How to Get Rid of Ants in Florida

Did you find some ants marching in your kitchen? Is there an ant infestation in your bathroom? No matter where these pesky insects were found in your home, we know you want to get rid of them ASAP! Luckily for you, you have several options when it comes to getting rid of ants.  Below are some frequently asked questions and tips to get — and KEEP — your house ant-free!

Why Do I Have an Ant Problem?

Just because you have ants doesn’t mean you have a dirty house. In fact, you could have the cleanest house out there and still have an ant infestation. There are a few different reasons you could have ants, but a majority of the time, the ants are just searching for food or water. This means there is a colony near your home and the ants are using your house as a source of survival.

Here are some common reasons you may have an ant problem:

Your Kitchen is Dirty

Ants leave their colony in search of food and water. After all, just like any other living organism, they need a food source to survive. Don’t let your kitchen give them what they’re looking for. Crumbs and spills you leave behind are an open invitation welcoming them into your home!

Your Garbage is Attracting Them

Aside from leftover crumbs and particles around your kitchen, ants are also drawn to your garbage. After all, it’s a haven of leftover food for them to feast on! They’re especially drawn to sugar, so used soda cans and food containers could be drawing them in.

You’re Not Killing the Entire Colony

If all you’re seeing is a few ants, you might be missing the bigger picture. Because ants are social creatures, they travel in colonies — which means there’s a herd of ants you need to get rid of to experience long-term relief. To get rid of the ones you do see in your kitchen, you first have to eliminate the ones you don’t see.

Your Home Isn’t Properly Sealed

Ants are both intelligent and tiny. The crack in your window? They see it! The small opening beneath your door? Yup, they can fit through it! Ants are aware of the smallest openings and crevices and confidently invite themselves in.

What Are the Most Common Ants in Florida?

In order to successfully rid your home of ants, it’s best to know which kind of ants you are dealing with in the first place. While there are over 12,000 species of ants around the world, we typically deal with about 12 species in Florida. Below you will find some info on 5 of the most common ants in Florida.

Pharaoh Ants 

Pharaoh ants are normally a pale yellow/brown color and are notorious for being pesky home invaders! These ants can be found all over the U.S. They are very attracted to protein-rich, oily, or sweet foods, so you can probably find these guys marching around in your kitchen.

Argentine Ants 

Argentine ants are normally black or dark brown and very shiny. They are common in the southeastern part of the country. Argentine ants are attracted to sweet foods and moisture, so this species is also very common to spot in a kitchen.

Ghost Ants

Ghost ants get their name from being hard to see! Their heads are dark brown and the rest of their body fades to a pale yellow. While they can be found in some areas of the USA, they are also located in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Ghost ants nest in the ground but are very attracted to moisture. They will trail to your bathroom to sinks, showers, and bathtubs to find a water source.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are typically black, red, or even a combination of the two colors. These large ants are found all over the country. Similar to termites, carpenter ants love decaying wood, so they typically enter your home through wet and/or damaged wood.

Red Imported Fire Ants

Like their name suggests, Red Imported Fire Ants are, well, red! These fire ants are found throughout the southern states. Fire ants usually build large hills on the ground and are often found in backyards, but can also find their way into your home through AC or HVAC units. Be very cautious around these guys as they pack a very painful sting when biting!

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How to Get Rid of Ants in Florida

Want to try to tackle the ant problem on your own?  Well, you’re in luck because you have a few options! Keep in mind these tips below might not work on large infestations but are definitely worth a shot for smaller issues.

The best ways to get rid of ants in Florida include:

  • Dish Soap: Mix dish soap in a spray bottle along with water and rubbing alcohol. Spraying this solution directly onto the ants you see will kill them and get rid of them for good.
  • Vinegar: Similarly to dish soap, combining vinegar and water in a 50/50 ratio and then spraying it on the ant infestation will kell them without causing a big mess.
  • Cinnamon: While a bit of a messy solution, ground cinnamon will kill ants if they inhale it. Sprinkle ground cinnamon where ants walk to prevent them from coming back.
  • Lemon juice: Ants follow scent trails so they know where they’re going. Spraying lemon juice and water on ant trails will get rid of the scent they follow and prevent them from coming back to that area.
  • Over-the-counter baits: Ant baits are relatively successful in eliminating small ant infestations around your home, but they take some time to notice an effect. Baits come in several forms such as stations, gels, and granules. As long as you follow the directions, they should be safe to have in your home. Baits are successful because ants carry it back to their colony and end up sharing the poison with their entire army.
  • Over-the-counter sprays: Ant sprays are very popular when it comes to immediately deter ants. Raid was probably the first thing that popped into your mind when you saw “ant spray”, but that won’t fix your ant invasion. Raid is a repellant, so it doesn’t actually get eliminate your problem — it just moves the problem elsewhere in your home. We suggest spraying the entry points around your house with a non-repellent spray like FUSE Insecticide or Taurus SC.

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What Are Some DIY Ways I Can Get Rid of Ants?

DIY methods can be very successful for small-to-medium-sized infestations if you want to take a more natural route.

  • Sticky Tape: The sticky tape that has been sitting in your kitchen drawer might just do the trick for eliminating ants! Determine where the ants are going–normally they are headed towards a food source out in the open. Next, make a barrier of tape around the food source-sticky side up! The ants will march right to the food source and step on your sticky tape in the process. The ants will then become stuck to the tape and all you need to do is pick up the tape and throw it away!
  • Lemons: When life gives you lemons… use them to eliminate ants! Ants steer clear of this acidic fruit.  Squirt fresh lemon juice windowsills, doorways, or any other entry points ants could use to get inside your home. Cutting tiny slices of the lemon peel and leaving them near the entry points is another way to take advantage of this all-natural method!

What Are Preventative Measures I Can Take?

The best way to avoid a re-infestation is to prevent one altogether! There are multiple preventative measures you can take that will help keep ants far away from your home. These include:

  • Properly seal your food: Ants are very attracted to food and eat the same foods we eat! Sweets, nuts, meats, and cheeses are just a few of the snacks they will forage for in your kitchen. Make sure all packages of food are tightly sealed and this will help keep ants away.
  • Wipe up any standing water:  Ants seek out moisture and would love to find the standing water you have around your house. Clean up all spills or splashes of water that happened in your kitchen and bathroom.
  • Trim shrubbery from the exterior of your house: Make sure all greenery is pulled back from the perimeter of your home. Ants will use trees limbs, flowers, or bushes that touch your house as a bridge to get inside.
  • Close openings in your house: Use caulk to seal any cracks and crevices around the perimeter of your home. Ants access your home through these tiny gaps. Pay special attention to the cracks around your floors!

What If They Still Come Back?

Despite your best efforts, ants can sometimes get the best of us despite all the preventative measures. If your ant problem is becoming too much of a challenge, it might be time to call in the pros! Your friendly neighborhood pest control technicians here at Anti-Pesto will be glad to evict your six-legged guests to give you an ant-free home for the long haul. We provide comprehensive pest control services to homeowners in the Tampa Bay area.

Written by Howard Bright, Owner of Anti-Pesto Bug Killers

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