Control ant colonies by eliminating them or by repelling them naturally. Chemical ant sprays are not effective in cases of ant infestations. Understanding ant behavior is important to identify food sources and find nests. When an ant finds food, it releases pheromones that other ants follow. Disrupting pheromone trails is a critical aspect of ant control.
Confusing ants with termites is common and would render any pest control attempt useless. Ants have pinched waists and bent antennas. Termites have straight antennas and their waists have the same width as the rest of their bodies. Use control methods for the right pest to successfully deal with the problem.
Identify the type of ant infestation. When dealing with ants that live outside and forage indoors, seal all cracks and crevices. Remove pheromone trails by cleaning the area with detergent and apply non-repellent residual insecticide around entry points and affected areas. For ants that build colonies indoors, ant baits are the best choice. Ant baits are safe to use around animals and children. They lure ants with their sugar-based, protein and grease-based components, eliminating entire colonies.
Use white vinegar, sidewalk chalk and essential oils to prevent infestations and repel ants naturally without killing them. White vinegar disrupts pheromone trails, making it harder for ants to find food sources. Use a solution of one part white vinegar, one part water and a clean cloth to wipe off affected areas. Ants naturally avoid contact with sidewalk chalk. The minerals in the chalk are toxic to ants. Draw a thick line around entrances in conjunction with other control methods. Ants are sensitive to strong smells, so spraying affected areas with solutions containing essential oils keeps ants away.