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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Ants in Your Apartment

How to Prevent Ants

Even though ants are harmless and useful to the ecosystem, they can be frustrating to deal with. If left untreated, they can cause an infestation in your apartment or home. Luckily, getting rid of ants is easy using the methods described below.

Identifying Common Ant Entry Points

Because of the small size of ants, they can fit through even the most minor cracks of a building and get into any room they please. You can also bring ants into your home without realizing it by leaving windows open without screens. 

Thus, checking these entry points is essential. If you think you have an ant problem, there will be signs. The first sign most people notice is trails of ants congregating along these entry points. You’ll also find that when you leave food uncovered, ants will start crawling to it. If green spaces surround your apartment, you might find small mounds of soil outside, indicating ant nests. In worse cases, you might discover sawdust trails, showing you have carpenter ants and need to get rid of them quickly.

Ant Prevention Tips for Apartment Residents

Keeping ants from invading your apartment is a simple process if you understand a bit about their behavior. Ants, like most other pests, are attracted to spaces that provide access to both food and shelter. Making sure your apartment has the proper protection is key. Some essential tips for ant prevention include: 

Keep Your Apartment Clean

One of the things that most attract ants is food crumbs and spills. So, it’s important to keep your apartment clean, especially the kitchen and dining room. Ants leave pheromone trails, so cleaning surfaces disrupts them and makes it harder for them to navigate. Some essential cleaning tips include:

  • Clean the countertops and mop and vacuum your floors at least every week. 
  • Clean your dishes well, as dirty plates with leftover food also attract ants. 
  • If you use a dishwasher, rinse the dishes before putting them in or run a wash cycle as soon as you put them in.
  • Put all your trash into a closed garbage bag and take it out daily. It is also helpful to use a trashcan with a lid. 

When it comes to food storage, use pest-proof, airtight containers, bag clips or sealable bags. Securing your food ensures ants can’t find food in your home when they come looking, especially in the summer when moisture outside is scarce. It is also essential to wipe down these jars, especially those containing honey, syrup, soda or other sweets, as they are the ones that attract ants the most. 

Block off and Eliminate Ant Entry Points

Preventing ants in your apartment becomes easier after figuring out how they enter your home and blocking off those entry points. Here are ways to do so:

  • Trim trees and bushes because branches can provide hideaways for ants. 
  • Check around utility pipes and seal any cracks and crevices with waterproof silicone caulk or weather stripping. Alternatively, you can use putty, glue or plaster.
  • Check for any damage in window seals that requires mending.

Inform the Property Management Team

These tips are great for controlling ants, but it’s better to inform your apartment community’s management if you keep getting them. They can help you review the problem and provide a solution. If your neighbors are going through the same problem, they’ll get help, too.

Natural Ant Repellants That Work

Natural Ant Repellants

You can use some natural remedies to deter ants from your apartment.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a common deterrent for ants and other household pests. Spray it in areas where ants could have gotten in, such as the window lining, doors, around the baseboards or any holes or gaps in the walls. 

Peppermint Oil

According to this 2020 study, peppermint oil helps repel ants and other pests like cockroaches and mice. To use it as a deterrent, mix 10 to 20 drops with two cups of water. Then spray the mixture around the baseboards, windows or wherever you’ve seen ants.

To increase its effectiveness, allow the mixture to dry and repeat every few days as needed. Remember to keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Cinnamon Oil

Draw borders around the apartment’s entry points and common areas where ants enter the home using a Q-tip dipped in high-concentration cinnamon oil. This will repel and even kill the ants.

Baby Powder and Chalk Paint

For a quick fix, baby powder and chalk paint are excellent options. Spread baby powder on entry points and draw the lines in chalk since ants dislike crossing them. 

Vinegar Spray

Ants will not travel where you have sprayed vinegar. Mix vinegar with water and spray wherever you’ve seen ants. They won’t die, but the vinegar will throw them off course and deter them from entering your home. You can also mop your floors with a mixture of hot water and vinegar for an ant-repelling cleaning solution. 

Ant Bait Solutions: A Tactical Approach 

Ant baits are an effective way of getting rid of ants because they use insecticides which ants often take back to the mound to share with other ants in the colony. After they ingest the bait, it kills them. 

You can use commercial ant traps, which you can find in most grocery and hardware stores. However, if you prefer a homemade solution, you can make your own with peanut butter and honey. Mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of honey and 0.5 teaspoons (2.5 grams) of borax.

A mixture of borax and sugar is another solution that will attract and kill ants by breaking down their digestive system. You can buy it pre-mixed, or you can mix it yourself. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using ant baits:

  • Keep traps away from pets and children. You can do this by sealing it up in a jar, but ensure you punch two holes for the ants to enter.
  • Refrain from spraying repellants around the bait traps, which may keep ants away.
  • If you don’t see ants, remove the bait to prevent attracting other ants.
What to do if Nothing Works

What to Do if Nothing Works

If none of these prevention tips and solutions work, you might need to consider a professional exterminator. If you live in an apartment, you’ll want to contact the property management company so they can take action.

If you decide to move, explore the beautiful rental communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland offered by Triple Crown Corporation. We cater to various needs and budgets, offer updated apartments and community amenities and provide prompt maintenance service.

Contact us for more information or browse our available apartments.