Melbourne has various species of ants, and these critters can be a nuisance to you and your home. Some species, such as the fire ants, can even harm your health. Don’t wait for these ants to find your home as their nesting place. If you find a mound of ants crawling all over your lawn, it’s time to take action to protect yourself and your property from this menace. These simple steps can help mitigate ant infestation outside of your home.
- Clean your yard regularly
Pet food, food scraps, and plant litter can all attract ants into your yard. To kill the ants, you have to starve them of their food source. Regular cleaning would deprive them of food, reducing their colony’s viability. Dispose of your biodegradable trash since these are the ones likely to attract the attention of ants. If you need to make mulch or compost, buy storage that will keep ants off or store these materials far from your house.
- Set up ant baits
Ant baits work by letting the ants themselves take the poison back to their colony. Set the bait near their nests or mounds and wait for a week or so for the ants to spread the poison among themselves. However, you may have to buy various baits as each ant species are only attracted to certain types of food or baits. If you can’t identify the species properly, you could just be wasting your money.
- Douse the nest with boiling water
In general, boiling water serves as an environmentally-friendly option for most homeowners. The scalding temperatures of the water are enough to kill the ants and would drown stragglers. However, you might be unable to use boiling water if some of your ornamental plants would be threatened. The ants may have also built a nest near electrical or fuel gas structures outside your home, which can make this method dangerous. The water may also not reach the corners of the nest where the queen hides.
Also, the downside with this method is that it can be labour and fuel-intensive. There’s also the risk of spilling the water on yourself. If you’re going to do this, wear protective clothing and gloves.
- Try molten aluminium
A more difficult, more dangerous, yet more effective way to kill ants outside your home is to use molten aluminium. You only need to set up a garbage bin-sized container where you will melt aluminium metal. Then, pour the aluminium into the opening of the nests. Unlike boiling water, it hardens as it goes into the crevices of the colony, leaving no ant spared. You can leave the molten aluminium to harden, which would plug the nest and prevent other ants from using it.
- Apply insecticide
A stop-gap solution to kill ants outside your home is to apply insecticide. These insecticides can come in the form of granules or sprays. The problem with this method is that it would only kill the visible ants but not those hidden in their nests. Pets, plants, and people could also be exposed to the insecticide, harming them. The ants can also develop resistance to insecticides over time.
- Call an ant professional if problems recur
If you’ve tried one or more of these methods yet the ant infestation still flares up in your yard, it means there might be holdouts or other colonies that have set up their nests in your yard. You might not have yet gotten rid of the queen as well. Since there is no one-size ant pest control, you would want to have a pest management program that is thorough and suited to the situation of your property.
Each species of ants have different lifestyles and behaviours, which only a pest control professional has comprehensive knowledge. You need to have the species of ants correctly identified first. Effectively eliminating ants from outside your home begins with correct species identification and professional planning.
Are you looking for a pest control service in Melbourne to help you get rid of any unwanted visitors? Click here for ant control.