In Oklahoma, the diversity and presence of ant species are quite significant, posing a unique challenge to residents who have fought their fair share of battles against one of the most annoying pests.
According to The Ant Keeper, there are at least 8 ant species that exist in the state alone, which vary in behavior, habitat preferences, and the damage they can inflict on properties and humans.
This reality has made it hard for homeowners like you to effectively tackle ant infestations. Without a deep understanding of the specific species invading their homes, you may find yourself in a continuous loop of short-term fixes that fail to address the root of the problem.
We've curated a list of the best strategies to guide you in combating these house invaders. This guide is designed to provide effective solutions and insights into managing ant infestations.
Understanding Ants in Oklahoma
Ants are an incredibly diverse group of insects. According to National Geographic, there are over 12,000 known species of ants. Each of these species has unique characteristics and behaviors, allowing them to adapt to various environments around the world.
In Oklahoma, there are about eight known species of ants, each with its own distinct lifestyle and habitat preferences.
DIY Solutions Against Ant Invasion
There’s nothing more frustrating than walking into your kitchen first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed, and ready to start your day with a cup of coffee only to find a trail of ants invading your pantry – such a sore in the eye. This is where DIY solutions come into play; they offer a practical and immediate response to these uninvited guests.
Vinegar, especially when mixed with water, creates a strong-smelling solution that disrupts ants' pheromone trails. This makes it difficult for them to communicate with their colony and move back and forth from their nests to target food sources, and vice versa.
How to use: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on ants and their trails, and around entry points. Wipe down surfaces after spraying to remove ant trails.
Lemon juice confuses ants by masking their scent trails, making it hard for them to find food and return to their nest. This simple disruption effectively repels ants from their target area.
How to use: Squeeze fresh lemon juice or use concentrated lemon juice and mix it with water. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution along ant trails, around entry points, and on surfaces where ants are seen.
Essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, and lemon emit strong scents that disrupt the pheromone trails used by ants for navigation and communication. This confusion prevents ants from finding food sources and establishing trails, effectively acting as a natural deterrent.
How to use: Mix a few drops of essential oil (like peppermint or tea tree oil) with water in a spray bottle. Spray around windows, doors, and other ant entry points. Essential oil-soaked cotton balls can also be placed in these areas.
Homemade Baits (Sugar and Borax)
Homemade baits made from sugar and borax attract ants with the sweet sugar, while the borax acts as a poison that they unknowingly carry back to their colony. Once ingested by other ants and the queen, the borax weakens their digestive system and eventually eliminates the entire colony.
How to use: Mix boric acid with a sweet bait (like sugar or honey) and a little water to form a paste. Place small amounts of this mixture near ant trails and entry points. Keep it away from children and pets.
Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It works mechanically, not chemically. When ants walk over DE, the sharp edges of the particles cut through their exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die.
How to use: Lightly sprinkle the DE powder along ant trails, near entry points, and around the perimeter of your home. Avoid creating thick layers, as ants will avoid them.
DIY vs. Professional Pest Control Solutions
While at-home ant control may be affordable and easy to do, it may not always be as effective, especially when dealing with larger or more resilient ant infestations. Some situations call for a more comprehensive approach that only professional pest control services can provide.
At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too.
If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form.