Get Rid of the Ants In your Home Step by Step

  • 01 of 10

    Get Rid of Ants in Your Home

    ants
    Photo courtesy of USDA ARS/Stephen Ausmus

    If you are tired of seeing ants in your home, trailing from the door to the kitchen in search of tiny specks of food, this article is for you!

    Follow the 9 most common ants in this article, step by step, to identify the ones on your home and find out how to get rid of them.

     

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    How to control Pavement Ants

    Pavement Ant
    Pavement Ant. Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org
    1.  Even if you can’t find out where the ants are coming in, follow their trail to see the path they follow
    2. Following all label directions, place ant bait stations along the trail you identified. The workers will find the bait, carry it back to the nest, and feed the queen, eliminating her and future populations.
    3. Don't spray indoor ants, as you will just kill the workers, and more will be sent out to forage.
    4. If the ant trail leads you to an outdoor, below-ground nest, drenching the nest with an...MORE approved insecticide spray (following all label directions) can be effective.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

    More information on the Pavement Ant

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  • 03 of 10

    How to control Carpenter Ants

    Carpenter Ant
    Carpenter Ant. Richard Bartz, Munich Makro Freak

    Carpenter ants will nest in moist, decaying wood outdoors and in homes and buildings. If infestations grow, they may also expand into sound wood. These ants usually have more than one nesting site, including a parent and satellite colonies. To keep outdoor nesting ants out of your home,

    1. Trim trees and shrubs away from the home and caulk all wire and cable openings. Remove or repair aging or decaying wood on or around the home.
    2. Apply a granular or liquid insecticide to an area about 2- to 4-feet...MORE wide all around the perimeter of the home with a product labeled for control of carpenter ants. Application should be made in the spring and fall following all label directions.
    3. Find the carpenter ant nest – or nests – and apply a chemical insecticide directly into it and along tunnels and trails. However, because there can be multiple nests, it can be difficult to locate them all, particularly the main nest which is often outdoors.
    4. Place insecticide baits labeled for carpenter ants in areas where they travel.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

    More information on the Carpenter Ant

    Indoor Flying Ants Are Not a Good Sign

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  • 04 of 10

    How to control Odorous House Ants

    Odorous House Ant
    Odorous House Ant. by Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org

    The odorous house ant will nest just about anywhere ... under stones, logs, mulch, or debris; in the nests of birds or mammals; and inside homes, in walls, window frames, and insulation.

    1. Keep the ants out of your house in the first place trimmig back trees and shrubbery away from the house
    2. Use baits to kill ants that have gotten into the home. Ant baits can be purchased at most home and garden stores. Following all label directions, the bait should be placed where ants have been seen to travel. 
    3. App...MOREly a properly labeled insecticide around the perimeter of the home and under siding to help keep ants from crawling in. This can be done by the homeowner, following all label directions; or a pest control professional can be hired. 
    4. If the ant nests can be found, treat them with a properly labeled insecticide. In some cases, however, the ant species will have multiple colonies, so treating a single nest will not relieve the problem.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

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  • 05 of 10

    How to control Red Imported Fire Ants

    Fire Ants
    Fire Ants. Photo courtesy of USDA ARS/Stephen Ausmus

    It is virtually impossible to entirely eliminate fire ants because of all the areas they infest. However fire ants can, and should, be suppressed or reduced in areas in which they can cause harm or damage. A few options for fire ant control include:

    1. Baits are the most effective product for ant control because the worker ants will carry it back to the nest to feed – and poison – the nesting ants, eliminating the colony in that nest.
    2. A broadcast application can be used in lawn areas where multiple...MORE nests are located or wider control is desired. The fire-ant labeled contact insecticide also can be a preventive control against ants that attempt to move into the area while the chemical is active. Thee granular products are applied with a push-type fertilizer spreader, then watered.
    3. If there are only one or two fire ant mounds, individual fire ant mound treatments can be made. However this does take more time and may use more insecticide.

