Get Rid of Ants in Garage
It starts innocently. You see one ant in your garage, and you think nothing of it. The next thing you know, there are nests of ants, and they are everywhere. What happened? The only thing you want to know at that point is how to keep ants out of your garage.
Why Are Ants in My Garage?
The first step to getting rid of them is to understand why they are attracted to your garage in the first place. There are about 700 types of ants in the United States and over 10,000 ants in the world. They prefer different habitats and have different food preferences.
One example of these is the Argentine ant. They are found in the Southeastern United States and prefer wet environments near a food source. They typically only pose a nuisance to homeowners.
Another example is the carpenter ant. They build nests near wood sources and love the damaged wood around cracks, windows, and doors. They can cause severe damage to the home as they tunnel through the wood in your garage.
Odorous house ants like to live in exposed soil and in walls or cracks underneath the floors of structures. They are found in all regions of the United States and can live in both dry and moist environments. They have a rotten smell when crushed, can contaminate food, and cause structural damage. The one ant you do not want in your garage in the Southern United States is the red fire ant because it has a painful sting.
The first step to understanding how to get rid of ants in your garage is to understand the type of ant you have and whether they can live in dry environments. For ants that prefer damp environments, keeping them out might be as simple as drying out the garage and sealing any cracks or places where they can get in from the outside.
Other Insects You Can Find in Your Garage
If you have ants in your garage, you might also have other types of insects. Sometimes ants are attracted to your garage because you have other insects that they might consider prey. Some of the other insects you might find in your garage are:
Fortunately, some of the natural methods used to get rid of ants will also eliminate some of these other unwanted inhabitants.
How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally
We have already discussed sealing your garage, filling any cracks, and making sure that the garage is dry. The next step is eliminating any food sources that might attract them. This means making sure that any food is in airtight containers so that the ants cannot smell it.
Ants will seize any opportunity for food, and knowing what they prefer can help you make your garage a less-than-hospitable environment. Most ant species love sugar, honey, anything sweet, grease, and oils. Ants also like seeds, fungus, leaves, wood, termites, dead insects, worms, and even each other. This means that you can eliminate their favorite foods, but don’t think you will simply starve them completely out.
Once you have eliminated their food source, any dampness and water sources, and sealed any cracks, it is time to get busy getting rid of the ants you already have. This is not as easy as just killing the ones you see. Ants lay down pheromone trails that other ants can smell. This scent trail is like a lighted path that goes right to the food source.
If you do not eliminate the pheromone trails, it will not be long until the ants return with a few friends. You have to wash the pheromone trail off the surfaces with soap or detergent so that other ants will not follow it and come back. Even if you do an excellent job of sealing your garage, there are often tiny spaces that you missed, and they only need the tiniest of openings to return.
We mentioned earlier that ants love sugar and sweet things, but they also dislike certain smells and substances. One of the ones they do not seem to like is cinnamon. You might try sprinkling a heavy coating of cinnamon in any cracks and corners.
Ants do not like the scent of white vinegar. Follow these easy steps:
- Mix up a one-to-one ratio of white vinegar and water.
- Spray it on the paths where the ants travel and at the entry points.
- Do this several times a day until the ants are gone.
Borax and Sugar
Mix a one-to-one ratio of borax and sugar. Add in a little water to make a thick paste. Put it near the entrance and along the ant trail. You can also put some on a cotton ball on a plate.
The ants will be attracted to the sugar, but they will also consume some of the borax when they eat it. This will poison them. You can rid yourself of the entire nest this way, but it might take a few days before you see results. At first, you will see an increase in the ants, but the population will slowly decline until none are left.
Ants do not like lemons. You can put a little lemon juice near the entrances where the ants get in, around your windows, and along the baseboards. Ants will not go near the lemon juice, but it must be fresh lemon juice and not imitation.
Ants also dislike the smell of peppermint. You can purchase peppermint oil and put a few drops near the entrances and baseboards. You can also leave some cotton balls soaked in the oil around the house. Another idea is to grow some peppermint in your indoor herb garden. You will have to replace the oils occasionally because they will evaporate and lose their potency.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the crushed fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures. The powder has sharp edges and will puncture the exoskeletons of the ants. This will cause them to bleed to death. This also dehydrates them.
Ants in your garage are a nuisance, and in some cases, they can be destructive. Fortunately, there are some ways to get rid of them that do not rely on pesticides or harmful chemicals. Some of these methods might also have the added effect of helping you get rid of other unwanted pests.
If you are struggling to deal with ants in your garage it is best to get in touch with a pest control professional sooner rather than later. Get in touch now!