Aphids: RHS gardening expert gives tips for dealing with pests
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During periods of rain or warmer weather, ants are known to make their way into people’s homes. Ants in your home can be incredibly frustrating, not to mention unhygienic if they make their way to surfaces where you prepare food.
How can I prevent ants from getting into my home?
Food in bins or crumbs on floors and work surfaces can lure ants into your kitchen.
To prevent an infestation in the first place, carry out good hygiene practices by cleaning up food crumbs and spillages immediately.
Make sure your bins are closed and not overflowing, and use a tray under your pet’s food.
Keep on top of washing up, and don’t let dirty plates sit in the sink for too long.
Although these steps can help to prevent ants from getting in the house, sometimes it’s too late.
In some cases, ants may have set up a nest inside your home.
Ants can build their nests in the tiniest of cracks, such as in walls or behind cupboards.
How can I get rid of ants in the kitchen?
Online many people have shared different opinions on how to get ants out of the home.
There are also some natural remedies many swear by to get rid of the pesky critters.
Some suggest using lemons or vinegar, either diluted as a deterrent or undiluted to kill ants.
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The Top 10 Home Remedies website explains: “White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises.
“They cannot bear its strong smell. In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.”
The site outlines how you can mix equal parts white vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
You can also add a few drops of an essential oil into this spray, and peppermint oil is also often cited as an ant deterrent.
Spray the solution around entry points, and after an hour you can wipe up ants with a paper towel before disposing of it.
The site states you can repeat this once daily until the problem goes away.
For a few ants, natural remedies may do the job, but if ants have made a nest in your home you may need to take more action.
Many people rely on ant-killing remedies you can buy in stores, and some suggest slow-acting pesticide products work better at removing entire ant communities.
These pesticides can be mixed with sweet bait, which ants may bring back to their nests.
Michael Potter, a University of Kentucky entomologist, told the Washington Post: “Oftentimes the squeezable gel formulations are more versatile in that you can put out lots of small dabs of bait wherever ants are trailing (along cracks, edges, both horizontal and vertical surfaces, etc.)”.
If you cannot deal with your ant problem, or have a large number of the insects in your home, you may need to call a pest specialist to deal with the problem for you.
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