Pest Control During Lockdown- How to Get Rid of an Ant Infestation
Thursday 7th May 2020
A DIY Pest Control Solution to Rid Your Home of Ants
Here are the steps to get rid of ants in your home:
- Clean all hard surfaces where the ants have been with a surface cleaner; this will mask any pheromone trails they might be following.
- Hoover soft surfaces, use the brush attachment and really give it a good scrub
- If ants are still coming in, don't use ant powder or spray, these are quite toxic and can be damaging to your health and the nature in your garden.
- Instead, use the ant's biology against it and use one of these bait stations you can find in our store.
More information on how to get rid of ants in your home in the video and text below:
Lasius Niger, or the common black garden ant as it is better known, is a pest that almost every homeowner has encountered and one that does not act alone. Colonies of Lasius Niger can be huge, with 10,000 or more adult workers active in the nest at any one time. The arrival of warmer weather inevitably signals an increase in activity outside the nest as it is breeding season for the ants and the workers are on a mission to source food for the newly hatched larvae. Whilst Lasius Niger will eat almost anything, they have a preference for sugary liquids, and the family home can offer a very attractive source.
Ants are an intelligent species. They work together to make collective decisions that benefit the entire colony. Have you ever wondered why ants walk single file in a line? It is not because they are concerned about becoming lost or because they are following their leader. It is because they are following a scent; a scent left by others in the colony.
When a ‘scout’ ant leaves the nest to find a source of food, his direction is governed by scent. If there is more than one scent in the air, he will follow the strongest one. As he travels towards the scent, he will leave a trail of pheromones to mark out the route. The trail of pheromones is not solid, but instead closely resembles the pattern of Morse code. It is indicative that he is following the scent of a potentially rich source of food. Once the source of food has been traced, the ant will consume as much as he can – not for himself, but fellow recruits in the nest. The food is stored in his second stomach, which is also known as his ‘social stomach’. Yes, that’s right – ants have TWO stomachs! The ant will then follow the pheromones back to the nest, filling in the gaps with more pheromones to form a solid trail. Back in the nest, he will regurgitate the food into the faces of other ants who, in turn, will follow the trail and leave their own pheromones if they also deem it to be a rich source of food.
What is interesting is that all ants exhibit the same behaviour; there is no clear leader. Just like the first scout, each ant leaving the nest will make his own assessment and follow the strongest scent. It is this identical behaviour that gives a colony its strength. If more than one potential source of food is found, the pheromones left by each ant will help the colony to determine which trail leads to the richest source. The one with the highest level of activity that has been reinforced by the release of further pheromones will be the most attractive to others. Eventually, the other trails will evaporate and will not be used.
Now that you have a better understanding of the behaviour of ants let’s apply this knowledge to find a solution for an invasion within the family home. Picture this: the ants have formed a strong pheromone trail from their nest to your kitchen, and you are finding thousands of these little pests in your home. You do not know how they are getting into your property or what they are feeding on, but their numbers are increasing quicker than you can stamp on them. What should you do?
Well, under normal circumstances, we would strongly recommend that you call on the experts to deal with the problem. However, with the world facing a much bigger battle with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is understandable that you may not wish to have unnecessary people entering your property. This includes pest controllers. On the other hand, we know how troublesome ants can be, which is why we are offering you a do-it-yourself solution that should eradicate the problem.
Firstly, you should clean your floors and surfaces using a suitable chemical to remove the pheromones left behind by the ants. Sweeping alone will not be effective as the pheromones will remain. A good clean will slow down the ant traffic into your home, but it may not be enough to eliminate the problem. What is needed is another rich source for the ants to home in on, and here at Dealey Pest Control, we have just the thing.
A bait station, preloaded with sweet-smelling bait, will be consumed by a scout ant who will return to the nest and regurgitate the bait into the faces of others. He will leave a pheromone trail which will attract more ants and before you know it, a domino effect will rapidly ensue. Within 7-14 days, depending on the size of the colony, your ant problem will be history.
If you have an ant infestation in your home, then act now. You do not need to live with an ant infestation during the Coronavirus lockdown. Head on over to the Dealey online shop and purchase an ant bait station that has been specifically developed for the control of those pesky common black garden ants, Lasius Niger.