Seeing small red ants in your kitchen may make you want to panic. Do you have an infestation? Are you dealing with fire ants? How do you get the invaders to leave? Follow this guide for answers to these questions.
Identifying the Small Red Ants in Your Kitchen
Many species of ants are easily confused with fire ants. Though you don’t want any ant visitors indoors, correctly identifying the type you’re dealing with will make it easier to pick the best way to get rid of them. For example, some species are attracted to plants you have around the house. These are the small red ants you’re likely to deal with in the United States:
What Draws Ants to Your Kitchen — and How You Can Keep Them Out
Ants come into your home to survive. To make your property less appealing to these visitors, consider what ants are looking for and how you can take that away from them:
Regions Where You’re Most Likely to Have an Ant Problem
Ants live on every continent except Antarctica, so if you don’t work to deter ants, you could have an infestation in your home. Though ants live everywhere people do, they’re cold-blooded insects that require warmth to live. This means ants are most active in warmer months. Some of the more aggressive and particularly problematic species are abundant in the Southern states, Central America, and the Southern Hemisphere.
Pharaoh ants, for instance, live throughout the United States but thrive in the warm climate of the South. Other species, such as Caribbean crazy ants and red fire ants, proliferate in Florida, Texas, California, Hawaii, and similar areas. If you live in one of these regions, take extra precautions to make your home unappealing for ants and make sure you’re maintaining your yard to avoid attracting them.
Getting Rid of Ants in Your Home
When ants find a way into your home regardless of your prevention attempts, you’ll need to step up your efforts to curb an infestation or irradiate a colony that’s already established itself as your new neighbor.
Clean Your Yard
Many ant species love taking shelter under rocks or fallen leaves or building colonies into decaying wood. Maintain your yard to make it less inviting for these insects.
Make a Natural Insecticide
A mix of soap and water sprayed on ants will kill them on the spot. However, this won’t target the colony. If you want to kill the queen and keep more ants from entering your home, pour boiling water or a puree of citrus peels down a mound entrance to kill ants. You can also mix cornmeal with boric acid. Ants will harvest the food and take it back to the colony, killing the queen and her workers.
Hire a Professional
Some of the DIY methods recommended are best for prevention or targeting mounds outside. If you’re dealing with an infestation or find that ants have built nests in your walls, contact a professional for help.
Small red ants in your kitchen will never be a welcome sight. Make your home less appealing for these insects, and reach out to a pest specialist if needed to handle an infestation.