Ants don't just enter your home to forage for food as they also establish colonies. It happens all year-round especially in Malaysia. Ant species that live in our homes include Crazy Ants, Odorous House Ants, Pavement Ants, Pharaoh Ants, Thief Ants, Fire Ants and Carpenter Ants. Besides being a nuisance, ants contaminate food, build unsightly mounds on our property and cause potential structural damages by hollowing wood for nesting. Species such as Fire Ants inflict painful stings, which can be life-threatening to hypersensitive individuals. Here some tips for humane and safe ant control in your home without the use of insecticides.
#1 Remove sources of attraction
Keep your kitchen clean. Wash countertops, floors and cabinets with equal parts vinegar and water. Do not leave food crumbs and garbage around, keep all food, including pet foods, and trash in tightly sealed containers. Don’t leave uneaten pet food in bowls, don’t feed pets outdoors, and never feed wildlife. Remove objects in the garden that might attract moisture such children’ pools, flowerpots, barbecue grills, sheet metal, boards, large pieces of debris, bricks and logs. Trim the vegetation in your compound, and remove furniture and debris near the house.
#2 Locate the source of the ants
When you see ants in your home, try to follow them back to the point where they have come from. Use chalk to seal all possible entrances into the house, remembering that ants are tiny and can fit through almost any small opening.
#3 Use natural ant repellents
If ants are entering your home through the cracks on doors and windows, pour a line of cream of tartar at those points to prevent them from coming into your home. Other natural ant repellents are cinnamon sticks, coffee grind, chili pepper, paprika, cloves, and dried peppermint leaves. You can also squeeze the juice of a lemon at an entry spot and leave the peels there. Planting mint herbs around the foundation of the house will also keep ants away. Place cloves of garlic around indoor and outdoor ant pathways could also prevent their movements.
Gan Wilson is a former senior management executive having held the position of Operations Director Malaysia/China and Regional Service Academy Director for Rentokil Initial in Asia. A total of 23 years of corporate experience with the last 10 years as General Manager/ Operations Director / Regional Director managing total business operations at country and regional level.
He now operates his own consultancy firm with clients in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China and Myanmar. Together with his wife Mindy Wong he co-founded the largest online pest control DIY store in Malaysia, www.pestcontrolinabox.my with presence in all major market places, Lazada, 11Street, Gemfive, Logon and Youbeli.