Once established, ants don't usually go away. If left untreated they may just become worse.
Unfortunately, with the elimination and banning of numerous insecticides the number of products available to control ants is considerably reduced. However, with persistence and the proper use of ant killer these sometimes pesky insects can be eliminated.
It is important to note that not all ants are bad. In minor numbers, they do aerate the soil, and they do feed on decaying organic material. However, when ants invade patio or deck areas they become pests.
Both a liquid form and a powder form of ant killer are available. The liquid form is mixed with water and applied with a watering can. The powdered form is dusted directly from the container onto the anthill.
Both products are relatively safe and have low toxicity. Traces of these products remain in the soil for only a few days. Timing of application is important especially with the powdered form. Either watering must occur or a rainfall. This is essential to carry the pesticide down into the anthill. As with all pesticides, it is important to follow the directions carefully and to mix only according to the specifications on the label. Always store pesticides out of reach of pets and children and only in their original containers.
The licensing of these pesticides is such that they will be effective and safe for use when the directions are followed.
A third product called Ant Killer is available in a small applicator for use around windows and doors, patios or decks, or for around sinks or other areas indoors. This product simply requires the placement of one or two drops on the trail that the ants are following to and from their food source. The ants take the product back to the nest where the rest of the ants are destroyed.