December 11, 2020

How to keep ants away from kitchen counter

When ants come marching into your home you need to be ready to do some fancy footwork of your own to get them out. Not only do you need to know where they came from,you need to know what they are searching for too. Follow these tips for finding out where the ants are coming from, what hidden food sources you may be providing to them and how to get rid of them for good.

How do ants get into the house?

Like other insects, ants can find their way into your home through cracks and crevices around windows and doors, through a tiny hole in a window screen or around unsealed areas of foundation. Basically, ants can, and will, crawl through any ant-sized hole to make their way into your home.

How do you find their entrance?

1. Begin by checking for obvious areas where ants can enter you home.

  • Check that doors and windows close securely.
  • Inspect window screens for holes.
  • Examine drain pipes for unsealed areas.
  • Look for cracks around the foundation.

2. Observe the ants and watch where their trail leads. You can often observe a steady stream of ants as the enter and leave your home.

Finding the entrance ants are using is important, but don't seal it yet! You'll want to give them time to carry bait back to their nest before sealing off the entrance hole against future invasions.

Why do ants come in the house?

Ants come inside the home to for age for food or to seek water. The kind of food they seek depends on the type of ant. Ants can be divided into two basic groups according to their feeding habits.

  1. Grease Ants. Grease ants, also called protein ants, seek out greasy, protein-rich foods as their energy source. Fire ants are a common variety of ants that prefer grease, fats and oils.
  2. Sugar Ants. Just as their name implies, sugar ants prefer sweet foods. Some commonly seen sugar ants are: Pharaoh ants, Carpenter ants, Odorous house ants, Pavement ants and Argentine ants.

Some antswill eat either grease/protein or sweets. All ants seek water.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home & Kitchen

The firstline of defense in getting rid of ants is to remove their food source andeliminate sources of water. Here's what you need to do.

  1. Clean and organize your cabinets, storing all food in airtight containers. Ants love to invade boxes of pre-sweetened cereal and other sugary baking supplies, but they will find their way into any loosely-packaged food.
  2. Clean the stove and microwave paying special attention to crevices where spills can accumulate. Don't forget to check the drip pans under your burners for bits of food or grease that can become a feast for hungry ants.
  3. Wash down all tables and counters to remove food or grease residue.
  4. Sweep and scrub the floors, paying special attention to the edges and corners.
  5. Look for any moist areas around sinks and other appliances. A few drops of water or a damp paper towel can provide enough moisture to attract ants.
  6. Avoid leaving dirty dishes or beverage containers in the sink. Make it a habit to take care of all dirty dishes frequently.
  7. Instruct all family members on the proper disposal of wrappers from snack foods and candy. This includes juice boxes.
  8. Empty the trash can frequently. 

Best Ant Killers for the Kitchen

Now that you have eliminated food sources for the ants, it is time to get to work to kill those that remain or that return to your home and kitchen. The best ant killers for the kitchen are those that don't pose a risk of contaminating your food and don't pose a health risk to small children and pets. One of the best remedies is boric acid. It is non toxic to people and pets but can wipe out the whole colony of ants within a few days. It works best when mixed into a food source as the ants consume the food and boric acid (found in the laundryaisle) and carry it back to their nest where it kills the ants. How you offer boric acid depends on the type of ants in your home and kitchen. 

  • Boric acid for Sugar Ants: Mix 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of boric acid together until it is well blended. Place it in a small dish and place it near     where you have observed ants
  • Boric acid for Grease Ants: Mix 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of boric acid together until it is smooth. Place it in a small dish near the area where ants frequent.

If you are not sure if you have sugars ants or grease ants, go ahead and make a boric acid mixture with both peanut butter and honey. Remember, even though boric acid is non toxic doesn't mean you should be lax about where you place it. Place the mixture out of the reach of small children and pets.

You should see a drastic decrease or halt to to the parade of ants within a few days. Now is the time to seal up the entrance hole and make sure ants cannot return to your home.

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