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How To Get Rid of Piss Ants

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Having ants in our bedrooms can leave many of us feel uneasy.

No one wants these tiny pests crawling and biting on us while we sleep.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about getting rid of your piss ants in your house. 

So you can finally relax and get that peaceful sleep you deserve.

Let’s dive in. 

What Are Piss Ants?

Before we begin, we must distinguish what piss ants are.

There is a species of ant that is native to the forests in Europe. It gets its name from the smell it produces.

These are not the ants we will be discussing today.

More commonly, piss ants refer to a group of ant species that infest indoors.

The ant’s considered piss ants include odorous ants, pharaoh ants, ghost ants, and crazy ants.

1. Inspect/monitor Your Home

Now that we understand what piss ants are, the first step to getting rid of ants is to inspect your home. 

There are a few things you should accomplish after inspecting your home:

  • Capture an ant for identification later 
  • Locate the source of the infestation
  • Locate entry and exit points 
  • Identify items that are attracting the ants 

The first step to monitoring your home is to identify where the ants are located. 

Understanding the source of the ants will help you treat them later.  

I also suggest that you capture ants and place it in a jar for identification later. 

You can also take a close up photo with your smartphone to help you identify the snake species later. 

As you inspect your home, keep track of any places you find ants walking around, entering your home, or exiting your home. 

All the information you find during your inspection will help you in the future. 

2. Eliminate Items That Attract Ants

To ensure that you get rid of ants permanently, you need to eliminate any items or conditions that attract ants. 

Three things attract ants to your home: 

  • Food 
  • Water 
  • Shelter 

 

Eliminating Food and Water

The best way to eliminate food and water sources from your home is to perform a thorough cleaning. 

When cleaning, you want to focus on your restroom and kitchen. These are typically the primary source of moisture and food inside homes.

Here are some tips to ensure you target some common areas where ants feed. 

  • Vacuum or sweep under appliances to remove crumbs, spills, and other small particles. 
  • Wipe down shelves, countertops, and other surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms  
  • Remove or wash any dirty dishes, laundry, or surfaces. 
  • Remove or place pet food in an airtight container. Make sure you clean the bowl once your pet is finished eating.
  • Seal all food in airtight containers
  • Wipe-down any wet surfaces to remove excess moisture.

 

Eliminate Points of Entry

Without any sources of food or water, ants may enter your home in search of shelter. 

The best way to prevent ants from entering your home is to seal up all entry points. 

To start, you can target the most common entry points ants use to enter your homes. 

  • Use caulk to seal cracks or holes on the outside of your home. 
  • Seal any gaps around windows and doors
  • Install door sweeps 
  • Weatherstrip doors and windows 
  • Make sure all window screens are correctly installed and not damaged. 

When sealing your home, it’s essential you carefully inspect your entire house. 

Ants are small and can enter even the smallest cracks. Pay close attention to the foundations, edges of walls, and near windows and doors. 

3. Pre-Baiting

Pre-baiting is a strategy that helps you learn about your ant infestation. 

This strategy involves placing bait around your home to attract ants.

This strategy helps you learn:

  1. Type of Ants
  2. Locate ants trails 
  3. Find the nest 
  4. Ants food preference 

To begin pre-baiting, you will need to use a sugar-based bait and a protein-based bait. This will help you identify the type of food the ant prefers. 

For your bait you can use: 

  • Sugar-based Bait: 50/50 honey and water 
  • Protein-Based Bait: Peanut Butter or Spam 

You must test each bait individually to determine your ant’s food preference. 

Place the bait in areas where you have seen ants in the past or near an active ant trail. Once the ants eat the bait, they will begin forming a trail. 

Use this time to track the ant’s trail, and locate their nest if possible.

4. Identification

Since piss ants typically encompass multiple types of ants, it’s important to identify which type of ant is inside your home. 

The three types of ants that are often considered piss ants are: 

  • Odorous ants 
  • Pharaoh ants 
  • Ghost Ants 

The best way to identify them is by examining their appearance, food preference, behavior, and habitat.

 

Appearance

There are a couple of ways you can examine an ant’s appearance.

First is by capturing one ant and using a magnifying glass to study it.

The second is to use a zoom or macro lens and take a photo to get a closer look.

Each ant has characteristics that you can use to identify it. 

 

Food Preference

Different types of ants have different diets.

Some ants might prefer sweets and protein, while others might prefer oils and fats.

