How to Get Rid of Ants

7 Tips on How to Get Rid of Ants

How to get rid of ants – Waking up early in the morning to prepare a delightful breakfast for your loved ones is a sign of good start of the day. However, unpredictable threats often follow after our expectations. You might be familiar with the situation that a group of ants, the nuisance intruders, infested your well-prepared food when it was out of your sight. You might also face seeing carcasses of those intruders floating on the surface of your drinking water after a few minutes on the dining table. Well, if you have encountered any of the above situations, now is the time to read on and get rid of the trauma. In this article we answer the question and give tips on how to get rid of ants.

Ants are neither the disease vectors nor carriers. However, their presence can be traumatic as they may sting, bite or damage our home structures. Pustules and blisters may be formed following the sting of fire ants. Some ant species also transmit germs to humans.

Ants’ activity may still be present even though treatment actions had been done on it. It is most likely that improper control techniques were used by homeowners to deal with them without knowing their species, biology and behaviours. Here, we provide you the correct ways of how to get rid of ants.

How to get rid of ants

1.      Identify the entry point

Understanding how ants find their ways to invade our home is always the first step to curb them. The invasion of ants usually starts with the cracks and crevices in the wall, seam of walls, floors, ceilings, corners or windows, and gaps around the utility lines or pipes. We often pay less attention to these areas while they actually provide enough space for tiny ants to access into our homes. But it’s not too late for you to prevent them from entering! Giving you a task as a home protector, it is the time to start investigating any potential entry point in your home. You may use silicone-based caulk to seal if you find those entry points.

2.      Remove water leaks

It is common that we don’t realise the existence of water leaks in our homes. In this situation, ants can be beneficial to alert you that water leaks may be inside your property! Water is one of the main sources for ants to thrive on. Furthermore, they prefer to nest around moisture sources. Hence, if you find ants inside your home, you might want to start inspecting any leaky pipe or water source for them. Make sure you repair the leaky pipe as there is higher chance for them to coming back. If you want to know how to avoid or how to get rid of ants, this is an important part of it!

3.      Keep proper sanitation

Food is a must for all living creatures. Keeping your home tidy, especially the kitchen area, can help to quell their activities. Foster a good habit of tidiness by regular cleaning of your home not only to keep ants but other pests away as well. Counters, floors, table and kitchen appliances are usually their favourite forage areas. Sweep or wipe down these areas as to remove any crumbs of food and spills of juice that can serve as an attractive food source for them. In addition, remember to dispose your garbage and trash on a daily basis.

4.      Store food in airtight containers

Don’t be surprised if you find ants inside your stored food since they are so tiny that they can squeeze through any gap formed between objects. Hence, make sure you store your food in pest-proof or airtight containers. Furthermore, ripe fruits or other food sources like bottles of opened juice or wine should be stored in the refrigerator since there might be some sugar-based residues on the outer surface.

5.      Look out for the indoor potted plants

You might get frustrated by the reoccurrence of ants inside your house even though you have done the first four steps. Here is another tip for you – take note of the indoor potted plants! Plants need water to survive, same goes to ants too! Ants may have built their colony inside or around your indoor potted plants before you take precaution steps against them. Hence, carefully check around your indoor potted plants and look for the signs of ants’ activities. If you found them inside, you have to remove and replace the infested soil. Make sure to always remove accumulated water inside the drainage plate at the bottom of your plant pot as these can serve as the water source for them.

6.      Trim trees and keep shrubbery away from home’s exteriors

Keep in mind that ants usually come from the outside environment. Thus if you want to know how to get rid of ants, start outside. The reasons of their occurrence inside a house are always food, water and shelter. Therefore, preventive actions against them at your home’s exteriors cannot be neglected. Trimming tree branches away from touching the wall and roof of your house can help to reduce their entry.

7.      Get help from professional

Some species of ants are just too troublesome to be eradicated such as pharaoh’s ants and crazy ants. Somehow, we eliminate a species, while a few weeks or months later a secondary species of ants come out from the same treated spot. Hence, identifying the ant species is crucial as there are some ant species that cannot be treated with insecticide spray but specifically designated bait. From a young age, we may have the same concept that ants love sugar-based food. However, that is not always true! Some ants prefer to feed on oil-based food while some even prefer MSG-contained food (monosodium glutamate, a common flavour enhancer in food)! Don’t panic if you see them, keep calm and get help from our trained professionals to keep your home free from them!


ants in singapore

Killem Pest Profile: Ants In Singapore

There are over 130 species of ants in Singapore as of 2018, with many coming from other regions of the planet due to increased trade.

Ants are social insects which form colonies which range in size from a couple dozen to over a million individual members. Most ant colonies possess a hierarchical structure where every individual possesses a job. It’s not uncommon for these pests to be divided between the queen, soldiers, and drones. Ants are true insects with three body segments: the head, abdomen, and thorax. They also possess six legs and identifiable antennae on their heads.

