Pavement ants can be nuisance pests even if their entire colony isn’t anywhere near your house at all. Since these types of ants often venture far to find food and water sources, your home is a prime target for pavement ant activity. Insecticides and other commercial ant killers can help put a dent in their numbers, but what if you’re looking for more natural ant killers? Many natural products can also be used to get rid of pavement ants, one of them being baking soda mixtures.
But how do you use baking soda to get rid of pavement ants? Simply sprinkling them around the ant colony like insecticide powder can work, but it’s better to combine them with an effective bait like powdered sugar. You can also look into ways of preventing their entry into your home like vinegar to get rid of their ant trail.
How Does Baking Soda Work With Getting Rid Of Pavement Ants
Baking soda expands when exposed to water, which makes it lethal to smaller insects like ants. Because pavement ants forage for their food and water, placing baking soda near their ant trail will attract the ants, which will either consume the baking soda or bring it back to the ant colony.
If you are thinking of using baking soda as a way to get rid of pavement ants, here are a few things you should remember:
Placement Of The Bait
Baking soda should be placed near an ant nest, in a shallow container that they can easily access. In most cases, pavement ants usually make their homes near cracks in the pavement, though if there are trees or lots of earth nearby you may be able to place one near the main mound.
One thing to keep in mind when placing baking soda is that it doesn’t work as a repellent – pavement ants will come and swarm your bait station. These traps are best set a good distance away from your home since placing them near or inside your house can invite more pavement ants
to explore the inside.
Mixing Bait With Sugar
Baking soda by itself can already be appealing to ants, but one thing you can do to make it even more attractive to the ant colony is by mixing it with a sugar mixture. Since pavement ants have a keen sense of smell, your baiting station will immediately get special attention, which means it’s more likely to affect more ants.
Any sweetener can work in this way when combined with baking powder, though you should make sure that whatever sweetener you’re going to use is in powder form as well. Liquid formulation can cause the baking soda to prematurely expand, which can make it less effective.
Finally, don’t expect your bait station to work overnight. Pavement ants can have big colonies, and a larger infestation will take some time to remove. By being consistent with your baiting, you can ensure that more ants are hit by your baits, and potentially increase the chances that the queen will be affected. Without a queen, an ant colony will be much easier to remove.
On average you can expect to keep your bait stations out for around two to three weeks, though a larger infestation will require you to keep your baits out for longer, aside from also using several baiting stations. You’ll know that your baits would’ve worked if no more pavement ant trails are going to your bait station, or when there are no more pavement ants in your home.
Alternatives To Using Baking Soda
What if you don’t have baking soda on hand? There are a few more things that are around your house or your kitchen that you can potentially try to get rid of pavement ants, like:
Vinegar’s strong scent and sour taste make it a natural repellent to most ant types, including pavement ants. Making a mixture of vinegar and water then spraying it around potential entry points into your home (or around the pavement and the ant mound, if it’s visible) can help keep pavement ants in their zone and not forage anywhere past it.
Vinegar is also friendly towards most plants and pets and is unlikely to cause anything more than irritation if accidentally touched. However, you should keep in mind that any applications of vinegar easily wash off in the rain – so always make sure to apply the spray in dry condition.
Most chemical compositions of dish soap are deadly to ants since their strong formulas can dissolve or repel them. By mixing dish soap with water (and rubbing alcohol) you can make a solution that you can spray directly onto exposed ants or ant trails.
Keep in mind that dish soap can be irritating towards pets and smaller animals, and shouldn’t be applied on delicate plants to preserve their pH levels. If your pavement ant infestation is near any prized plants or your pet houses outdoors, apply it liberally to make sure that only the ants get affected.
Finally, something as simple as hot water can also work to get rid of pavement ants – but keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of hot water and your pavement ant infestation must be relatively small. This method relies on the high temperatures to kill the ants (which are more effective since they’re sealed in their tunnels) to hopefully kill the queen.
The only thing to keep in mind when using this method is that it’s also easy to scald yourself with the hot water if you aren’t careful with applying it, so make sure to pour it from a container that you can control and at a pace that doesn’t splash back easily.
Natural vs. Artificial Methods
Baking soda can be effective in getting rid of pavement ants, but is there any difference between using natural ingredients like baking powder vs. using store-bought insecticides? There is, but the primary thing you need to keep in mind is the other factors that can affect how effective using natural vs manufactured products are.
Overall, the cost of using natural products is lower compared to buying chemicals from the store – most of the time, the things you’ll be using will already be inside your house and kitchen. If you don’t have any of the products, a trip to your local supermarket should be easy enough – and can still cost significantly less than going to the hardware store.
While baking soda and natural ingredients do affect ants, they’re still no match for the engineered efficacy of insecticides – which are often far more potent and fast-acting compared to natural products. However, there’s no stopping you from using these two products at the same time, since they can boost each other’s efficacy.
Other Effects On The Environment
One thing you should be extremely careful about using either product is that they may sometimes have an effect on their surroundings, or be dangerous to children or pets. Fortunately, since most pavement ants generally tend to keep themselves outside your home, it should be fine to apply them to the areas outside to minimize any risks.
Ant Infestation Removal And Preventative Ant Control At Midway Pest Management
A pavement ant colony usually keeps to their territory unless there’s a house nearby – in which case, it’s best to get rid of their scent trail from their colony to your property. Without easy access to food sources or water in your house, pavement ants are more likely to stick to the outdoors, where they prefer to be.
While baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and ant bait aren’t enough to get rid of your ant colony, it’s time to call in the professionals at Midway Pest Management. Not only do we offer our services to get rid of pavement ants, but other ant species like sugar ants, odorous house ants, and carpenter ants as well. We also help you get rid of other pests like mice before they cause too much structural damage to your home and raccoons that may be using your garbage disposal as a source of food. If you want to learn more about us and how we can help you, schedule a consultation today.
Learn More: What’s The Difference Between Pavement Ants And Termites?