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How to Manage Pests

Key to Identifying Common Household Ants

Odorous house ant—Quick management tips

Overall strategy

Focus efforts on keeping ants out of the house. Follow good sanitation practices to make your home less attractive to ants. Spraying ants inside the home will not prevent more ants from entering. Use baits to control the ant colony.

When ants invade your home, take immediate action

  • Sponge invaders with soapy water as soon as you see them.
  • Plug up ant entryways with caulk or petroleum jelly.
  • Remove infested potted plants.
  • Clean up food sources such as sugary spills, pet food, or garbage.
  • Rely on baits to control the ant colony.


Nest treatments

  • Indoor treatments of wall voids and indoor nest sites may be necessary; call a professional pest control operator.

Containers for food storage

Remove food sources by storing food in containers

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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