Ants send out foragers to find food and water. If you see a few random ants, they are foraging, looking for food or water. They probably didn’t find anything yet. Just wipe them up, along with wiping down the entire area. Ants leave a pheromone trail so by wiping the area, you remove the trail. This will make it hard for more ants to follow.
If you find a trail of ants going back and forth, then that means the foragers found food or water and told the other ants. They are all following the pheromone trail. In this case, don’t touch them! If you are a client, call or text us immediately. If you are not a client, you have two choices. Call us at 856-581-3727 or try to handle it by yourself.
Trying it on your own? Ok. First you need to get real close to the ants. Get down and look to see them walking either to the food or back to the colony. It would seem if you see them carrying something they are probably heading back to the colony to share the bounty. That’s good. The goal is to find the trail and follow it to the gap in the window, door, floor or wherever they are going. If it leads outside, follow it. You may find them on the outside.
If you follow them outside, or if you first saw them trailing outside, you may be getting close to the colony. If you bought gel baits, place them outside NEXT to the trail. You want them to find the bait. You do not want to block the path. The goal here is to bait them on the exterior NOT the interior. The best thing would be to bait and draw the foragers outside not inside. If they are only on the inside, follow them to the gap, crack, or wherever they are coming and going out of and bait there. A pea sized spot, or read the directions on the packaging, depending on what you purchased. If there is too much bait done inside, you are only attracting more to that area. You want to treat as close to the colony as possible and as far from your kitchen as possible. You really don’t want them there right?
One mistake I see people make all the time is that they put bait on the counter, in the cabinets, on the floors, etc. and they leave it there. Once the ants are gone, pick it up! Otherwise, you are only leaving bait for future ants to find. While the hope is that they will find it and share it with the colony, wouldn’t you rather not attract them back to the kitchen in the first place?
But I want to use a liquid spray. Ok. There are many products on the market for use indoors and outdoors. They do kill on contact, but they also repel. What I mean is, they contain a repellent. Look at the label. If the active ingredient name ends in “thrine,” it is a pyrethrine and that is a repellent. No problem if you are spraying around your foundation in early spring. But if you use it anywhere else, at the wrong time, you could be trapping them IN YOUR HOUSE! Or maybe you are causing them to go around the chemical you sprayed thus you are spreading the problem. Did you ever notice after spraying that they no longer show up in that area but now showed up someplace else? Started in the kitchen but now are in the bathroom or dinning room? Guess what you did.
Some ants can nest indoors or outdoors, like the odorous house ant. Others, like the pavement ant, usually nest on the outside. It is important to know the difference. This can help identify where they are most likely hiding. Odorous house ants actually have an odor. Yep, that is where the name comes from. Want to try something? Find an ant. Pick it up with your fingers and crush it, then smell it. An odorous house ant has a kind of coconut-citrus smell. Most other ants in our area have no smell at all. Cool right? Ok, maybe not to you but it does help. If you don’t want to go around smelling ants, just call us. We will do it for you.