With over 100 ant species in Canada, ants are a common pest in your home and garden. The majority of house ants are a simple nuisance, but once an ant problem has reached infestation level, it becomes much harder to eliminate from your home.

How Do You Know if You Have an Ant Problem?

You will see them. Ants live in large colonies, or ant nests, usually located in underground tunnels. Most species will nest outside buildings, and will find entry points just to find food. A successful scout leaves a scented trail for other ants to follow back to the food source. This accounts for the orderly trail you sometimes see when ants are in transit!

Tips to Prevent an Ant Infestation

Removing access to food and water is the easiest way to avoid all pest problems. Since ants are one of the tiniest pests of all, ensure even minor food residues, spills, and crumbs get cleaned up inside the house. Outside of the house, keeping garbage, compost, and firewood well secured and several meters away from your property will deter them away. Try these other tips to prevent ants from inviting themselves into your home:
Store sugary foods in glass jars with rubber gaskets or in plastic containers with snap-lids.
Keep kitchen counter tops clean and sweep or vacuum the floor frequently, especially around pet dishes.
Rinse containers before disposing of them in garbage or recycling bins, and empty kitchen garbage containers frequently.
Repair cracks around mouldings and plumbing, in the foundation or along interior and exterior walls.
Ants will not cross sticky barriers -Use two-sided tape around plants stands and fruit trees.
Compost containers should not be located too close to the house.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home or Business

Depending on the severity of your ant problem, you may be able to treat a minor ant problem without the assistance of professionals. If you think you may have an infestation to contend with, we recommend contacting us to discuss your particular circumstances. As always, estimates and advice are free, and we will give you our professional opinion and advice for treatment.

If you wish to apply your own ant control, the following techniques can be effective and are commonly applied within a household or commercial setting:

  • Ant Baits. Ant baits containing boric acid or hydramethylnon will slowly eliminate the colony , and are generally of low toxicity to other animals. These products are commonly sold at hardware stores. Ant trails are frequently found along baseboards, carpets and wall edges, or along the edges and corners inside cabinets. Place bait in the path of foraging ants, but out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Chemical Sprays and Dusts. Chemical barrier treatments can be applied to door and window frames to prevent outdoor nesting species from entering indoors. Spraying indoors where trails have been observed may cut off food and water sources for an indoor nest. Unfortunately, some chemical-barrier spraying may cause the colony to bud. This is one reason the DIY approach can be unpredictable.

Types of Ants in Alberta

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