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I built a house last year and we have ants all over. They are coming back now that the weather is warming up. What can I do to get rid of them?

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A

The best method of control varies by the species of ant. Some species of ants like sweets, while others like oils and meat products, such as pet food. Large black ants and carpenter ants live inside houses in damp areas and decaying wood, while other species maintain nests in the soil outside of homes.

When ants locate a food supply, they lay down an odor trail back to the nest so others can find the supply. Generally speaking, the best control is to eliminate the food supply, destroy the odor trail by washing the surface and use caulking material to plug up any cracks or holes by which the ants are entering the home.

Sticky traps, such as those used to catch cockroaches, can also be used to control ants. If using this method, however, it is important to eliminate the food supply and odor trails as well, because the lack of ants returning to the nest will stimulate the queen to produce more replacement workers.

Posted on 26 Apr 2001

Jay Karren
Entomology Specialist

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