When defending your home or business from ants, the best defense is a good offense.

Arkansas contains at least 132 ant species. Common local species include Carpenter, Formica, and Red Pavement ants. Those most likely to cause you problems are odorous house ants and fire ants.

Odorous house ants are small black or brown insects that emit an offensive smell when they feel threatened or are crushed. Fire ants are reddish brown and are well-known for being aggressive.

Ants live in colonies, sometimes in soil near your property’s foundation. Most don’t nest indoors. But ants will enter your home when sustenance is scarce and weather becomes harsh.

1 Because they are so small, ants can get in your home through the tiniest of openings. Seal all windows, doors, and any noticeable cracks with caulk, which is one of the least risky pest control methods when you have kids or pets.

2 If you see even a single ant in your home, remove it. It’s likely a scout sent out from the colony to look for new food sources. Scouts leave pheromone trails behind to lead other ants back to the source. A whole convoy – following the exact path as that single ant – is likely to follow.

3 When you locate the entry, it’s time to start cleaning. Most agree that a half-and-half vinegar and water mixture or a general household cleaner will effectively wash away the trail so the ants can’t find their way back into your home.

4 Other methods to prevent ants include the following: Clean liquid and food spills immediately; always cover food in the kitchen; tightly seal lids on trash bins; clean under kitchen appliances; clear away pets’ food immediately after they’ve finished eating; and keep compost covered and enclosed.

And of course, if you’re already experiencing a full-scale invasion, it’s always best to consult a professional to get rid of ants. The Bug Man is happy to provide free estimates, and we also have special offers like referral incentives and coupons. Call us at 501-663-9464, or click here for more information.