For instance, carpenter ants prefer proteins and sweets. On the other hand, fire ants will prefer meat and lipids.

You can use the ants’ choice of pre-bait as a baseline for what you’ll use in your bait treatment.

 

Nest Location

Following the trails to find an ant’s nest can help determine what type of ant it is.

Carpenter ants, for example, live inside the wood.

On the other hand, pavement ants may build their nest under concrete and come up through the cracks.

It’s not always easy to determine where an ants nest is.

If you can’t determine where the nest is, focus on the ant’s appearance and eating habits.

1. Pharaoh Ant

pharaoh-ant

Pharaoh Ants are commonly found foraging and nesting inside structures.

They commonly hide inside homes in locations that are hard to reach, such as wall void and underneath cabinets.

They tend to place their nests near food and water sources when possible.

Phoraoh Ant Identification

Size: 1/16" - 1/8"

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Yellowish-Light Brown to Red 

Pattern: No Pattern

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Coastal U.S States From Fl to WA

Food: Sweets, Protein, Insects 

Nest: Near water sources, common indoors

2. Odorous Ants

Little-black-ants

Odorous ants are versatile in that they infest both indoors and outdoors. They commonly migrate indoors during cold weather or when it is raining outside.

Odorous ants are attracted to water and you will commonly find them nesting near water sources such as inside the kitchen or the restroom.

Odorous Ant Identification

Size: 1/8"

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Dark Brown to Black

Pattern: None, but distinct coconut smell when crushed. 

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Across the U.S

Food: Sweets, Human food (salts, grease, dairy, and protein) 

Nest: shallow mounds, inside wall voids.

2. Ghost Ants

ghost ants

Ghost ants are one of the most widely distributed ants in the world. They get their name from their translucent abdomen and legs. 

Ghost ants are versatile and can establish their nests both indoors and outdoors. They are also flexible with their eating habits. Although they prefer sugary substances they will eat protein and grease if necessary. 

Ghost ant colonies grow quickly since they can develop two queens. Their colonies range from 100 – 10,000 soldiers.  

Ghost Ant Identification

Size: 1/2" - 3/4"

Antenna: Bent

Color:  Dark Brown head and thorax, transparent legs and abdomen

Pattern: None

Nodes: One

Shape: Segmented 

Region: Across the U.S 

Food: Sweets, Human food (salts, grease, dairy, and protein) 

Nest: shallow mounds, inside wall voids.

4. Use Indoor and Outdoor Bait

Baiting is the most effective way to get rid of ants. The type of bait and bait placement may differ on the species, but the strategy is the same. 

Ant bait uses slow-acting insecticides to take advantage of the ant’s shared eating habits. 

When ants gather food, they share it with the rest of their colony. This means that one source of food may feed several different ants. 

This allows the bait to kill ants that were never inside your home. Over time the poison will slowly kill off the entire colony. 

Three factors determine the success of a baiting strategy:

  • The right bait
  • The right location
  • Lack of other food sources

 

Location

Place ant baits in all the locations where ants were active during pre-baiting.

Doing so will make it a seamless and efficient transition once you apply the bait.

 

Other Food Sources

Remember to remove any pre-bait or other food sources that might attract ants.

Baits are most effective when they are the only food source.

Ants will have no other choice but to eat the bait.

 

Type of Bait

When selecting your bait, choose a bait that has the same base as the pre-bait the ants were eating.

For instance, if the ants consume sugar-based bait during pre-baiting, use sugar as your base for the actual bait treatment.

If the ants consumed both pre-bait, then either type of bait should work.

Baits typically take one to three days to kill ants that directly consumed the bait.

It’s expected to eliminate an entire colony between one to two weeks.

Indoor Bait

When we see ants indoors, we tend to use an insecticide spray such as Raid. These do bring the satisfaction of an immediate kill, but they don’t target the source of the infestation. 

Baiting allows you to attack the entire ant colony with little effort. 

You can do this using gel bait or bait stations. 

Bait Stations 

Bait stations are small cartridges filled with bait that ants can enter to get bait. 

These stations are easy to use and provide a safe barrier around the bait. Bait stations are ideal if you have children or pets. 

You can place them in direct sight without exposing your loved ones to harmful chemicals. 

Gel Bait 

Gel bait is the loose form of a bait station. Gel bait typically comes in syringes that allow you to place small drops of bait around your home easily. 

Gel bait is easier to monitor and offers greater flexibility. With gel bait, you can place bait in small crevices and cracks with ease. You can also control how much bait you want to set. 

