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So you had a pizza party last night and woke up to grease ants devouring leftover crumbs and pieces on the kitchen floor? Well, unfortunately, this is the scene in most households, so you are not alone. How to get rid of grease ants is one question that gives sleepless nights to many homeowners. This can be a real trouble because you keep cleaning up the floor and kitchen countertops and the relentless colony of ants keeps coming back. Well, worry no more.
In this article, you will learn how to effectively get rid of them yourself and also some prevention tips to keep them from returning and causing a nightmare. Read on to know more.
Before we learn how to get rid of grease ants, we will understand what attracts them. Grease ants get their name because they are drawn towards greasy food items such as peanut butter, cheesy pizzas and anything oily.
So it’s a good idea to not clean food spills as and when they occur and put leftovers in the refrigerator where the ants cannot smell the food. If you still find the grease ants, you may follow the steps below to get rid of them.
How to Get Rid of Grease Ants
Step 1: Confirm that they are indeed grease ants
It is important to identify the ant correctly, in order to work on the most effective baits. Grease ants are very tiny, which is what enables them to enter through small cracks or gaps in windows. They are yellow, or pale brown, with a smooth and shiny body unlike other ants that could be dark brown or black. This should help you confirm that they are indeed grease ants.
If you are not sure what type of ant it is, you could get the help of a professional service for ant identification. Just cut a small piece of tape and place it where you see the ants frequently. One or two will stick to the tape and you can show this sample to get it correctly identified. Following the identification of grease ants, you can go ahead with methods to get rid of them.
Step 2: Follow the trail & clean with a grease cleaner
The next step after the identification of grease ants, is the inspection of infested sites.
Usually, once you identify the area they are grabbing the grease, you can clean it up. Throw out the infested food and use a multipurpose cleaner that attacks grease to wipe up any spills. This is usually enough to send the rest of the ants back to their colony to search for greasiness elsewhere within hours.
Getting rid of the one or two ants on your kitchen floor is going to be of no use—if the ants keep coming back for food, it means there is an entire colony somewhere in your house, which needs to be discovered. You have to get rid of the entire colony as the long term solution.
Once you locate a handful of ants, follow their trail to see where they go. It could be a window sill, a crack in the wall, or a cabinet. If you are patient enough to follow the trail, sooner or later you should know where they have their nest, or well let’s face it, nests (plural). But not to worry, once you have located their hideout you are halfway towards getting rid of them for good.
Step 3: Placing the bait
This is the most crucial step which is pretty much the answer to how to get rid of grease ants. There are both homemade and commercial baits available. First, you could try the DIY bait, and if it is ineffective, you can try getting commercial ones.
To make your own ant bait, all you need is borax. You get this in most convenience stores or if not, you could just order it online. Borax alone is not going to help invite the ants, and this is why ant identification is important — you need to know what attracts the ants to make the most effective baits. Since grease ants are drawn towards oily food particles, you can use the same substances to mix the borax with.
Mix equal parts of borax with edible oil or peanut butter. Put the mixture in a shallow dish or wax paper or just a piece of cardboard. Now your DIY grease ant bait is ready! Now you need to place it in the perfect spot.
This is why following the ant trail is important. Place the bait right on its trail — you must already know this from the inspection of infested sites. Let the ants smell your greasy good, come out of its nest and get your bait. Once it consumes the borax camouflaged well under your greasy food, it will take it back to its nest and pass it along to the entire colony.
Borax is poisonous for the ants and hence will remain undigested so it gets passed on. This will help destroy more of the ants. You should see a significant decline in the amount of ants coming back to your kitchen— perhaps repeat the same process a couple of times to get rid of them completely.
Commercial insecticides work in a similar way. You get the baits in the form of solid granules as well as liquid baits. You can leave the granules along the ant trails— they bite some of the granules, take it back to the nest and this helps get rid of the ants collectively. If you get the liquid bait, mix one drop of edible oil for 4-5 drops of the poison — this should be enough to draw the ant to the bait, yet get rid of them.
While you use the baits, whether homemade or commercial, make sure to keep it away from children or pets. Clean your space well before placing the bait, as you don’t want the ants to be distracted and go towards other legit food particles that might be laying around the house. The sole food particle that the ants go for should be your bait.
Step 4: Cleaning up afterwards
Once you are sure you have gotten rid of the ants, the final step is to clean up the mess. You don’t want dead ants or leftover food substances. Mix a vinegar-water solution or normal soap water to mop the floor, and kitchen counters well.
Spray some of this solution near the wall cracks, window sills and other places where you found the nests. This should get rid of any smell, or remnants of the ants’ presence.
Prevention of grease ants
Prevention is always better than cure. As an important step in how to get rid of grease ants, preventing them in the first place is one.
- Use a caulk tool to get into the gaps and seal wall cracks around the windows.
- Clean up any food spillage as soon as it occurs
- Spray a vinegar-water solution on strategic places to disguise the smell of food and keep the ants away.
These are some of the key steps regarding how to get rid of grease ants. Follow these and keep those pesky pets away!
FAQs on How to Get Rid of Grease Ants
Is there such a thing as grease ants?
Yes, grease ants are very small ants, and are usually yellow or pale brown with a shiny body. They easily get through wall cracks, gaps in windows or floors and they are drawn towards greasy food particles.
How do I get rid of grease ants in my house?
Mix equal parts of borax and peanut butter well so that the borax gets incorporated well. You can substitute the peanut butter with any other greasy food substance such as edible oil. Put this mixture on a shallow dish, wax paper or piece of cardboard.
Leave this bait on the ant trail and draw the ant out — there should be no other food particles around the bait lest the ants get distracted. The ants will consume the bait, take it to their nest and this will help destroy the entire nest, helping you get rid of the ants in your house completely.
If you are wondering how to get rid of grease ants, there are some easy measures that can be followed at home before you decide to call in the specialists. Usually, it’s as easy as getting rid of the source of the grease and waiting for them to find food elsewhere. That would eliminate the reason they’re there in the first place.
Mix equal parts of borax with any greasy food substance such as edible oil or peanut butter. This will attract the grease ants. They will bite the bait, take it to their nest and this will be an effective way to get rid of the entire colony of ants.
Borax is poisonous for the ants, and the greasy food is to attract them. Make sure to keep the pets and kids away and clean up your floors and kitchen countertops afterward with a disinfectant.