Last updated on November 3rd, 2017
Grease ants are so called because of their love for greasy foods. These ants are very small. They can therefore invade a place and fail to be noticed until they are too many, making it necessary for one to look for ways on how to get rid of grease ants.
Grease ants are very tiny ants that are also known as thief ants. They are very small with a shiny body that could be dark brown or yellow. They have two nodes and small compound eyes. Their antennae has 10 segments with a club that has two segments. Although these ants are usually confused with pharaoh ants, they are different. These have a club that has three segments and which serves as the main distinguishing characteristic.Grease Ants – Courtesy of L. Jesse, Iowa State University
Grease ants are natural robbers. They will intentionally establish their nests near other ants’ nests. Once in a while, they will raid these colonies to consume their larvae which are a source of proteins. Their colonies are made up of worker ants, reproductive males and the queen ant. The queens are easily distinguishable due to their physical appearance. They are often larger than the rest of colony members. They also have thicker bodies.
Due to their small size, grease ants can get indoors through tiny crevices on the walls, behind baseboards and under the floor. Their nests are hard to locate due to the fact that these ants can go for long distances in their search for food. Although grease ants will eat different things, they prefer grease, meats and fats. They tend to form a trail from their nests to the food source while moving in columns. By taking advantage of this, one can carefully inspect the trails to locate their nests.
Grease ants infestations are most common in summer. This is when the ants go indoors to forage for food. Due to their small size, the ants can be hard to identify. This may remain so until there is a full blown infestation. There are two main reasons why they may infest a home: to escape from extreme weather or forage for food. The latter is the most probable one. In case they are not stopped, the ants will exploit the source of food until it is depleted.
Once they infest a home, these ants are hard to control. They also tend to be very persistent. The fact that they can make use of tiny cracks to sneak in and out makes the situation worse. Their color also contributes to their going unnoticed. Once inside a home, these ants will take residence inside dark cupboards, behind baseboards, under counter tops and various other spots.
They are very adaptable and will also be found outdoors on rotten wood, in forests as well as in grass covered areas. This is in addition to the human structures. While outdoors, they particularly love their nests close to those of other ants. To avoid the menace that is the grease ants, it is best to keep them away from your home by employing preventive measures. This way the ants are kept away from your home.
How to Get Rid of Grease Ants – How to Kill
Grease ants can be a nuisance. If not controlled they could paralyze operations in areas they infest especially the kitchen when they sneak into food packages. Luckily, there are various tips on how to get rid of grease ants.
To begin with, one should eliminate any sources of food that there are which could be attracting the grease ants. This includes ensuring that the stoves and ovens are well cleaned up. The kitchen should be spotlessly clean. Ensure that the home, especially the areas where food is handled, is kept clean all through. This way you not only keep away the ants but other creatures from contaminating food.
Once their sources of food have been eliminated, one should seal the ants’ entry points. Due to their small size, these ants can get in through the tiniest cracks there are. Sealing these cracks will help to create a barrier making sure they do not make their way through into structures. Once the cracks are sealed, the next step should be employing mechanisms that will help on how to kill existing ants.
This can be done by putting down bait traps for the grease ants. These should be placed in areas of high activity. There are ready made commercial baits that are meant for the extermination of grease ants. These will go a long way in getting rid of them. Be certain to follow manufacturer instructions as it is the only way on how to kill the grease ants and eliminate them successfully.
In case your efforts to get rid of the ants do not bear fruit, be certain to call in professional exterminators. This is more so if the presence of grease ants is as a result of the presence of other ants from whom they hope to steal. This could be overwhelming and the best person to take care of the situation would be a professional. They will inspect the area, examine extent of infestation and carry out the most appropriate extermination process.
How to Get Rid of Grease Ants in Kitchen
Grease ants are very persistent. This makes them hard to control especially in the kitchen because there are different sources of food. The fact that the kitchen is an area where food is handled makes it necessary to use non-toxic control methods.
There are ant baits that can be used to get rid of grease ants in kitchen. These have to be mixed with greasy food to serve as the attractant. This could be vegetable oil, raw oil dough, peanut butter among others. This way the ants will be attracted to the bait while the bait is what will kill them.
The bait should be placed in areas where there is a high ant activity. This way they will find it as they go about foraging for food. Once the bait has done its job and there is an accumulation of dead ants, it should be replaced with a new one. Ensure you make use of baits that are safe around pets and kids. Continue placing baits until ant activity ceases. Any remaining bait should be disposed off appropriately.
To keep ants off your kitchen, ensure that you keep it very clean. Any pet food and spills should be cleared. Also ensure that the dishes are done as soon as meals are over. Where this is not possible, the dishes should at least be rinsed off. The garbage can should always be lined using a polythene bag and the lid always fitted. This way there will be nothing to attract the ants to the kitchen.
Grease Ant Bait
There are both homemade and commercial baits meant for the extermination of grease ants. The homemade baits are cheap to make since they utilize items that are readily available. The commercial ones are always ready made and all that is required is for one to place them in places where there is a high ant activity. These though may be costly. Some commercial baits may also make use of toxic substances. It is important to always counter check.
Grease Ants Borax
Borax can be used in the elimination of grease ants. For this to happen, it has to be ingested. Borax being a slow acting bait is picked up by worker ants and taken to the nests where it is ingested by various ants including the queen. This leads to the eventual death of a whole colony.
For the ants to get attracted to the borax, one has to make a bait out of it. This can be achieved by mixing two spoons of peanut butter, half a spoon borax and two spoons of honey. This will attract the ants and with time they will all be eliminated.
Grease Eating Ants
The grease eating ants are very small. This makes them quite adaptable as they can penetrate property and even food packages through the tiniest space there is. These ants are also known to invade other ants’ nest to steal their larvae. This serves as their source of proteins.
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