Ants in my pants:

Pest Invasion 

Introduction: 

                        Pest invasion sounds a little dramatic. But the truth is, if your house is attacked by them you would simply not mind exaggerating it. The various domestic pests can include ants, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, spiders, and generally insects and bugs. They can be annoying once in your house and can at times even be hazardous. And you need to have the know how to get rid of them effectively. While in my opinion, cockroaches are the most common and most annoying, we shall look at ants in this article because I recently had a very bad experience with ants. Imagine me wrapped in my bathing towel and God knows how many ants on it. Wasn’t a very pleasant experience considering the towel was tied around my waist.

 Ants as pests:  

  • Modern society considers the ant a pest, and due to the adaptive nature of ant colonies, eliminating them is nearly impossible.
  • Pest control with regard to ants is more a matter of controlling local populations than eliminating an entire colony.
  • Attempts to control ant populations of any kind are temporary solutions.

I don’t know the species of the ant that I find in my house. They are these red and black ones which give a nasty bite. I think they are the Red fire ants.

 

Red Ants

 Why do ants enter your house? 

1) Kitchen:

This is probably the most common source. Everyone needs food and if you are careless with the way you store food, then you could have ants doing rounds in you kitchen.

2) Elsewhere:

            I have been noticing ants in my house gathering the powder from the Rangoli (Kolam, Kola podi) outside my house which they then store it elsewhere. I learnt from my mother that the ‘kola podi’ or the powder that they use to draw the Rangoli is edible and probable rice flour or something like that.

3) Garbage bins:

            If you throw edibles in your garbage and waste from the kitchen, then chances are ants will be attracted towards that. If you leave the garbage to stay there for longer, the decomposition will generate more smell and you will find ants on a holiday trip from far far away to your garbage.

3) Wardrobes, closets, holes, gaps, switchboards …etc:

            I think one of the reason ant infest the insides of your house is that it offers protection from the heat, the rain ….etc. I see ants in my house all around the switchboards, having colonies near them. In lamp fitments in the wall, because there is a small niche there. The gaps maybe small but enough for ants to have a small colony. Believe me once they start storing food form outside inside you house, that’s the most irritating part.

 Pest Control of ants: 

  • Control of species populations are usually done with bait insecticides, which are either in the form of small granules, or as a sticky liquid that is gathered by the ants as food and then brought back to the nest where the poison is inadvertently spread to other members of the brood — a system that can severely reduce the numbers in a colony if used.
  • Boric acid and borax are often used as insecticides that are relatively safe for humans.
  • With the recent insurgence of the red imported fire ant, a tactic called broadcast baiting has been employed, by which the substance (usually a granule bait designed specifically for fire ants) is spread across a large area, such as a lawn, in order to control populations.
  • Nests may be destroyed by tracing the ants’ trails back to the nest, then pouring boiling water into it to kill the queen.

     Ants inside houses, cupboards, wardrobes: 

All sounds well, except I don’t know how to get these granules and mix them with the insecticides and place them strategically so that ants will actually eat them. I can’t strew around this in my house or inside my wardrobe now can I?

Here are some of my personal suggestions to kill ants inside your house:

  • I think as long as ants are present on any article which is not your clothes, edibles, cutlery or books, you can possibly spray the place with a poisonous insecticide like the ones available in canisters. I used to do this if I found ants on the floor. The trouble with this method is that unless you find a whole bunch of ants or their nests, you are wasting both spray and time. You can’t hunt each ant down. If you find one or two squish it with your fingers if you aren’t the morally righteous person (or a PETA activist) and if your religion allows it.
  • Clothes: As I told you, my experience with ants in my wardrobe was a fairly recent one and here’s what I did. Firstly I removed all the clothes out of the wardrobe and checked for more ants. There weren’t many and I hope there aren’t. Then I put the clothes inside a bucket, turned my geyser right up to hottest and soaked all my clothes in hot steamy water. Either the ants drowned or they didn’t like the heat. The point is they died!!
  • Books: With books, I think it’s fairly easy. Just throw them around a couple of times and out in out in bright sunlight. Anyway I haven’t seen those many ants in books and at least they won’t sting you in the wrong places unlike clothes.
  • Cutlery: With cutlery it’s the same as clothes, soak in boiling water.
  • Food articles: Well I don’t really know what you do when you find ants inside jam jars and honey bottles. If it’s invaluable you could throw it I guess. If it’s just happens to be some dry food like sugar, then putting it in hot sunlight should work.

When you find ants marching in a single file somewhere in or near your kitchen, try finding out where they are getting the food from. Once the source is identified, just isolate it and remember to always secure food items in air tight containers, you won’t have ants to even start with.

In general, Chili pepper, cinnamon, peppermint, borax, salt, and pepper can all be used to discourage ants from moving in.

In some cases, a professional pest removal service may be necessary. More on that later….

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