There are a lot of benefits to living in the California climate. Californians don’t usually have to worry about snowstorms or ice. The warm weather means families can be outdoors during the winter months without having to bundle up in winter coats. However, the disadvantages that come from living in a mild year-round climate come into play when homeowners have to deal with pests.
One of the most common pests in California is the Argentine Ant. Although small, there are reportedly trillions of these tiny insects crawling around in the Golden State. Since they are invasive, they push other ant species out of the area and it can easily feel like you live on a giant anthill. When you find hundreds of Argentine Ants in your kitchen during the winter, it might be tempting to try some DIY ant treatments.
Resist the urge. Western Exterminator takes a look at the DIY Argentine ant treatments out there and explains why the best you can hope for is that they don’t actually make your problem worse.
If you have an ant problem, either with Argentine Ants or some other species, contact your local Western Exterminator for effective ant treatment options.
What is an Argentine Ant?
If you were thinking these were some kind of giant super-ant, you need to scale back your expectations. The Argentine Ant is very small, usually between 1.6-2.8 millimeters. They are usually black in color. They do not have stingers, rarely bite humans and are not toxic.
So, if that’s true, why are Argentine Ants listed among the 100 worst animal invaders according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature? Because Argentine Ants are hardy, difficult to kill, and adaptable to nearly any climate. They can also create massive “super-colonies” which stretch across entire continents and number in the trillions.
The fact is Argentine Ants create huge colonies that quickly push out any and all of the other ant species. This can actually damage the local ecology and some ants are important to the growth of plants and other animals. The fact is, there are just too many Argentine Ants around.
DIY Argentine Ant methods
There are a lot of methods that claim to be able to get rid of Argentine Ants in the home. Stores are lined with methods claiming to get rid of the entire ant infestation and nest, but truthfully, Argentine Ant nests can be so large it takes a lot more than an over-the-counter spray or ant bait to succeed.
- Sprays – there are numerous over-the-counter sprays which claim to be able to get rid of Argentine Ants. But though these sprays may be able to get rid of the ants currently in the kitchen, killing them instantly, they will do nothing to get rid of the rest of the colony. Thus, the ants may come right back.
- Ant baits – these are also found in stores and attract the ants. The benefit of the ant baits is the ants go into the trap, get covered in the ant repellent, and take it back to the colony. However, this also means leaving poison around the home where pets and children can get a hold of it. Additionally, Argentine Ant colonies can be too large, for baits to be entirely successful.
- Natural methods – one popular method you can find online says to mix up dish soap, water, and alcohol into a spray bottle. However, there’s no guarantee this more natural method will work. You’ll likely face the same problems as with chemical sprays. The natural solution may take care of ants inside the home, but not the colony, which will just come back. There are also methods listed such as using talcum powder, baking soda, garlic powder or just salt to combat Argentine Ants. Of course, spreading food around your home can actually attract more ants.
Western Exterminator Argentine Ant treatments
The best bet to get rid of Argentine Ants is to contact professionals. Western Exterminator specialists cannot only offer you the treatment options which will get rid of the ants you see on your kitchen floor, but also get rid of the entire colony. Our specialists will also provide solutions and advice about preventing Argentine Ants from returning.
Argentine Ant prevention
Ant prevention is key once the treatments have taken effect. This includes:
- Cleaning up food – keep food off the floors of your kitchen and if you have outdoor pets, make sure their food is stored in sealed containers. Ants look for food and any scrap left on the floor is enough for an ant infestation to form.
- Seal up holes – if you have holes in the walls, holes in screens or spaces at the bottom of exterior doors, you could have an open access point for Argentine Ants. Install door sweeps on garage doors and other exterior doors.
- Keep your yard clean – Argentine Ants build their colonies in nature. They can end up indoors, but you may spot them first in the yard. If you have vegetables or fruit growing in a garden, be mindful of ants finding that as a food source. Keep the garden away from the house or other exterior buildings.
- Push back the vegetation – ants will gladly build their nests in tall grass or other vegetation which may grow right up against the home or building. Another good tip to keep ants away, along with other pests, is to move wood piles so they are not right up against exterior walls.
Contact Western Exterminator for Argentine Ants
If you have been attempting to battle Argentine Ants in your home or business, stop fighting on your own and call in the experts. Western Exterminator specialists know how to find the source of Argentine Ants, figure out how they are getting inside and why. Once they know this, they can offer solutions to get rid of the current infestation.
The first step is to get a property inspection. Contact your local Western Exterminator office to discuss ant control treatments for your home.
Featured Image Credit: California Academy of Sciences and AntWeb