Promising to teach you “the best way to get rid of ants” is a bit disingenuous, to tell the truth (but it sure made you look, didn’t it? Sorry ). If any blog, site or article promises a single best way to get rid of ants, I’d actually be very skeptical, because there are nearly as many best ways to get rid of ants as there are types of ants and types of people–which is an awful lot.
How do we determine the best way to get rid of ants?
Choosing an ant control method depends on a couple of factors.
1) What type of ants are infesting your home or office? Using a technique that works great for one species may only worsen the problem if used on another. For example, tiny pharaoh ants will scatter and regroup if you spray them. Winged ants are probably carpenter ants, and they’ll likely ignore your ant baits; they need a dust treatment. So the very first step to choosing an effective ant control method is making a positive identification of your household intruders. You can use the handy ant identification chart we’ve posted elsewhere on our site.
2) What is your timeframe? If you need your counters clear because you have company coming in 20 minutes, you will probably resort to a spray that will kill on contact, even though that’s not your best long-term solution. If, on the other hand, you want a method that will destroy the problem at the source and keep the ants from coming back, you will probably reach for ant baits or other slow-acting poisons that will take longer to work, but will have more staying power.
3) What is your household like? If you are a single adults, you may choose to use more potent–and more toxic–poisons, and place them in accessible places where they will bring the best results. However, if you have pets or small children, you need to be careful to keep any poisons out of their reach, so you will be more limited in your ant control options, and may want to choose a gentler natural treatment, although it’s not actually the best way to get rid of ants.
4) What is your property like? If you live in a snug private cottage, ant baits may be sufficient to wipe out the colony that’s harassing you, whereas if you live in an infested apartment building where you can’t control the cracks in the walls or what’s going on in your neighbors homes, you may need to work more actively on setting up ongoing deterrents.
So as you can see, the best way to get rid of ants is largely subjective, but we can offer some basic guidelines based on the profiles below.
In a rush: reach for a pesticide spray, then follow up with baits and deterrents suited for your invading species. Suggested products: Ortho Total Home Defense
Carpenter ants: you probably need an exterminator, but you may be able to apply dust treatments yourself. Suggested products: Drione dust, Delta dust.
Pets and kids: grab the natural ant killers and repellents, often available in your kitchen pantry. Caulk and seal the home well. Suggested products: Orange Guard, home food items
Basic black ants: ant baits should help within 1-2 weeks. Suggested products: Terro or Combat ant baits.
Infested building: You can try baits, but also make ample use of repellents around the perimeter of your apartment. Suggested products: Ants baits, diatomaceous earth, Ortho Max Total Home Defense
When choosing how to deal with your ant problem, you will need to weigh the above factors against each other to determine how much weight to give each, but when you do, you can be confident you have chosen the best way to get rid of ants based on your own circumstances.