Everything You Need to Know About Ant Traps

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If you have an ant invasion in your dwelling, you already know what a nuisance it can be. While they do have benefits in the environment, when they start to come into where we live, they can cause a mess and damage. Some ants can even bite hard. I’ll be looking at different kinds of ant traps in detail. That way you can decide which type is best for your situation. Let’s get started.

Different Kinds of Ant Traps

There are mainly two different types of ant traps. There is the kind that is already made, and there is the homemade kind. The type that is already made, you will be able to buy online or at a store. If you are feeling ambitious or just want to save some money, you can also make your own ant traps out of basic ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store. I’m going to go over both types of ant traps.

Ready-Made Ant Traps

The ready-made ant traps can be effective, but also expensive. The nice thing about it is that it is already made so that you can quickly place it out as soon as you get it. Ready-mades are going to be the easiest kind to set up if you want the quickest solution.

Homemade Ant Traps

This type of ant trap is the kind that you make yourself. This is an inexpensive way to get rid of ants. In fact, you may already have some of the ingredients in your kitchen. Depending on which recipe you used, some homemade ant traps will be pet safe and safe for children.

Homemade Ant Traps

Borax and Sugar

For this homemade ant trap, you will need 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of borax, and 2 cups of sugar.

Next, allow it to completely cool. As it cools, it will thicken. Once it is made, it should be a lot like Terro liquid ant bait, which is a very popular ant bait on the market today.

Molasses, Sugar, and Yeast

For this ant trap, you will need 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of yeast, and 2 tablespoons of molasses.  To make, simply mix all three ingredients together.  Then apply dollops of this recipe on the trails of the ants.  Look for crevices in walls or sidewalks that ants may follow.  Put this mixture along the ant routes.

Borax and Peanut Butter

For this ant trap, you will need 2 tablespoons of borax, and some peanut butter.

Mix the two ingredients together until it forms a paste.  Pour some on a paper plate and spread it until it covers the entire plate.  Set the paper plate along the ant trail.

Borax and Jam

This recipe is similar to the Borax and Sugar, but instead you use jam/jelly.  What you will need is 2 tablespoons of borax, and some jam or jelly.  Honey also works well.

Mix the borax with the jam until is makes a paste.  Spread the paste onto a piece of container, and put it on the ant trail.  If you notice that the ants are eating it but nothing is happening, then add some more borax into the mixture.

ant traps

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Ant Baiting Tips

Look for the Ant Trails

Ants plan out where the colony will walk.   They will have established trails.  The best place to put an bait is along an established trail.  Put bait on all of the trails that you find.

Re-Bait After Ants Have Consumed the Food

Make sure to check on the bait on a daily basis.  Keep re-baiting the area until all ants are gone for good.  Ants will continue to take the bait back to the colony until the whole colony has been destroyed.

Switch Baits If You Need To

If the bait is still there for several days and you see ants, but no missing bait, switch baits.  There’s nothing wrong with calling it quits and trying something else.  However, if any of the first bait is missing, be patient and give it some time.  Remember, that it may take a week or more for the colony to be destroyed after the ants start taking the bait.

Do Not Put Bait on the Top of a Mound

If you are applying bait around a mound, make sure to put it at the base of the mound and not at the top.

Remove All Other Food Sources

You will have the best success of getting rid of ants if you remove other food sources.  Consider putting up pet dishes, trash cans, etc. so that the ants will only find the bait as a food source.

Use Fresh Bait

Make sure that the bait that you are using is not too old.  Most ant baits should be used within 6 months to 1 year.  After that time, the bait goes bad much like human food spoils.

Bait Works Best in Hotter Temperatures

Ant bait is most effective when the temperature is above 70 degrees fahrenheit.

Dry Surfaces Are Better for Bait

Bait do not work as well on wet surfaces such as wet grass.  Look for dry surfaces to apply the ant bait.

Leave the Ants Alone Once They Start Feeding on the Bait

Do not disturb ant activity when they start feeding on the bait. Try to have minimal or no disturbances in the area where the ants are eating the bait. Eventually, the bait will take effect, but it takes time.

ant traps

Image Source: Pixabay

How Long Does It Take for Ant Traps to Take Effect?

When ants consume large quantities of the bait you have set out, they typically return to their nest and then share it with the rest of the colony. The amount of time it takes to completely get rid of them depends on how large the colony of ants is. If it is very large, it may take up to a few weeks to fully get rid of them. However, once an ant has been exposed to the bait, it usually dies within a day or two after exposure.

How to Choose the Right Ant Trap & Bait

You will have a lot of choices when it comes to ant traps. How you choose the right one will depend on the ants that you want to get rid of, if you’d like it to be pet safe, how much you want to spend, and which type you prefer.

Whether the ant traps are store bought or homemade, it is up to you to decide. If you’re having a hard time choosing which one to use, you may want to consider the type of ant species you are dealing with. Are they odorous house ants, carpenter ants, or thief ants? Selecting the appropriate ant trap will all depend on this information.

How to Avoid Ant Infestations in the Future

Sometimes, ant infestations just happen regardless of your home’s circumstances. You can be the cleanest person in the world and still have a problem with ants. However, here are some simple tips to keep in mind to prevent these creatures from coming back.

Keep Your Home Clean

One of the biggest problems with ants entering a home is when leftover food is sitting out. Ants love to feast on leftovers, so make sure that you are very careful when it comes to your kitchen cleanup. Avoid leaving out food that is uncovered. Cover any food (especially sweets) in airtight containers and take out your trash frequently. Even if you may think your house is clean, ants can easily smell food, which attracts them to areas they shouldn’t be.

Be Aware of Your Landscaping

Having trees in your yard is great for providing shade, but not so great when placed too close to your home. If this is the case, it gives easier access to ants that wish to enter the building. Be aware of where you are placing trees so that you don’t cause an unnecessary ant problem.

Final Thoughts

The biggest thing to remember when trying to eradicate an ant colony is patience. It may take a couple of weeks to destroy an entire colony. First, pick the type of bait that you would like to use and then apply it to where you have witnessed ants walking. Try to find trails and then apply it along the trails.

Remember to not disturb the ants once they start feeding on the bait, as it may take several weeks for an entire colony to be destroyed. However, if you think your infestation is out of control, you may want to consider reaching out to your local exterminator. Doing so will help you get rid of those pesky ants for good.

Related Article: Best Ant Killer – Our Top Choices and Overall Pick

Image Source: terro.com

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