I recommend placing gel bait on small pieces of wax paper. This allows for easy monitoring and cleaning afterward. 

Placement 

Placing your bait is vital to the success of your strategy. You want to place bait where ants are active. 

You should place the bait in the same place you put your pre-bait, especially if there was plenty of activity. 

With piss ants, most activity takes place in the restroom or kitchen. 

Below are some ideal places you can place your bait: 

  • Baseboards
  • Guidelines
  • Window sills
  • Corners of walls
  • Under the sink 
  • Under appliances 
  • Cabinet door hinges
  • Windows or door sills
  • Near sources of water
  • Near ant trails

Outdoor Ant Bait

Piss ants are a common indoor pest. But, it doesn’t mean they live inside your home. 

The source of most ant infestations is outside. This makes outdoor baiting an effective way of getting rid of ants. 

The best way to bait ants outdoors is by using refillable stations. You can place one bait station at each corner of your house to target ants from every direction. 

You can also place bait stations in other areas of your yard where ants are present. 

Common places of ant activity include:

  • Near gardens
  • Near sprinklers
  • Ant mounds
  • Near trees or bushes
  • Along driveways 

If you find that the ants are not attracted to your bait, try a different bait. 

6. Apply Non-Repellent Spray

Using non-repellent sprays are not necessary to eliminate an ant infestation.

Non-repellent insecticides are slow-acting insecticides that are undetectable to ants. Ants will walk over the insecticide unknowingly and tack it back to their nest.

You can use non-repellent spray and apply a barrier treatment around your home.

The most effective non-repellent insecticide will have a residual effect. The residual effect will keep the insecticide active around your home for several months after application.

This typically involves applying insecticides along your foundation and three-feet on the walls and floor around your home.

The most effective way to do this is by using a pressurized sprayer.

7. Keep Ants Away With Preventative Measures

The best way to get rid of ants is an effective prevention strategy. 

Take steps ahead of time, so you never have to deal with ants inside your home. 

 

Eliminate Food 

To keep ants outside of your house, you need to eliminate any potential sources of food. 

The best way to do this is to clean your house regularly. Make sure there is no food lying around that will attract ants inside your home. 

Be sure to clean uncommon areas as well. This includes under appliances, under furniture, washing dishes frequently, clean bedrooms, and throw out garbage frequently. 

It’s also essential that you keep your food sealed. One of the most effective ways to do this is to use airtight containers. 

 

Eliminate Water

Ants need water to survive.

If there are no food sources but there is an abundance of water ants will still enter your home.

This is particularly true when the soil outside is dry and they need to find additional sources of water.

Make sure you address any excess moisture issues both inside and outside of your house.

This includes leaking pipes or faucets.

Standing water or overwatering of plants and grass outdoors.

 

Seal Up Entry Points

The harder it is for ants to get in, the less likely they will try and enter your home.

The best way to do this is to seal up any cracks, holes, and crevices around your home using caulk.

Some common places to look outside are:

  • Cracks in foundations
  • Holes or cracks on walls
  • Door or window sills
  • Under or around windows and doors, and
  • Pipes or wires that penetrate walls.

Common places to look indoors include:

  • Cracks on walls
  • Around windows and doors
  • foundation or edges walls
  • under sinks where there are pipes
  • electrical sockets

It is also a good idea to apply a dust insecticide into these crevices before sealing them up.

This will allow you to kill any ants hiding inside these voids and give them no way of getting out.

 

Trim Vegetation

Trim any branches that are touching your walls, windows, roof, etc.

Carpenter ants live in trees and can use its branches as a bridge to enter your home.

If you are confident that a near your house is infested with carpenter ants, make sure you treat it or consider cutting it down.

 

Keep Your Yard Clean

Piles of trees give ants an ideal shelter. They allow ants to hide undisturbed, as well as provide the moisture they need.

Remove anything that can collect water, such as stacks of wood and overturned plant pots.

 

Minimize Mulch

You’ll also want to minimize the use of mulch around your home.

Layers of mulch provide ants with the perfect shelter.

It traps moisture and insulates against harsh temperatures.

If you must use mulch at home, make sure to replace old mulch with new ones at least once a year.

You can use rock, gravel, pebbles, and rubber as an alternative to mulch.

Pebbles or gravel is typically too dense and compact for ants to tunnel through. As a result, they won’t be able to access the perimeter of your foundation.

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