Ants are well-known for their division of labor and ability to solve complex problems. When they enter a property, it can be hard for the owners to kill them. Many species of these pests leave hormone trails so ants know where to go to find food. They can also identify unsafe spaces based on where the trails end. The older, more experienced drones will also train their younger counterparts how to find food and will lead them to resources through a process called tandem running.

In Singapore, it’s not uncommon to suffer an ant infestation due to the climate and number of species which frequently plague urban areas.

The 4 Most Common Singapore Ants

Close Up Of Ants

The four types of ants which homeowners in Singapore need to worry about are the ghost, pharaoh, carpenter, and crazy varieties. All of these pests will enter properties in search of food and resources. They might also find buildings attractive because they provide shelter from cooler weather and natural predators. When dealing with an infestation, people are most likely to encounter a colony of ghost ants.

Ghost ants

Ghost ants are also called sugar ants and favor moist environments. They are commonly found in kitchens in places like under the sink, in cabinets, or behind appliances like the refrigerator. This type favors sweet and sugary foods which possess the carbohydrates ghost ants need for their colonies and survival. Ghost ants are roughly 1.3 to 1.5 mm. long and are characterized by their dark heads and translucent bodies.

Pharaoh ants

Pharaoh ants are difficult for property owners to handle. These pests do not react well to pesticides. When sprayed, the ants will break up their colony and scatter to new locations, making them difficult to eliminate. Pharaoh ants will also bite when they feel threatened. They are 2 mm. long and feature queens who can live between 4 and 12 years. Each ant is recognizable because of its distinctive golden or yellow-brown color. They are nocturnal and like to eat oily or protein-rich food and will live anywhere that they can form a colony.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants derived their name from their habit of living in wooden structures and trees. They do not eat wood but will carve out an area for a colony with their mouths. Because of this trait, they are frequently mistaken for termites. Carpenter ants can be large, measuring up to 15 or 17 mm. in size. They are typically black and reddish-brown and enjoy eating honeydew and dead insects. Because they are attracted to moisture, people will find them in bathrooms, kitchens, and other frequently damp areas.

Crazy ants

Finally, there are crazy ants. Crazy ants have long legs and are typically black or dark red in color. Their name comes from one of their defensive techniques. When the colony is disturbed, they will scatter in all directions, making them difficult to kill. They can be 2 to 3 mm. in length and have long legs and antennae which give them a distinctive appearance. Crazy ants feed on all types of food but prefer sugary materials, so they will frequently live in the same region as ghost ants.

Signs of an Ant Infestation and Prevention

Ants In A Bowl

It can be difficult to tell if ants are on a property. The easiest ways to tell are to locate an ant nest near your home, usually made of dirt, or to see a live ant as it searches for food. The best method of handling ants is to prevent an infestation before it begins. Because they are attracted to buildings because of food, it’s important to clean up spills, crumbs, and messes.

All food packages should be kept sealed and excessive moisture should be wiped up. It’s also crucial to ensure ants do not have a way of entering a building. Sealing cracks around doorways, windows, and in the walls can close off potential entryways and keeping buildings safe from this pervasive pest.


entomophobia

What is Entomophobia?

Entomology

In our previous Interview with Leading Entomologist Dr How, Dr How had given us an introduction to the term ‘entomology’. To recap, entomology is the study of insects, though some people use it to colloquially refer to bugs of all kinds, including spiders. People who study insects are called entomologists. The word is based in Greek, where “entomon” means “insect” and “logia” means “the study of.”

It is an interesting field which often intersects with other academic disciplines, including genetics, physiology, biology, and chemistry.

At present, there are more than 1.3 million species of insect in the world, which makes up 2/3 of the planet’s entire population. Thanks to entomologists, humans understand many things about a type of creature which outnumbers them by a factor of several hundred.

Insect On Leaf

Entomophobia

However, while entomologists enjoy studying insects, many other people are repulsed by them. Worse still, there are some people in the world who suffer from entomophobia, or the intense fear of insects.

People with entomophobia have:

  • An irrational fear of insects and will often take great pains to avoid them.
  • Many sufferers will experience horrific anxiety and terror simply from seeing an insect or thinking about one.
  • It can also be subdivided into additional phobias like myrmecophobia (the fear of ants) and apiphobia (the fear of bees).

It is important to distinguish entomophobia from a general fear of bugs. Many people with entomophobia know that insects pose no real threat to them, but they still experience a persistent sense of anxiety around them.

There have been many cases of a sufferer thinking about an imaginary insect and being thrown into a panic attack. Often, sufferers will go out of their away to avoid encountering an insect: some will completely change their route to work if they see an ant, or will refuse to go outside at all.

