We have all seen the single ant roaming around the counter top. Or one might pop up on your table. You may see one in the bathroom. These single ants are scouts and they are sent from a colony to explore and find a food or water source. The colony is always looking to feed itself and to grow. Ants are one of mother-nature’s many scavengers making sure that no morsel goes to waste.
So, what to do about the single ant scout. If you live on your own or with your partner and both of you keep a very clean home, the scout poses little threat to you. You will never give it a food source to find and alert the colony. But if you have multiple people living in your home, especially kids, then you know that keeping the home absolutely clean is an almost impossible task. Squash the ant scout.
The scout will search high and low for any food. When it finds some food it will take a bit of it back to the colony. On the way back, the ant scout will leave a chemical trail. This way, if it turns out to be a good food source, the others can find their way. A second ant scout may stumble across the scent laid by the first ant. He will either choose to follow that scent to the food or to keep scouting on his own. Laboratory tests have found that its a 50/50 proposition. If he chooses to follow the trail and also finds the food source, he will take a piece and return to the colony, retracing the first ants scent and topping it with his own, which will make it stronger and easier to follow for the other ants.
First and foremost, keep the home as clean as possible. Not giving them a reason to come in the first place is a good idea.
You can create a concoction of water and vinegar and spray around your door and windows. Ants hate vinegar. You can go with a 50/50 solution of white wine vinegar and H2O.
Other barriers work as well. Ants hate running into foreign substances. They hate baby powder, peppermint oil, cloves, and bay leaves.
Sometimes, using the over-the-counter ant baits can work. They will take what they think is food back to their colony and poison enough of them that they probably wont come back, at least for a while. It is a good idea to get rid of the ant’s scent trail while attempting your own pest control.
Having a pro diagnose the situation and craft a solution for your exact problem is by far the most effective way to get rid of ants. Once your pest specialist has the situation under control, he only need to return bi-monthly to maintain the property. The cost for quality pest control is very affordable.