Pest Identification

Learn More About the Pests Invading Your Home

Killing Ants But They Keep Coming Back

There are few certainties in this world but one thing is for sure: we are never going to run out of ants. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, ants are one of the most successful species on earth. They have traveled the oceans to colonize almost every continent, they can carry 50 times their own body weight, and they build colonies beyond the complexity of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Ants are programed to be persistent and when they find a source of food, water, or shelter, they will keep coming in an endless line. If you’ve tried to kill the ants in your home but they just keep coming back you need to take steps to interrupt their program.

The first thing you need to do is eliminate food sources. For foods commonly left in open packages—sugar, flour, cookies, cereal, and salty snacks—place them in sealable containers. If ants are a recurring problem you should spend a day doing some deep cleaning. Ants are drawn to the grease, crumbs, and other goodies they find under your stove and refrigerator, the cracks of your baseboards, and the deepest recesses of your kitchen cabinets. Carefully move your appliances, vacuum up the dirt and grime, and thoroughly wash the floor with a strong cleaning solution. Take everything out of the cabinets where food is stored and use your vacuum’s crevice tool to suck up every last crumb. Wipe down the shelves with a solution that’s half white vinegar and half water. This will eliminate any scent trails scout ants have left behind. Consider laying down some good self-adhesive shelf liner, which will make cleanups easier in the future.

After you’ve deep-cleaned your kitchen, find out where the ants are entering your home. Take an outdoor tour around your foundation and look for ants. Get out the caulk gun and seal up cracks around utility lines, the cable wire, and water service pipes. Remove ant shelters like piles of leaves, dirt, and debris from around the foundation.

Now that you’ve made your home unattractive to ants, kill them where they live. Place ant bait wherever you see the pesky critters. Ants eat the bait, return to the colony to die, and poison their nest mates along the way. When the colony dies, the source of infestation is eliminated and your ants won’t be back for a long time.