Red harvester ants are among the most common species of ant found in North America, infesting gardens, patios, and other outdoor areas. These pests attack trees and plants, destroy grass and flower beds, feed on vegetable crops, and even damage indoor furniture and carpets. Fortunately, eliminating red harvester ants from your property is not difficult if you know how.
The first step to effective ant control is to identify the problem. If your property is infested, it’s best to enlist the help of an expert entomologist. This will help you determine whether you are dealing with red harvester ants or a different species of ant. An expert entomologist can also offer advice on the best course of action for getting rid of them.
Once the type of ant has been identified, the next step is to determine what is drawing them to your property. Typically, red harvester ants are attracted by sources of food and water, such as fallen fruit and vegetables, pet food and water bowls, flowerbeds, and even spilled honey or syrup. Removing these sources of food and water from your property is key to preventing the infestation from spreading.
In addition to eliminating sources of food, you can also use baits specifically designed to target red harvester ants. These baits contain a chemical known as hydramethylnon, which is designed to attract the ants and kill them. Generally, the baits work by luring the ants into the bait, where they then die. Applying the baits in areas where red harvester ants can be found is key to their effectiveness.
Another effective method of getting rid of red harvester ants is to use insecticides. This is an especially effective solution if your infestation is large or if the ants are particularly resistant to baits. Traditional insecticides are usually quite effective when it comes to eliminating red harvester ants; however, it is important to follow the directions carefully to ensure that the products are applied correctly. Additionally, it is important to consider the safety of children and pets when using insecticides.
Finally, physically removing the ants from your property can be an effective way of eliminating the infestation. This can be done by hand, but it is not recommended if you are dealing with a large infestation. In this case, it is best to enlist the help of an expert Ant Control company. These companies use specialized tools and techniques to get rid of the ants quickly and safely.
Home and Garden Modifications
Making certain home and garden modifications can also help to attract and keep away red harvester ants. For example, keeping your soil dry and removing vegetation and mulch can help to discourage the ants from nesting on your property. Additionally, keeping your grass mowed and supplementing your soil with beneficial organisms can help to prevent the infestation from spreading. Finally, maintaining a tight seal on windows and doors can help to prevent the ants from entering your home.
Other Tips for Eliminating Red Harvester Ants
The following are some other tips to keep in mind when dealing with a red harvester ant infestation. First, it is important to keep an eye out for the ants. Keeping a lookout for the nests or mounds that the ants build can help you to determine the extent of the infestation. Additionally, it is important to dispose of organic waste regularly and to keep the area around your home free of food and water sources. Finally, the use of insecticides can be helpful, but it is important to consider the safety of your family and pets when applying them.
Preventing Future Infestations
Once the ant infestation has been eliminated, it is important to take steps to ensure that they do not return. Applying insecticide to the perimeter of your home and garden can help to repel the ants. Additionally, keeping your garden and outdoor areas well-maintained, such as removing any organic matter, will help to discourage the ants from nesting in your property. Finally, using baits that contain hydramethylnon can help to attract and then kill the ants if they do return.
Natural Solutions – What You Can Do
In addition to chemical solutions, there are also some natural remedies for getting rid of red harvester ants. For example, sprinkling diatomaceous earth or boric acid around the perimeter of your property can help to deter the ants and control their populations. Additionally, other natural solutions such as soapy water, pepper or vinegar can be used to repel or kill the ants. Finally, planting certain herbs such as chamomile, marigold and rosemary can also help to keep ants away.