Living near a wooded area, our house is sometimes subjected to attacks by ants in all forms - black, red and, my least favourite of all ant species, flying. This is a particular problem during the summer months when the problem becomes quite an annoyance. Apparently, the sand used in house foundations and garden paths is ideal for ant colonies and it is the worker ants that then get into your house.
We try the usual methods of preventing this nuisance - ensuring all food is kept covered up, wiping up any sticky messes thoroughly and emptying household bins frequently. However, there have been occasions when all this fails and we need to reach for a little extra assistance. The most recent example being when we returned home after a weekend away to find that the ants had invaded (and established themselves in!) our kitchen. On perusing the shelves at our nearest Homebase, we came across the Home Defence Ant Stop Gun and decided to give it a try. An 800ml bottle costs around £5.
WHAT IT IS
The Home Defence Ant Stop Gun is a liquid treatment (insecticide) for in and around the home that kills ants on contact and gives long-lasting protection against their return. It can be used for ants, woodlice, fleas, earwigs and cockroaches.
The spray comes in a bright red plastic trigger spray bottle. There is a cap at the end of the nozzle which is twisted into the on-off positions. The spray, being an insecticide, contains strong chemicals and, therefore, there are a series of warnings on the label - do not let it get on skin, wash hands immediately after contact, keep out of reach of children and do not contaminate waterways. The product contains deltamethrin which is an insecticide that kills pests through the skin and ingestion. The ants will also take this back to their nests to kill the entire colony.
This is used as a spot treatment. You literally just spray the areas that the ants are found in - for me it is usually along the path to my front door, concentrating on the gaps in the paving stones. Each spray distributes a generous amount of the product, so I usually hold it about 30cm from the treatment area and give it four or five sprays. This pretty much saturates the area and ensures that there is plenty of coverage.
The bottle says that the spray can be used in and around the home but I only tend to use this outside of my house. Given that it is an insecticide and contains harmful chemicals, I would be wary of using it in my home, especially as the ants tend to appear in the kitchen mainly. It is my personal opinion that I wouldn't want to contaminate such a key area for food preparation etc with the chemicals. Also, as the liquid is clear, it may just be confused for a water spillage and inadvertently come in contact with the skin.
The ants were killed pretty much on contact if I had sprayed them directly. This left a lot of dead ants around my property once the wet patches had dried that I needed to sweep up. I was concerned that, as this seemed to be so powerful, it was just going to kill the ants that I could see immediately and not actually get to the root of the problem - the ants would just keep breeding and reappearing.
Within a day or so of the first application, further ants did appear in the same place. There were nowhere near as many, although it was still a number significant enough to call a pest problem. I re-treated the whole area, again spraying a generous amount of the liquid over the entire area. Again, this seemed to kill a lot of the ants immediately on contact. After this second application, no further ants appeared, suggesting that the insecticide had been taken back to the colony and the root of the problem treated. I was pleased to find that, once the ants on the outside of my house had been treated in this way, I didn't find any further ants in my house - that I didn't need to actually use the spray indoors to treat these directly.
The claims on the bottle that this gives you long lasting protection against the reoccurrence of the problem have also proved true for us so far. We didn't have any problems with ants last year further to the treatment the year before. This, of course, could just be a happy coincidence, but it's the first summer that has passed without an ant invasion so it's good enough for me. However, I do still keep the ant gun at the ready just in case we have some unwelcome visitors in the future - I still have a fair amount of the spray left as so few treatments were required.
I know that not everyone likes the thought of insecticides and pesticides and I certainly appreciate -their views, but to me the ants are a pest - and very unhygienic when they are in your kitchen. Therefore, I was really pleased to find a product that would rid our house of them so quickly and effectively - boiling water has never proved very successful for us. I would rather find a more natural product to use but, until I do, this will be in our garden shed awaiting any unwanted visitors. It is easy to apply and the effects are fast and appear to be long lasting too. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has experienced similar problems.