    For details on each of these steps, see How to Control Fire Ants

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

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  • 06 of 10

    How to control Thief Ants / Grease Ants

    Thief Ant / Grease Ant
    Thief Ant / Grease Ant. photo by April Nobile, www.antweb.org;
    1.  Thief ants, or grease ants, that are found to be nesting indoors are best eliminated through baiting. This can be as simple as placing a small amount of greasy bait near the areas in which the ants have been seen.
    2. For this ant, however, baits will not be effective if the ant is nesting outdoors. Rather, the best option is to locate the nest and treat it directly. To locate a nest, follow the trail of ants backward from the food source.
    3. If the outdoor nest cannot be found, a perimeter treatment of...MORE the home can help to keep outdoor-nesting ants from coming indoors to forage for food – or set up new nests.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

    More information on the Thief Ant/Grease Ant

     

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  • 07 of 10

    How to control Pharaoh Ants

    Pharaoh Ant
    Pharaoh Ant. by Janke at en.wikipedia

    Pharaoh ant colonies can get extremely large and be made up of many nests. A single colony can have a single or multiple queens, with populations numbering in the several thousand. This ant expands its colony and creates new one through budding: a queen and accompanying workers leave the current ant nest and walk to a new site to start a new colony. To control it:

    1. Bait is the most effective method for control of this ant. The worker ants will carry the bait back to the nest to feed - and poison -...MORE the nesting ants, eliminating the entire colony instead of just the foragers. Set a bait labeled for pharaoh you see the ants traveling as specified on the label.
    2. Drenching of the nest is not an effective treatment for ants that expand their colonies through budding. At any disturbance or threat, the ants can bud, and if it has multiple queens, you can end up with multiple ant colonies instead of the one you started with.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

    More information on the Pharaoh Ant

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    How to control Ghost Ants

    Ghost Ant
    Ghost Ant. by Forest and Kim Starr, bugwood.org

    Ghost ant colonies have multiple queens and multiple nests, and are very mobile. Control is difficult because of the many nests that often make up a colony, thus even a direct-nest spray treatment may not contact all members of all interrelated colonies. This ant expands its colony and creates new one through budding: a queen and accompanying workers leave the current ant nest and walk to a new site to start a new colony. To control the ghost ant:

    1. Bait is the most effective method for control of...MORE this ant. The worker ants will carry the bait back to the nest to feed - and poison - the nesting ants, eliminating the entire colony instead of just the foragers.
    2. Drenching of the nest is not an effective treatment for ants that expand their colonies through budding. At any disturbance or threat, the ants can bud, and if it has multiple queens, you can end up with multiple ant colonies instead of the one you started with.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

    More information on the Ghost Ant

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    How to control Argentine Ants

    Argentine Ant
    Argentine Ant. Zen Shui/Odlon Dimier, PhotoAlto Agency, Courtesy of Getty Images

    Argentine ant colonies have many nets and many queens - numbering even in the hundreds, with thousands of workers to tend them. Additionally, a colony that is eliminated within a structure will often soon be replaced by another colony. Thus it is critical that all Argentine ants in an area, both within and outside a building, be found and eliminated at once. This ant expands its colony and creates new one through budding: a queen and accompanying workers leave the current ant nest and walk to a...MORE new site to start a new colony. To control it:

    1. Bait is the most effective method for control of this ant. The worker ants will carry the bait back to the nest to feed - and poison - the nesting ants, eliminating the entire colony instead of just the foragers. The Argentine ant prefers sweet baits.
    2. Drenching of the nest is not an effective treatment for ants that expand their colonies through budding. At any disturbance or threat, the ants can bud, and if it has multiple queens, you can end up with multiple ant colonies instead of the one you started with.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

    More information on the Argentine Ant

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    How to control Field Ants

    Field Ant
    Field Ant. by Norbert Nagel, wikipedia

    Field ants will build mounds in lawns that can extend up to four feet in diameter and as high as two feet tall. They will also nest in firewood and other such piles. To eliminate this ant,

    1. Completely saturate the ant mound, with a pesticide labeled for mound application of field ants, increase the amount of water if necessary so the insecticide completely penetrates the mound.
    2. To help keep these ants out of your home, seal or repair of gaps, cracks or other ant entry.
    3. Apply non-repellent...MORE insecticide, labeled for this purpose, around the perimeter, up and along the foundation wall, around doorways and windows, and beneath siding.

    Always carefully read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide or other chemical.

     

    More information on the Field Ant