like the idea of spraying chemicals or stationing poisoned baits in their home.
This is especially because it may not be safe for kids, pets and other members of your household. It may also be detrimental to the plants and the environment at large. For this reason, it is advised to go for homemade ants traps and killers that are non-toxic for the best result.
Benefits Of Using Homemade Ant Traps
Homemade Ant Traps Are Affordable And Easy To Formulate
The ingredients required to make homemade ant traps are affordable. This is especially because they are food grade ingredients offered at a cheap price. You may even find most of them in your kitchen and others in a nearby department. Homemade ant traps are easy to formulate as all you need to do is mix one ingredient with the other and you have your ant trap. This is amazing as it allows you to easily prepare the trap and use it for an emergency situation without the need to go searching for store bought ones.
They Are Safe To Use In Homes
Most homemade ant traps do not require the use of toxic and harmful ingredient thereby making them safe for use in homes. They are safe even when you have kids and pets in the home. Also, since you will be making the ant trap yourself, you will be afforded the opportunity to control what goes into the preparation. This will give you a chance to ensure that all ingredient used are safe for you in the case you are allergic to some ingredients.
Easy To Use
With homemade ant traps, all you have to do is station the formulation and let it do the rest. This invariably means you have an effective ant trap working for you while you have enough time to focus on other affairs.
Homemade Ant Trap Recipes
Diatomaceous Earth Ant Trap
Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance that can help you manage ant infestation in your home. The substance consists of the fossils of diatoms – aquatic organisms. Diatomaceous earth looks smooth and soft to touch but under the microscope, you will find that it has sharp edges that help to tear the body of ants apart. Any ant that comes in contact with the powder will eventually dry up and die.
Diatomaceous earth is safe to use in the home even if you have kids and pets in the home. It is advised to ensure that you purchase only food grade diatomaceous earth. It is inexpensive and can be bought from a department store. Diatomaceous earth is the only ingredient you need for this recipe. After purchasing the substance, put a small quantity in many small bottles and containers.
Place the bottles on ant trails and other places through which they gain access to your home. Alternatively, put on gloves and sprinkle it in on areas through which ants gain access to your homes such as around your doors, and window mills as well as areas that are already infested. Reapply as needed.
Borax And Sugar Ant Trap
Borax is a laundry agent that is similar to boric acid but a little milder. This substance is effective in getting rid of ant thus the main ingredient for this recipe. Another ingredient included in this recipe is powdered sugar. Although sugar will not cause the death of ants, it will attract them to your baits. When you mix borax and sugar together, the ant may not be able to differentiate between the two substances thus leading to their death.
Lard or shortening
Paper boards, bottles or containers
Get a small ball and add in 2 teaspoons of borax and an equal quantity of powdered sugar. Mix well and add in a little lard or shortening to make tiny crumbs. Put the crumbs in tiny containers and bottles and place them on ant trails. Alternatively, you can put the crumbs on the paper boards and station them on ant trails around your home. They insects will carry the crumbs back to their nest and it will eventually lead to the death of the entire colony.
Another way to kill an ant with sugar and borax trap is to mix 2 tablespoons of borax with an equal amount of sugar in a small bowl. Add a half cup of warm water and stir properly until integrated. Get cotton balls and dip them into the mixture. Place the soak cotton balls in a bowl and station them on ant trail and places through which ants gain access to your home.
Replace the baits on a regular basis for the best results. It is advised to keep the sugar and borax ant trap out of the reach of kids and pets. This is irrespective of the fact that borax is considered of low toxicity to humans and animals. You don’t want to take chances with the safety of your kids and pets. Unused baits can be stored in an airtight container.
Boric Acid And Corn Syrup Recipe
As already mentioned, boric acid is effective for getting rid of ants. This recipe will explain house you can mix the substance with corn syrup to manage an active ant infestation in your home. Corn syrup is sweet and ants are attracted to sugary substances. This invariably means that they will be attracted to this trap not knowing that it also contains a substance that is dangerous for them.
After purchasing all your ingredients, get a small bowl and add in 1 tablespoon of boric acid and a half cup of corn syrup. Mix properly until properly integrated. Drop part of the mixture in small containers or bottles and station them on ant trails. Alternatively, you can drop the mixture on a piece of waxed paper and station it on trails of ants. You don’t have to do any other thing, just wait and allow the insects to carry the trap back to their nest.
They will all feed on it and it will eventually cause the death of the entire colony. Repeat the process on a daily basis for the best result. The unused portion of the poisoned bait can be stored in a sealed bottle and kept at room temperature for a couple of weeks. It is advised to keep the bait as well as the leftover out of the reach of kids and pets. This is especially because it may be detrimental to their health.
Other Ways To Get Rid Of Ant In The Home
Essential oil is beneficial for humans but the same cannot be said for insects. Ants detest most essential oil as it is detrimental for their health. This makes it an effective way to rid your home of these pests. One of the most popular oils used in getting rid of ants is the peppermint essential oil. Add about four tablespoons of pure, undiluted coconut oil to a small bowl and dip cotton balls.
Allow them to soak properly. Drop each ball of different ant trails to get rid of the pests. Alternatively, you can put a few drops of citrus, Peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus oil on a damp towel. Use the towel to wipe your door frames and windowsills. This will serve as an effective way to repel ants from your home. Repeat the process on a regular basis for the best result.
Cinnamon, Caynne Pepper And Garlic Powder
Cinnamon, cayenne pepper and garlic powder are spices that most insects including ants hate. You can purchase any of these spice or all of them an apply them interchangeably. Put on a glove and apply any of cinnamon, cayenne pepper and garlic powder around the perimeter of your home or in ant nests if you can locate them. You can also sprinkle them in places through which the pest gain access to your home. This will serve as a strong repellent that will help keep ants at bay.
The process should be repeated as desired until you are certain that you have gotten rid of all the ants in your home. However, you should note that this method may be beneficial in keeping ants out but it may not be useful for getting rid of the ones that are already in your home. If you are dealing with a heavy infestation, it is advised to try any of the methods listed above.
Peanuts Butter, Borax, And Sugar
Get peanut butter, borax, sugar, and a small bowl. Add into the bowl 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, with an equal quantity of sugar and borax. Mix well until properly integrated. Put the mixture in small bottle caps and drop on ant trails. The sugary mixture will attract them and they will feed on it without knowing that it is poisonous. Keep mixture out of reach of children and pets.