Take time to do an inspection.
The first step is to conduct a thorough inspection to locate foraging trails, ant colonies, and conditions conducive to ant infestations. Remember, more than one species may be found in and around a structure. When inspecting for foraging workers, pay close attention to ‘lines’ where ants like to travel, such as expansion cracks in driveways and sidewalks, and along foundation walls and fence lines.
Identify the type of ants you find.
There are a variety of treatments for ants and unless you properly identify the type of ant that’s infesting your home, the treatment may not be effective in reducing ant populations. Different types of ants will make colonies in different locations, so properly identifying the ant species will help you find where the colony or colonies are located and develop the most cost-effective control strategies. If unsure, collect specimens for positive identification.
Identify conditions that may contribute to the infestation.
Ants are attracted to areas which are ideal for colonizing and provide an ample food source. Correcting these conditions helps prevent future infestations and increases the likelihood of successful removal.
Provide the correct treatment.
Now that you know the type of ant you are treating and have located their colonies, you can effectively begin treatment. In most cases, effective control includes a pesticide application in combination with the elimination of the conditions which attracted the ants in the first place. You may need to cut back shrubs or vegetation to help keep ants away from the building, remove sources of shelter and food, and make sure that you eliminate the entrance to your home. Before using any pesticide, read the label and follow directions carefully.
After the treatment, visit the areas where you found ants and determine the effectiveness of that treatment. Do you still see ants or are they gone completely?