Ultimately, the main characteristic of entomophobia is that the fear must be constant, irrational, and debilitating for the sufferer.

Insect Close Up

Exit Strategies

Thankfully, modern medicine and psychology have developed coping strategies for people who have entomophobia. One of the most common methods is systematic desensitization, where somebody slowly exposes themselves to their fear.

Some examples would be a person who looks at a photo of an insect one week. Next week, they work up the courage to touch the picture. A week later, they visit a zoo and watch the insect move around. Possibly the week after that, they could touch the insect and see it means them no harm.

Some people try to do this method themselves, but it is frequently recommended that a person receive help from a therapist so they do not try to do too much at once.

Another, less common, method that can be used is hypnosis. During hypnosis, a person is placed into a trancelike state by a trained professional. The hypnotist then talks to the patient to determine the source of their fear, and can begin to help them cope.

Often a hypnotist will start small by suggesting to their patient that they do not have a reason to be afraid of insects. They can then implant the thought that when the patient awakens, they will no longer have entomophobia. They will face their fears head on and will no longer be afraid. For this method to work, a person needs to believe in hypnosis, and it often takes many sessions.

Either way, patients can use both methods to help them overcome entomophobia, a real condition which can cause unnecessary strain on its sufferers.


common pests in your garden

What Common Pests Are Found in Your Garden?

You may love spending time in your backyard and tending to your garden. Your children and pets also enjoy playing outside. Perhaps you grow flowers, or vegetables and fruit for you and the family to eat. However, many different types of pests enjoy the garden just as much as you do, and that can be a problem. Let’s take a look at some of the most common pests that like to hang out in the garden.

Bees and Wasps

If you see a bee or two in your garden, it’s not usually a sign to worry. In fact, bees are essential for pollination, and they can do your garden, and the rest of the gardens in the area, a favor. However, when it comes to wasps, or if you have too many bees that are causing problems, you may want to contact a bee or wasp removal specialist to have them removed because the stings are not only painful, but may also be fatal to people that are allergic to bee and wasp stings.

Bee on Flower

Snakes

Most people hate seeing snakes in the garden, and they do have the potential to be a problem. If you have non-venomous snakes that are small and not overly aggressive, they can help to control the rodent population, which is another garden pest we will discuss. However, if the snakes are venomous, if it is very big, if you are unsure about them, or if you simply have a fear and dislike for snakes, you should have them removed as soon as possible. This is an especially good idea if you have children or pets.

Garden Snake

Termites

If you notice termite mounds in your garden, this is a very bad sign and an indication that you already have an infestation. While those termites will not be interested in the flowers and vegetables you are growing, they will be interested in marching to your house so they can start eating the wood so get a termite control specialist in to remove them as soon as possible.

Termite Mound by Tree

Rodents

Rodents in the garden can be very destructive. They may start to eat at the items you are growing, and they are disease carriers. Nothing good comes from having rodents in the garden, and they may also decide to move inside your home where they can get at even more food and cause more issues.

Mouse

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are very dangerous, not just annoying. These pests carry diseases, such as the Zika Virus and Dengue. They breed in areas of standing water, which could be a bird feeder, a puddle, or a water collection bin. It is always a good idea to have someone take care of the mosquitoes before they become a problem.

Ants

Depending on the types of ants in the garden, it might not be a problem. Smaller ants can help with the pollination as they are crawling around the garden, and they can also help to keep caterpillars and other types of pests at bay. They do not generally cause issues by eating anything in the garden, but if you have a lot of ants, they could always decide to head inside. It might still be a good idea to contact pest control.

What Should You Do?

If you have pests in the garden, the best way to get rid of them is to call a professional for help. They can come and look at your problem, and then determine the best way to proceed and to provide you with a pest free environment.

If you would like more information on how Killem can help you keep your garden pest free, visit our residential pest control services page.


safe pest control with children

How to Carry Out Safe Pest Control with Children and Pets in Your Home

Safe Pest Control with Children and Pets in Your Home – Let’s be honest, no one wants to have pests in or near your home, especially when you have children or pets.

Infants and babies may be exposed to more pesticides than adults because they often spend more time closer to the ground, touching furniture bases or playing in the gardens where pesticides may have been applied. Infants and babies are also more likely to put fingers, toys and other objects that may have come into contact with pesticides into their mouths.

There are many different types of pests that can cause serious problems if they get out of hand, and you need to find ways that you can control those pests safely and efficiently, without compromising the health and safety of your children and pets.

You can do some basic things that will help to keep the pests out of your home, but there might come a time when you need to call in the professionals.

What Are the Most Common Types of Pests?

