Ants are social insects that usually exist in large groups called ‘colonies’. They often enter domestic premises looking for food or shelter through holes, crevices and spaces under doors, and leave pheromone trails for other members of the colony to follow. In order to treat a full-blown ant infestation, it is necessary to understand their characteristics and behaviour for eliminating the entire colony. Spraying a typical insecticide or repellent spray does not always work and may kill only a few.
There are several aspects of ants’ behaviour which can cause problems to homeowners:
- Entry – They can enter even through the tiniest of cracks, in search of greasy or sweet food substances kept in storeroom areas or kitchen pantry.
- Nest locations – They can build nests almost anywhere inside or outside a house – lawns, stumps, walls, underneath foundations, etc.
- Colony Size – Their colonies can be as large as 300,000 or even 500,000, which can relocate quickly on sensing danger.
- Life span – While the workers can live up to 7 years, queens may survive even for 15 years.
The first step towards Ant Control & Removal in Melbourne is to perform a thorough inspection for discovering their nesting places. Following their trails can often help to detect foraging sites and hidden abodes. Inside a house, inspection should be done along carpet edges, windows, doors and different areas in the kitchen. The simplest way of locating an ant trail is to observe where they are going after reaching a food source. Outside a house, inspection can be done around vegetative areas, foundation walls and mulch. Vegetation near walls and patios can easily hide nests or trails.
There are many natural repellents which can be used for deterring ants and keeping them from entering the household:
- Sprinkling cayenne pepper close to their entry points.
- Spraying mixture of lemon juice and water near their activity spots. A blend of lemon peelings and water may also do the trick.
- Spreading instant grits around their trails.
- Spraying concoction of white vinegar and water along their paths.
- Products such as cinnamon, strong perfumes, pepper, tea tree oil and cream of tartar can also be combined with water and used as effective water repellents.
Steps should also be taken to prevent further infestations:
- Trimming bushes and trees whose branches touch the house
- Correcting moisture problems like leaky plumbing and faucets
- Sealing holes, crevices and fissures
- Eliminating soil or wood contacts
- Removing dead stumps from the property
In case of severe ant infestations, it is always recommended to seek professional help. Most firms dealing with pest control in Melbourne possess the correct knowledge and tools required for treating full-fledged invasions.