Don't DIY That: Ant Control
Thanks to the Internet and easy access to information these days, home remedies and routine household maintenance have made a comeback. This do-it-yourself subculture has extended to the realm of pest control. An online search for “how to get rid of ants” or “DIY ant repellant” will yield page after page of results.
However, ant control is best left to the professionals. Why? Read on to find out more about how ant infestations can affect your home, and the reasons you should leave treatment to a professional.
Problems that Ants Can Cause
There are more than 700 known species of ants living in the United States, though there are only a handful that will invade your home. The issues caused by ants will depend on what species has infested your house. In many cases, ants don’t cause any problems other than being a nuisance.
However, there are some ants that can cause trouble. Pharaoh ants, for example, can transmit pathogens that cause disease, while red imported fire ants are known to dole out a nasty sting. Carpenter ants can also be troublemakers, as their nest-building habits can damage wooden structures.
Effectiveness Issues When It Comes to DIY Ant Control
Is it possible for DIY ant repellants to be effective? Sure, in the perfect combination of scenarios. However, there are several issues you could easily encounter that might render DIY methods useless. Here are a few:
- There are many different species of ants that can invade your home and each may respond to a different type of bait or repellent. It can be hard to properly identify the ant and know which product to use if you’re not trained to do so. The species identification helps you know which measure to use so you don’t push the ants further into your home.
- There are some people who would put money on ant control home remedies and hacks, such as cinnamon or white vinegar. While these methods may seem to work from time to time, their effectiveness is typically short lived or mere coincidence.
- DIY pest control remedies only address ants you can see, not the hundreds to thousands that may be nesting in hidden areas of your home.
Does DIY Ant Control Actually Save You Money?
You might think that DIY ant control methods could help you save a little cash. But in the long run, you may not spare a single dime. As you can see above, it can be hard to determine what type of ant has invaded your home, and there’s no universal ant treatment. If you’re unsure of which insect you’re dealing with, you may have to keep ruling out different baits or treatments, all of which cost money and can eat up your time. In some cases, using the wrong ant control method could even make the problem worse. For instance, if Pharaoh ants aren’t controlled with the proper baits, you could cause them to split into new colonies through budding.
Pesticides Need to be Used Correctly
When using pesticides, there are special guidelines for both the amounts that should be used and the application methods. Most homeowners have not been trained on how to properly use these products, including how much to use them and where to (and not to) apply them. When these pesticides are used incorrectly, they can result in ineffective pest control and potentially even cause problems.
The Solution to Ant Infestations
It can be hard to know which household repairs or chores you can handle yourself and which will require the expertise of a professional. When it comes to ant control, however, it's recommended to contact a professional like the ones at Terminix.