Life in the College Apartments
Life in college is so much more different than the high school life. The most noticeable thing is probably the freedom that one gains. No more curfew. No limitations in what one can eat. Hanging out and having social gatherings WHENEVER and WHEREVER. Family members won’t always be on our backs nagging us to do those house chores like dishes and trash. JUST…PURE…FREEDOM.
However, that freedom…it does come with a bit of a price. We may start to encounter problems that we never noticed before when we were back at home living with family. For example, the dishes and trash no longer take care of themselves (how did that happened?). Dishes in the sink start to pile up and the smell of the trash is just indescribable! Something else may start to happen when leftover food is left out just like that. This starts to attract some outside unwanted visitors into the home which leads to a potential problem: an ant infestation!
By now, you are probably in shock and in denial, thinking how can something like this happen? This rarely happened before when you were at home with family! You are already stressed enough from school with exams just around the corner, assignment deadlines approaching, and then now this? As you are panicking, you are probably watching the horrendous scene of ant trails forming towards the food source in your kitchen. There are probably several queen ants coming around too. I mean, if it was just a couple ants, it probably could have been cool to collect them in an ant farm (something I always wanted as a kid). But in a situation like this? Definitely NOT cool.
The Next Steps Taken
After taking a few breaths and some time to process all that has happened, you have probably built enough willpower to establish one goal: I need to get rid of the ants one way or another! You have probably asked your roommate (for that moral support) to go with you to the nearest store to pick up a few exterminating items like ant sprays. Problem is that, there are just so many kinds along with traps to choose from. Which one is really worth your time and money?
My Experience with Ant Infestations
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When I had an ant infestation problem, my first plan of action was to go buy some ant sprays and perhaps a few ant bait traps like Raid. The Raid ant killer sprays worked like magic, pretty much instantly killing the ants that come into contact. The Raid bait traps did almost nothing to get rid of the ants.
A couple weeks went by and despite all the traps set in place and chemicals sprayed, the ants just kept coming back as if it my apartment has become their new home. Fortunately, after a few more weeks, the amount of incoming ants finally did decrease until it ceased. It did not happen ONLY just that year however…
Each year whenever I have ant problems, I always experiment around with different ant products but I always get the spray at the very least since I had experience with it and was quite effective. Over the years, I did come across one bait trap that worked VERY well: Terro Liquid Ant Bait. The liquid bait in these traps are highly attractive to ants and within a short time frame (10 to 20 minutes maybe?), you can already see ants swarming around the substance.
The process can be sped up by dropping some of the liquid next to the trail of ants. The substance can be sticky like glue so I recommend dropping some on a surface of something you will be discarding (paper, newspaper, napkin, etc.) rather than directly on the counter. Once the ants recognize the “taste”, they will then swarm to the source (the bait station). You just need to lay the bait station near the ant trail with the label facing up.
Videos of Terro Liquid Ant Bait Efficiency
Here are some videos I recorded that showed just how effective these traps are in attracting ants.
Within 10 to 20 minutes: Video 1
In an hour or so: Video 2
Within a couple hours to a day: Video 3
This trap works by supplying the ants with a “liquid bait“. The bait has the consistency of something that is “sweet” and it is thick and toxic to the ants. Because it is “tasty” to the ants, they essentially bring some back to their colony to feed other ants and their young. Before you know it, a large portion of the ant colony is exposed to this powerful liquid bait. The ant colony size can be seen decreasing significantly day by day. Within a couple days, I already saw the ant population shrinking by 60 to 80%.
When fending your home off from an army of ants, you don’t want to focus only on those that you see within your proximity. Those are like the “pawns” in chess and there are MANY of them. It is much more effective to target the source of the ant population which can be equivalent to taking out the “queen” or “king” piece in chess. This leads to a more effective method to rid your home of ants and you can do that with the bait traps.
By far, the best method, even BEFORE any of this ant infestation even happens, is to take the time do those daily chores daily even if you do NOT want to with your newly gained freedom. Not regularly doing dishes or taking out the trash will lead to these types of problems building up in your home. Remember to also take care of the clothes and sponges used for clean as that can attract another “pest”.
Perhaps this was why it was enforced so heavily back at home with family. Ants are creatures that are just doing what they need to do to survive. Let’s not allow our home to be an option for them. Plus, it is kind of nice to have a squeaky, clean kitchen every once in a while.
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