How Do I Get Rid of Ants?

Black ants trailing up the exterior of a home

In the Wichita area during the early Spring, small, blackish-brown ants can show up on the kitchen counter or in the bathroom in small random numbers. If they locate something sweet, these little invaders can set up a trail of ants leading from the food source to some mysterious nesting site inside walls or window casings. Even if you spray the creatures, these ants can be particularly persistent in hanging around as they move from spot to spot, avoiding the treated areas.

The trick to getting these ants to leave is using the right materials in the right places. You need to kill the colony and all the egg-bearing females. Older pesticides are often “repellant” poisons which kill the ones you spray, but drive away or repel the ones you don’t contact. Ants are very sensitive to odors and pheromones and will avoid the places you spray. Thus, you need to use something they will interact with such as baits.

Baits are often sweet syrups with non-repellant insecticides in them. They are attractive as a food source and are designed to have a delayed killing action. When the worker ants pick up the materials, they take it back to the nest and feed it to the colony and slowly kill the entire clan. You just have to keep enough bait out and give the ants a couple of days to take back enough to knock out the nest.

If you have real large colonies of ants, and the problem persists, you may need to treat around the outside of the home. In this situation, you can use baits designed for exterior use or sprays. However, you do not want to use the older, repellant pesticides, because they will just move the ants around. Rather, you want to use the newer types that are non-repellant and transferable. These newer products are not generally available over the counter, so if your problem persists, you may want to contact a professional exterminator who will know how to eliminate the colony.