Our Guide to Getting Rid of Annoying Ants (for Good)

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Our Guide to Getting Rid of Annoying Ants (for Good)

Lisa Wright · Sep 20, 2022
Ants crawl all over a spilt jar of sugar in a contemporary kitchen space.

Open windows, cracks in the wall, spaces in the baseboards, even the natural process of entering and exiting — all these things leave the door wide open for pesky insects to find their way into your apartment. Whether it’s fruit flies (hello summer produce), houseflies, or spiders, bugs seem to be a part of everyday life — but what do you do when they make a home inside of your home?

It may be perfectly natural to spot an ant or two in your apartment every now and then, but when you start to see them by the dozens, it may be a sign that there’s an infestation afoot. Ants will often make their way inside from the very foundations of your home, whether it’s in search of those sweet, sweet crumbs you leave lying around, or because they’re being affected by especially wet (or especially hot) weather.

The good news is there are lots of ways to address the issue of ants in your home. The key is to take the proper steps to ensure that once they’re gone, they stay gone. Below are just a few tried-and-true ways apartment dwellers can make sure these insistent insects pack their bags and leave for good.

Get Your House in Order

It may seem like common sense that one of the best ways to get rid of ants is to clean up your space, but you’d be surprised by how effective even the simplest day-to-day changes can be when it comes to both getting rid of and preventing ants from taking up residence inside.

Even the best housekeepers will have crumbs or spills from time to time. To keep ants out, always be sure to wipe up any stray bits that may end up attracting them, especially on the floors and countertops. As far as recycling’s concerned, rinsing out bottles, cans, and containers will go a long way towards keeping ants at bay.

Unfortunately, cleaning up is not a one-time deal (though an initial deep clean is always a good idea), but an ongoing endeavor. This means not leaving dirty dishes in the sink, taking out the trash immediately, and keeping countertops, tabletops, floors, etc. consistently free of food debris.

Food Storage Matters

Man peers into his well stocked, well organized kitchen cupboard.

You’ve wiped up all the little crumbs and hidden sticky spots lurking in and around your apartment, yet it still seems like these pesky ants are still finding reasons to come back. What to do? Surprisingly, the answer may lie in how you store and seal your food.

Everyone uses twists ties and clips to seal an errant chip bag or cracker sleeve — but anyone with an ant problem will soon find that this might not be enough to deter them from going in the kitchen. In these cases, storing leftover dry goods in airtight containers is best further outbreaks. As an added measure, use this opportunity to get organized and clear out those cabinets and pantries. After all, loose crumbs lurking in dark corners can easily become ant fodder later on.

While both you (and your pet) may be used to leaving a bowl out with food all day, these little morsels could actually be making your ant problem worse. The answer? Be sure to store pet food in an airtight container, invest in a pet feeder for your furry friend, and clean up after them when they inevitably make a mess after snacking.

Set Some Bait

You’ve cleaned, wiped, stored, and checked all the boxes, yet it still seems like ants are finding their way inside. This is because cleanliness is just one part of keeping ants away for good.

If those pesky ants still don’t get the hint, it may be time to bring in the heavy hitters in the way of ant bait. Unfortunately, bait will actually attract ants, but it also ensures that they’ll carry whatever is in the trap back to their fellows; thus eliminating them at the source.

Tip: Before setting out bait, make sure it’s safe for both children and pets.

Call in the Cavalry

Professional exterminator sprays the baseboards of an apartment unit.

Believe it or not, a good landlord or property manager can go a long way towards keeping ants from ever getting near your apartment through some simple preventative measures.

Once your landlord is aware of your ant problem, they may have to spray periodically throughout the year around the building’s outer foundations to prevent future outbreaks. Depending on the severity of the infestation, they may also need to call in a professional to eliminate the issue.

Ants may seem like an inevitable nuisance that find their way inside your home from time to time, but by taking a few simple steps, apartment dwellers can say farewell to these irritating insects for good.

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