Often I am asked questions that are not directly related to home improvements. Given the time of year, I am receiving many inquiries regarding insects, specifically ants. People seem to be most concerned with carpenter ants, and the damage they can cause to their homes. Carpenter ants are miserable and will bore through almost anything.
If you see ants, there are two main types of ants – carpenter ants and ‘sand’ ants. The little sand ants are the ants that come up inside your home, especially if your home is built ‘slab on grade.’ What happens in this case, is in the spring and summer the water table rises pushing water into the perimeter drainage system. Ants don’t swim well, so they try to stay ahead of the water. Where do they end up? In and around your home. You may see ants coming up from underneath your baseboards and doorways, such as entrance doors and patio sliding doors.
The way to get rid of ants is to find their ‘tracking spot’, which is where they are leaving tracks as they head back to their nest. Commonly you’ll see these tracking spots along baseboards.
There are many insecticides on the market available through approved insecticide retailers across British Columbia, and the best ones are those that have a residual effect. The term residual means that when you spray the insecticide on a surface, it will dry clear however when an ant walks across this product, it will stick to the ants legs and the ants bring the insecticide back to the nest killing ants at the source. For around the perimeter of the home, I recommend a residual insecticide spray in the spring and fall. This spray will last a good six months and keep spiders as well as ants and other insects out of your home. One product, made right here in Canada we’ve found to be very effective killing ants, is Doktor Doom Residual Spray.
You can also make your own home made ant trap. First, watch where ants are coming from and block their entry by using caulking or duct tape. Then use soapy water to wipe out ant trails. Homemade Ant Trap: Mix 1 cup icing sugar and 2 tbs. borax. Place in small pie pan and refresh every couple of days. Make sure to keep away from children and pets.