Part 1: Ants
These pesky crawlers form a beeline — or an antline, if you will — to any “sugary, sweet substances, crumbs on your countertop, and food spillage on the floors,” says Nancy Troyano, Ph.D., a board-certified entomologist and director of technical education and training at Rentokil North America Pest Control. “That’s exactly what they’re going after.”
Do: Follow their trail to spot and seal any sneaky entrances.
Don’t: Spray ants with cleaners or combine borax and powdered sugar to poison their food source.
Foraging ants lay a trail of pheromones to food their family can follow. Cut off their food supply by keeping your space spotless — wipe up spilled apple juice on your countertops, and clear the crumbs from the bottom of your trash bin. If you do spot their tiny parade, Grab a tube of sealant and follow the ants until you find their itty-bitty entrance. Attacking them head on rarely works — and can even make it worse! Who hasn’t picked up a spray bottle of cleaner and led an all-out assault on those pesky buggers? Turns out spraying them with household cleaners might kick-start the “budding” process, where surviving ants break away to form new colonies — and breed lots of new ant babies.
Combining sugar and borax is another DIY method that hurts more than helps. While borax will kill the ants —though it’s also an irritant that can be toxic to pets — the sugar “may end up attracting ants that wouldn’t have been there in the first place,” Troyano says.