Ants or Avoidants
Before we get started, it should be said that, especially with ants, prevention is the best medicine. So if you still haven’t moved, it’s best to read up on how you can avoid moving into a house with ants. We’ve given tips on how to avoid pests when moving on our blog, so checking out this article might be a good starting point. Getting building histories regarding pests from certified building inspectors is another item to do to ensure you haven’t moved into a house with ants.
Rentitornot.com is also a good place to check and see if previous tenants/owners have had problems with ants or any other pests.
But sometimes you check every nook and cranny for ants and there’s no sign of them…until you move in. That’s okay! It happens to many of us! If that’s the case, then keep reading.
Before you do anything, find out if your ants are friends or foes
Sometimes ants can actually be doing more good than harm. The Vancouver Sun says garden ants can often help your new backyard. For instance, ants prey on pests such as caterpillars that may kill off plants in your new garden. Figure out what kinds of ants live on your property. For example, black ants generally aren’t harmful, but fire ants can be aggressive and dangerous. Find out, and ask yourself if they are a threat or if they’re minding their own business.
If you’ve moved into a house with ants, find their nest
According to the Vancouver Sun article we mentioned above, perhaps the simplest way to deal with an ant problem is to find their nest and eliminate the queen. Observe where foraging ants return, and you will often be able to trace them back to their home. Once you have found their nests, you may use insecticide to kill off an ant colony. For those of you who hesitate to use insecticides because of health concerns, the article says pouring boiling water on an ant nest can be a practical solution. But before pouring the water, make sure you will not damage any wooden (or water-sensitive) infrastructure in your home.
When dealing with an ant nest, the Sun article says to be sure completely sure you destroy it — or at least eliminate all the queens — because otherwise the queens may simply just disperse to other areas. It can make getting rid of ants much harder!
Learn about ant pesticides
It’s best to do some research before deciding what type of treatment you’ll be using against the ants in your new home. For instance, one popular form of pesticide is disguised as ant food. The idea is that worker ants will bring the ‘food’ back to the nest for the queen to consume. She’ll then eat it and die, crippling the colony. But the Vancouver Sun article we mentioned above says the problem with this method is that some ants are not interested in eating it. And if they don’t eat the bait, the pesticide will be ineffective.
Pesticideresearch.com is a very good starting point that can help you learn about the different types of ants and the different types of pesticides. It also provides tips on non-toxic, pesticide-free methods that can deal with ants as well.
Sometimes simple solutions are the best
And finally, ask yourself if ant pesticides or professional helpers are necessary. The Better Business Bureau has a handy list showing accredited pest control providers in the Metro Vancouver area. Sometimes simply blocking entrances to your house is good enough. Remember, when battling ants, knowledge is power!
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