A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE ANT KILLER
Of all the creatures in the insect world, ants are probably one of the top 5 in terms of popularity among people of all ages. Movies, cartoons, comics, and children’s stories have been made about them. And who can forget about the story of ants working hard to save for the rainy days? Ants are the epitome of the team and hard work combined.
Unfortunately, when put in the wrong place, ants can be our worst enemies. While it is true that ants can do a lot of good for the ecosystem when they are outdoors, ants can do a lot of damage indoors. Plus of course, they can be such a nuisance to have around. Ants are probably the most common pests in the household. They also invade restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, and office buildings. They not only attack food, but they are also capable of inflicting damages to structures. Because of this reason, millions of American households scramble to get rid of them and look for ways to do so. According to the local pest control services in my area, among the most effective way is the use of borax for ants, something that we are keen to explore in this article.
Overview of ants
There are more or less 10,000 species of ants, and they are found all throughout the world, except for Antarctica. Most ants actually live in the forests, where they do a lot of good. It is said that they make up half of the insect population there. They help in cleaning up dead bodies of animals; they help the soil become more productive by building tunnels that nutrients pass through. They also help prevent soil compaction.
It is when they get near human dwellings that they become pests. They are always in constant search of food. They are attracted to sweets but eat anything. And where there are humans, there is food. Sometimes they get to our own food than we do.
Ants can also destroy structures and can, in fact, cause more structural damage than the dreaded termites. If we are not vigilant, we might end up with a totally damaged home that would cost us thousands to repair.
Though ants are not known to transmit diseases, they sting even without provocation. Ant bites can be painful. For some people, it can even cause allergic reactions. These people will exhibit pain, redness, and swelling, This would only last for a day or even less.
It is largely overlooked, but it is still possible for ants to transmit diseases. Each time they crawl on our food and we eat it afterward, we are at risk of contracting E. coli and salmonella.
The size of ants ranges from .08 to 1 inch. They are omnivores like humans so they can eat anything. A single ant can lift 50 times its own weight. If they were the size of humans, they can lift something as big as a car. They have narrow waists, with antenna attached to their heads. Their hind wings are smaller than their front legs. They undergo a complete metamorphosis all their lives. They go through the egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages.
Ants are highly social insects
Ants live in a colony. They all work as a team, and each ant is given a role to play for the colony to survive. No single ant lives for itself.
A colony has a queen. The queen’s purpose in life is to ensure
the survival of the colony by laying as many eggs as she can. The queen ant can live for many years and lay as many as a million eggs in her lifetime. Initially, the queen is equipped with wings that come in handy as she searches for a place to start a colony. Once she finds an ideal place, she sheds her wings.
Then you have the male ants. They do nothing but mate with the queen. After mating, they die soon after.
Finally, there are worker ants. These are female sterile ants. They are the ones who forage for food, clean and protect the nest, and even attack another colony to get food and kidnap their young. Once these young ants grow to become adults, they would become slaves. They look the same as the queen, only smaller.
These colonies last as long as there are queens. Some types of ants have queens in waiting, ready to take over when the old queen dies. Some can last for years, others for decades. Colonies stay in one place as long as their food supply is steady, and that no threat is around that could physically put them in danger. Some colonies last for years, and some can last for decades.
Types of ants in the United States
Carpenter ants – The size of the carpenter ants is about ¼ to ½ inches in length, and they are black in color. Carpenter ants are wood-destroying ants, and due to this, they are considered as the most destructive among the house ants. Believe it or not, they actually cause more structural damage than termites. They build their nests inside your home’s structural wood. They boreholes on the wood to dig tunnels without eating the wood, unlike the termites that eat wood. Carpenter ants prefer wood that is damp and had been previously damaged by water.
Carpenter prefer sweet foods and drinks. Food is their main motivation in searching for a house to infest. Once inside, they then look for the wood they can convert into their nests.
Field ants – Field ants are 4 to 8 mm long and come in black, brown, or red colors and usually found outdoors, in the field. They can sting and are usually found outdoors only. They build their nests in yards, wooded areas, and fields. Field ants build mounds about 12 inches in diameter, which you may spot in your yard. They also nest under stones, logs, and porch slabs.
European fire ants – They are about 2.2 to 2.8 mm in length and are light to dark brown in color. They can be found in the gardens, lawns, under the rock, or wood debris. European fire ants are one of the most invasive ants in the world. During the cold months, they find their way inside the house and can be found in the bathroom, under the bathtub, or in the heaters. They also sting, and their stings are very painful. Their colony has several queens in waiting, ensuring the colony’s survival for several years.
Crazy ants – They are named as such because when they are disturbed, they move around crazily and with no direction. Crazy ants can build their nests both indoors and outdoors. These ants can travel long distances to look for food. They can build their nests either on dry sites or damp sites. They can be found in hollow trees, rotten wood, under stones, under logs, among the rubbish, and in debris. Crazy ants are considered nuisance pests, though they do not sting and are not known to transmit diseases.
Argentine ants – The Argentine ants invade houses in search of food and water. Indoors, they set up their nests on the ground, in cracks on the wall, or in holes in the house. Argentine ants live under rocks, or among leaf litter, since they are not capable of digging deep in the ground. They also live in abandoned nests of other ants.
Management using borax for ants
If you need a quick solution for the ant infestation problem, you may try this recipe that includes the use of Borax. Those of you who are still unfamiliar with Borax, it is also known as sodium borate, disodium tetraborate, or sodium tetraborate. It is commonly used as a component for detergent and cosmetics. It is also used as a fire retardant, as a component in pottery, glass, and ceramics. It is made of colorless sifting crystals that are in powdered form.
Borax is also an effective killer of ants. How to do it? Mix these ingredients: 1 and a half tablespoons of Borax, half a cup of sugar, and one and a half cup of warm water. After mixing, soak some cotton balls in the mixture. After soaking, place these cotton balls in areas that are infested by ants. The sugar content would attract these ants. These cotton balls will be carried by the ants back to their nests. This way, they would be taking the Borax with them.
If the ant infestation has become too big of a problem, then you would need professional help. For the local pest control services in my area, be sure to call Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth is simply the best
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that provides modern pest control services and techniques, using the latest and most advanced technology in the business. We have a team of expert professionals who can provide the best pest control services to residents and business establishments all throughout North and South Carolina. You may check our Facebook or our website to know more about our services.