What to Do If Your Office Has an Ant Problem

Pests know no bounds — just as they'll invade your home, they have no problem taking refuge in an office. And, although the space might be larger than the confines of your abode, you can still banish ants from your workspace. Try the following six steps.

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1. Track the Ants

Understanding ant behavior proves vital here, as the line of ants you see waltzing into your office aren't merely playing follow-the-leader. Instead, one finds its way inside and discovers a food source. Then, it releases a chemical called a trail pheromone, which other ants can smell and trace back to the place where the first ant found food.

As amazing as this is, it's irritating being the person whose space has become the destination for a hungry ant colony. Fortunately, the line of ants can help you get rid of them once and for all — figure out where they're coming in and the path they're all taking.

2. Ignore the Instinct to Spray Them

Novice exterminators make this mistake often — they purchase a pesticide and start spraying all the ants lining up for their crumbs. Doing this won't solve the problem of your office ant invasion. Your real issue lies in the ants' nest, where the queen lays eggs, thus creating more ants to come and snatch your office crumbs. Spraying and killing a few workers won't stop the egg-laying process, nor will it stall the other insects from sniffing out the trail.

3. Use Bait Traps

So, rather than spraying down marching ants, use their lines to your advantage. Bait them into traps that contain food for them to bring back to the nest. Unfortunately for your pests, the food's poisonous, so the bait will kill the queen ant and end the stream of new ants flooding into your office.

Even now, you shouldn't spray or wipe up the line of ants. You want them to continue following the scent so as many of them bring bad food back to the nest as possible.

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4. Be Patient

It might take a few days or even weeks for the number of ants to dwindle, but you have to be patient — that way, you can solve the problem at its source. Make sure you regularly swap out the bait traps for new, replenished versions, so there's enough to go around.

5. Spray Once They Stop Marching

You can use store-bought spray or natural remedies to keep the ants from returning once you've eradicated your current problem. But, once you've fed a sufficient amount of pesticides to the queen and knocked out the colony, spray as an added precaution against future invasions.

6. Keep Things Clean

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To that end, your preventive steps should include a kitchen survey, since the ants came in looking for food. Make sure there aren't any open bags of sugar by the coffee machine, for example, as this would attract insects in the future. Inspect the area for any standing water, too, as just a small bit in the sink or under a refrigerator could have attracted the colony inside — it would be more than enough to hydrate them all.

Enjoy an Ant-Free Workspace

These six steps will help banish bothersome bugs from your workspace. Follow them, and you can get back to business as usual, no ants in sight.

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