Ants are the top nuisance species in South Africa. An ant infestation is unsightly and inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst, depending on the species involved. While different species have different requirements, all have three things in common: need for food, shelter, and water. Controlling access to these three requirements is the first step in controlling an ant infestation.
Ants also infest homes in search of food, which can be found in places other than the kitchen. While different species of ant eat a variety of foods, protein and sugar are the two most likely culprits to attract infestations. To this end, food should not be left out where it can be easily reached by ants. Pet food is especially susceptible to ants and should be picked up. Kitchen surfaces including floors should be cleaned regularly, both in order to eliminate food remnants and in order to eliminate ant trails. All dishes, human and animal, should be washed regularly in order to eliminate trace amounts of food. Trash is another temptation for ants, and should not be forgotten. Food containers should be rinsed before being thrown away, and trash should not be kept indoors longer than necessary.
In warm weather, ants are driven indoors by their need for water, leading to invasions of kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, some species of ants’ nest in damp and moldy areas such as underneath sinks or tiles. There are some easy steps to take if ants are found congregating in these areas. Sources of water should be removed. Leaks should be eliminated around sinks, showers, toilets, and other faucets. Thorough cleansing of the area with mild soap will eliminate ant trails. Any moldy or otherwise cracked surfaces where ants can hide should be removed or caulked in order to prevent ants from settling in further.
Along with nesting inside of molding surfaces, ants can infest a number of other household areas including doors, walls, and cracked foundation. To deny ants shelter, remove questionable fixtures and seal cracks in walls, windows, and foundation immediately. Ensuring that the area surrounding a building is not habitable to ants will aid in this process, by keeping trees trimmed away from windows and walls and spraying regularly.
An ant infestation is nothing to sneer at, but with proper diligence they can be eliminated. With the help of licensed pest control, an ant infestation can be driven back.