Ant invasions are inevitable. They come for the dryness and warmth of your home and stay for the yummy crumbs they find in your kitchen. And these ants can be a real headache to try and get rid of. That is why many people turn to harmful strong chemicals. But when you use these chemicals, you are not only putting your family and pets at risk for cross contamination but they also end up going outside into your own backyard and in turn hurt the surrounding environment. While there are lots of home remedies for natural ways to remove ants from your home there has been no study looking at which of these methods is most effective. This is why we are looking for your help!
There are two main ways to participate in the project.
1. Is if you are currently in the middle of an ant invasion. If so, choose a natural deterrent (cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, cayenne, lemon, vinegar and many more) and report back to us in the survey found on our webpage (http://www.backyardbiodiversity.org/ant-vasion.html). Be sure to use the deterrent to wipe up their trails and place it by their point of entry/exit. Let us know if it worked and be patience it usually take a little longer than using the harmful chemicals. You can also upload photos of your invasion on our inaturalist page (http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/backyard-biodiversity-project-antvasion)
2. Another way to participate is for you and your family to do an experiment on the ants outside. You can do this experiment anywhere where you see ant activity (ie local park, your own backyard). More info about the protocol can be found on our website but the basic protocol is as follows; First you get a piece of paper the size of a business card, place it by ant activity, put a small amount of bait (wet fish flavored cat food) on each side of the card, then encircle one bait with one of the natural deterrents (cinnamon, pepper, cayenne, cloves). Leave for 45 minutes and come back to count how many ants are on each bait!
Your participation in this study will help us ant researchers better understand which natural remedies work best to deter ants and in turn your participation will help prevent those who find themselves in an Ant-vasion to remove them safely without putting their family at risk.