Ant management requires diligent efforts and the combined use of mechanical, cultural, sanitation, and often chemical methods of control. It is unrealistic and impractical to attempt to totally eliminate ants from an outdoor area. Focus your management efforts on excluding ants from buildings or valuable plants and eliminating their food and water sources.
Reducing outdoor sources of ants near buildings may reduce the likelihood of ants coming indoors. Become aware of the seasonal cycle of ants in your area and be prepared for annual invasions by caulking and baiting before the influx.
When ants invade your home, take immediate action i.e. caulk cracks and crevices around foundations, sponge invaders with soapy water as soon as you see them, plug up ant entryways with caulk or petroleum jelly.
Prevention is always the best approach against all pests including ants.
- Clean up sugary spills.
- Eliminate food sources inside the building or prevent access to suitable food by keeping it in ant-proof containers.
- Caulk cracks and crevices around foundations that provide entry from outside.
- Provide a dry, vegetation-free border, such as gravel or stones, around the perimeter of house foundations to discourage nest building; wood chip mulches and landscape plants provide a good nesting environment.
- Remove trees that consistently host ants and are adjacent to houses . Trim branches and limbs of trees and shrubs that touch the building to keep ants from gaining access via these routes.
- Manage honeydew-producing insects such as aphids, whiteflies, psyllids, and soft scales on plants near the house. These honeydew producers often support large colonies of ants that subsequently invade homes.