Every few months, ants find their way into homes and houses in an attempt to find food or dry shelter. Although some are not dangerous, others like fire ants have sharp stings that sometimes cause unexpected reactions. Further, whether harmful or harmless, an invasion of ants is just bothersome.
As such, you might be looking for the best way to eliminate them. And since, a vacuum comes in handy for roaches, spiders and other bugs, it is an easy guess for dealing with the trouble. But really, can you vacuum ants?
Can you vacuum Ants?
All the same, have in mind that unlike common home insects, ants are quite hardy. A vacuum will do very little to harm their exoskeleton. As a result, most of the ants will get the chamber or dust bag alive.
Secondly, ants are lightweight. Therefore, powerfully circulating air inside the vacuum is unlikely to hurt a majority of them.
They will just be tossed left, right and center but come out looking like war heroes.
This means that they can crawl right back into your house and continue to be a source of trouble.
So, what can you do to prevent them from coming out of the vacuum?
First things first, your choice of vacuum matters. The chances of leaving more ants lifeless with a bagged vacuum are higher compared to a bagless vacuum. However, even with a bagged vacuum, the dust bag should be at least half-way full.
This will cover surviving ants in dust thereby increasing the probability of dehydration. An important point to note is that most bagged vacuums have very high suction power. This is fundamental when targeting to kill insects with a vacuum.
Bagless cyclone and shop vacuums are other vacuum options that you might want to give a priority. They are also equal to the task of destroying bugs.
If you have none of the above, do not shy from using a bagless vacuum. However, it will work better if you have some dirt in the chamber. Further, you can run the machine for a few more seconds after picking up the insects.
With some bagless vacuums, you can also see the ants moving in the dust container.
The second thing that you can do to prevent ants from crawling out is covering the hose with a tape. As a result, the ants will die inside the vacuum after some time.
But an even better way of handling them is throwing away the dust bag or emptying the chamber immediately after vacuuming. Follow up by covering the trash generously with diatomaceous earth (DE). The powder will kill all the ants.
You might have come across the suggestion of vacuuming a small amount of diatomaceous earth after sucking up ants with a vacuum. In as much as this helps kill them, it puts your vacuum at risk.
Vacuuming baking soda, DE and other powdery substances can destroy your vacuum’s motor, filters and cyclone system.
Alternative Method for Eradicating Ants
Vacuuming ants is a temporary solution. You have to keep vacuuming a new army whenever it appears. As such, it is important to find a more permanent control mechanism.
In this case I recommend using boric acid. Mix boric acid with sugar and spread the mixture along the path of the ants. Once eaten, it poisons them. Further, they carry the excess to their food reserves and poison the rest of the colony.