While there are many different types of pests that could be plaguing your home, some of the most common and intrusive include:

Ants

Cockroaches

Mosquitos

Rodents

Termites

Pests have the potential to destroy your home, get into your food and carry diseases. You should never have to live with pests. You should find ways to eradicate them.

What Are Safe Pesticides?

When it comes to choosing pesticides that you want, or you want your professional provider to use in and around your home, you need to be very careful. Many brands on the market are full of chemicals that could harm your children and your pets if it were ingested.

When you are choosing pesticides that you can use to deal better with the pests that you find, you should look for those that are organic and that do not have toxic chemicals in them.

One of the best things about working with Killem Pest for your pest control needs is that we use original, non-generic chemicals that are environmentally friendly and they have a low mammalian toxicity. This means that even if children or pets accidentally ingest the pesticide, they would not become ill.

In addition, you can do other things that will help to keep your children and pets safe. If you are putting out bait for rodents, for example, never leave it in an area where your children or pets could have access to it. They could put it in their mouth. Instead, put the bait into a locked bait station or in an area that cannot be opened or reached by children or pets so that only rodents can access it.

If the pest control company has come and sprayed, make sure that any of the residual spraying has dried before allowing children or pets into the area. Make sure your animals are not licking the plants or the walls where the chemicals were sprayed, too.

You should also always make sure your children wash their hands after they have been playing outdoors, and stress the importance of not touching any bait stations that you might have.

Pet Pest Control SafetyChild Pest Control Safety

How to Keep Pests Away

The following are some very simple and basic tips that can help you to control some of the pests in and around your home:

  • Keeping your food in airtight containers can help to control the influx of ants, as well as rodents and roaches.
  • If you have fruit that is left out on the counter, check it regularly to see if there are any bad spots on it, as this can draw fruit flies and other types of pests.
  • A natural type of pesticide that you can make at home is citrus oil. You can use equal parts orange peels and water, and simmer them. Remove the peels and put the water into a spray containers and then spray around the windows, doors, and other areas where pests might be getting into the property.

Call in the Professionals

Of course, when it comes to pest problems, sometimes, the DIY home pest control methods are simply not enough. You need to call in the professionals that can provide you with a thorough service and remove those pests for good no matter what type they might be.


pest control in singapore

When Will You Most Likely Need Pest Control in Singapore?

Is Pest Control Seasonal in Singapore?

Have you discovered that you have a mosquito problem in the backyard? Perhaps you’ve seen rodents in the pantry or you have a nasty nest of wasps up under the leaves that you would like to have removed. Regardless of the pests that might be causing problems for you, or whether they are in your home or business, you want to have them removed as soon as possible.

What Is the Impact of Weather on Different Pests?

In some parts of the world, pest control tends to be seasonal, as there could be various types of insects or rodents that are more problematic during certain times of the year.

Being one and a half degrees north of the equator, Singapore’s climate is classified as a tropical rainforest one. Thus, Singapore does not have traditional seasons, although it does have a wet and a dry season. While pests of all types have the potential to be a problem all the time, you will find that certain pests tend to be more active based on whether it is the dry or wet season. Singapore’s warm climate and high humidity also make it an attractive environment for pests to breed more quickly.

Wet vs. Dry Season

During the wet season, for example, you may find that insects are more of a problem which could increase the chance of you requiring services such as ants, fly or mosquito control. They may want to escape from the downpours outside. Of course, during extremely dry times ants, rodents, and other pests might try to come inside trying to find water to drink. This means that pests of all types tend to be active in the Singapore area throughout the year, and you need to be vigilant if you hope to keep them under control.

Wet Season Umbrella

There are some things you can do to reduce the “attractiveness” of your property to different types of pests. Make sure that they do not have easy access to food or water, for example. They will not be as likely to want to make your home their new residence if they do not have the things they need to survive. Of course, this is not always easy, and you might find yourself inundated with pests whether it is the wet or dry season. In those cases, you need some help.

We have collected data on the pest control jobs we have carried out over the calendar year to provide you with a guide on when you are more likely to require certain types of pest control during the wet and dry seasons:

Pest Control Season
Dry Season Wet Season
Ant Removal Medium Requirement Medium Requirement
Fly Control Medium Requirement Medium Requirement
Mosquito Control Medium Requirement High Requirement
Rodent Control High Requirement High Requirement

Getting Help for Pest Control in Singapore

No matter the time of the season, you need to make sure that you have control at your home or business. Whether they are rats, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, flies, or any other type of pest, it is vital that you have them removed quickly and efficiently. This means you should hire a professional service for pest control in Singapore. Have the professionals come to your property to kill and remove the pests, and to provide you with tips on how you can keep those pests from returning.

Research the company you are considering and make sure they have the experience and expertise to handle the type of pest problem you have currently so you can keep the property free from infestations of all sorts.