Everybody would agree that flying ants are a hassle, regardless of where they are or how many you’re dealing with. Controlling these pests can be the best way to keep them out of your home and away from your day-to-day life.
But what options work best when dealing with them? Here are some quick tips to control flying ants in your home.
Identifying the Flying Ants
Flying ants aren’t a single species of fly, but individual ant types that come from an ant colony. These winged ants essentially gather up to mate, then either seek out a new colony or return to a nesting site. While they don’t bite and don’t really pose any threat to you (aside from being a mild annoyance), they can take a while to get rid of.
While they often get confused for termites, the two are fairly different. But both are worth removing from your home if you can. Termites are the more dangerous of the two since they can damage your property, but ants can easily get in your way as well.
You’ll commonly find ant colonies underneath rafters, window sills, and sinks, in areas with leaking plumbing, or in spaces like bathrooms and porches. Identifying these colonies and the original nests should be your top priority when trying to clear them all out at the same time. If the colony is somewhere hard to reach, like underneath your house or inside one of your walls, the solution can be somewhat complicated.
Sealing off Entryways
The best way to stop ants in the short-term is to focus on blocking up their entry points. Ants are small enough to sneak through tiny gaps or cracks in surfaces. While you likely won’t be able to stop them all, you can limit the number that travels into your home by gradually narrowing down their options. For example, if they use two holes to get through and you block one up with silicone caulk, you now know the only route they can use.
If you haven’t found a colony yet, doing this can make it much easier to track them down and find out where they’re coming from. Try and find all of the colony areas before you completely block up their entry points, or you might struggle to locate them.
If you have found the colonies, then go ahead and seal up every entry hole you can find. This makes it harder for the ants to get inside and might block them completely from wandering back. At the very least, it will isolate indoor nests from outdoor nests.
You can easily destroy outdoor colonies by pouring boiling water over their anthill. This will make it collapse. It’s more effective than trying to jam up the inside – they can just dig around it. But either method can work if you do it right. Most nests will have a visible surface entrance like this, so a mug of hot water is all you need to break it down.
If the colonies are in your home, you might need to expose them by opening up the wall or removing some floorboards, but the same methods apply. You can also prevent them from coming back by eliminating food waste and blocking any entry points where they created their nest. This will essentially cut them off from your house.
Killing the Ants
If the ants continue to rebuild nests and colonies, then you might need a more permanent method. Certain traps, like a homemade Borax mixture, can kill a large group of ants that try to invade your home. However, the best way to ensure a colony dies is to poison some food they’re likely to bring back. This won’t just kill the invading ants, but the entire colony – the food will be shared out amongst every ant there.
If the ants are already in your home, you can take the cruel but quick option and vacuum them up. While this won’t necessarily kill them straight away, you can quickly remove the bag or container and empty it somewhere far away from your home. This is usually one of the fastest ways to destroy a group of ants. It’ll also cut the colony population down significantly, leaving it with far less food. Bug zappers are effective, too, although these will target any flying insect that happens to touch them.
Another more long-term option is sticky tape. Placing upside-down tape on the floor and sprinkling sugar, honey, or another bait on the sticky side will get the ants stuck. Combine this with poisoned bait, and they will poison themselves in the process. This gives you a fail-safe if they somehow manage to get away with the bait anyway.
An alternative to poison is baking soda mixed with sugar – this forces them to eat and digest the baking soda. They’ll carry it back to the nest and hopefully spread it to the rest of the ants. Spraying this mixture over an area not only blocks ants from going further (since they don’t like baking soda) but also acts as a natural poison that won’t put human beings at risk.
Check out our review on the Best Ant Killer in 2021