Argentine ants are an invasive ant species that can enter your home and cause quite a nuisance. They’re often attracted to places with food sources readily accessible to them whether it be in the kitchen, bathroom, or trash can, and quite difficult to exterminate completely once settled in.
So how can you prevent Argentine ants from entering your home? With Argentine ants nesting in areas with easily accessible food sources, the easiest thing to do to prevent them from entering your home is to seal all your food and block all possible access points. There are many ways to do this ranging from changing daily habits, applying chemical and DIY solutions, or even making simple repairs to your home.
Learn More: How Big Are Argentine Ants Nest?
Argentine ant colonies are known to fester in homes with food sources available to them. They often use the sense of smell to determine if food is available and if the area is conducive to their survival. If there’s an attractive smell of food coming from your home, they’ll likely forage for food nearby.
If you can cut off all food sources to them in your house, they’ll see no need to enter and most likely redirect themselves to a more inviting environment. Here are a few things you can do to prevent argentine ants from entering your home and searching for food:
There are helpful practices that keep those pesky Argentine ants at bay. Some habits you can try are storing food in air-tight containers, keeping food waste outside of the home, and washing your dishes. Doing these consistently can really help with managing your ant infestation problems at home.
The easiest way to cut off the food source of Argentine ants in your home is to keep all your food stored in airtight containers and avoid leaving things out for too long. Argentine ants have a wide variety of food preferences so while you may consider something inedible, they’ll most likely see it as a viable food source and infest that area. For this reason, you should also keep your pet food in a sealed container and only place enough for a single serving to avoid attracting ants throughout the day.
Keeping food waste inside the home can attract argentine ants inside your home as these are potential food sources. While most people will keep a small bin throughout the week and dispose of it once full, it would be best to either keep it in a sealed container or outside of your home completely.
Though it may attract some ants to the bin outside your home, they can’t gain full access to the food as the container is sealed. To prevent Argentine ants completely within your vicinity, you may want to freeze your food waste in the freezer until it can be picked up by the local garbage collection to ensure its immediate disposal.
Though it may be quite tedious to wash dishes every day, leaving dirty dishes with food remains overnight can be enough to attract a swarm of Argentine ants to your home. Worker ants will most likely be drawn to the attractive smell of the food on your dishes as well as the nearby water source of your tap. To avoid this, wash dishes immediately after use to ward off any Argentine ant infestations.
Getting rid of Argentine ants doesn’t always have to involve harmful and toxic chemicals. There are many homemade solutions for ant control, some of which are vinegar and water solutions, essential oils, and peppers. Use these solutions to keep Argentine ants at bay.
Vinegar and water solutions can be used as a cleaning agent all around the home and can also work as a repellent against Argentine ants. According to a current study, Argentine ants find the scent of vinegar irritating and will most likely avoid coming into contact with it. By cleaning surfaces around your home with this solution, you’ll most likely create a scent barrier between your home and the ants and redirect them to other places outside your home.
Additionally, it has been shown that while the smell of vinegar doesn’t linger for humans once dried down, Argentine ants can actually smell the vinegar once dried down providing a longer-lasting repellent effect.
Like vinegar, there are some essential oils that can cause irritation to Argentine ants’ sense of smell. Peppermint, tea tree, citrus, or an acidic smell can all repel Argentine ants and prevent them from entering your home.
It can also help mask or remove Argentine ant pheromone trails that worker ants may leave behind when scouting a possible food source. This won’t only make your home inhospitable by Argentine ant standards but it will also prevent future ants from finding your home as the pheromone trail is masked.
With argentine ants drawn to sweet foods, it makes sense that they would be repelled by peppers. You can use either black or cayenne pepper. Like any ant repellent, all you have to do is sprinkle some on possible openings throughout your home and behind appliances, as these are the areas the Argentine ants initially go to. You’ll need to reapply the pepper consistently to maintain the effectiveness of this ant control method after dusting and cleaning but it should work as an easy pest control within your home.
If you don’t want to use DIY solutions or common household items as a preventative repellent in your home, there are a few commercial and over-the-counter treatments you can use instead. The most common solutions are ant repellents or ant baits. Ant repellents use scents to signal harm to these invasive pests. Anything with an acidic smell will usually be enough to deter argentine ants from entering your home completely.
On the other hand, ant baits can come as either powder or liquid baits and will actually require at least a small ant infestation to be effective. Ant bait such as Ant-Traxworks by taking part of the toxin-laced bait to the colony and feeding it to the entire Argentine ant nests. With the ants coming into contact with the toxins, the entire nest including the Argentine ant queen will essentially be poisoned allowing you to prevent future infestations from occurring.
If you have taken preventative measures to deter Argentine ants from entering your home yet still have an infestation. You may need to either choose a stronger ant bait or seek professional help. Argentine ant nests can have hundreds of queens, therefore allowing them to reproduce at an alarming rate making them quite difficult to extinguish once already infesting an area. If you’re using indoor bait stations and other bait products you may need to add more around your home as the Argentine ants may have already created additional individual colonies throughout your home.
If an added dosage still doesn’t kill off all the ants, you may have a severe case of an ant infestation that you’ll no longer be able to manage alone. You’ll need professional-grade chemicals and tools to rid your home of entire colonies. If this happens, it’s best to call a pest control industry in your area to professionally deal with the outbreak.
Regardless of how neat and tidy you keep your household, there’s always a chance for pests to worm their way in and fester in your home. While ants are a common pest, Argentine ants are quite a nuisance as they constantly reproduce and re-infest your home even after several ant treatments. With this particular ant species, you need to kill the entire colony in one go to prevent reinfestation.
At Permakill Exterminating, we provide effective and safe pest treatments to address any of your pest concerns. Using the best technology and equipment in the industry, there isn’t any situation that we can’t handle. Contact us about your pest control concerns and book a free home inspection today.