Ahh, there is nothing quite like the pitter-patter of little feet
Ants are hard to deter. After a recent rainstorm, the local ant colony discovered something in our pantry. Love and I could not figure out what the trail of ants was feeding off of, and we realized there was some sticky glue-like substance on one of our cans of tomato sauce. And this is what the HUGE trail of ants was feeding off of. So, I did what any red-blooded American consumer would do, and tromped off to the store to buy as many toxic pesticides and ant killers as possible. So here's a quick breakdown of what I discovered.
Raid ant-killer is potent. And the ants didn't come back because the spray destroys their scent trail as well. Of course, it's a fscking aerosol, which I realized about after about a minute of constant spraying. And, of course, something that instantly annihilates ants is probably not very good, even residually, for my wife and baby son. Ooops! So I sent them off to go play in the park and scrubbed and vacuumed everywhere I'd sprayed, hoping to get as much of it out as possible. If you're immune to toxins, or don't mind a little green in your flesh-tone, this stuff is probably the most gratifying as you immediately see the ants curling up and dead. No dying, just straight to dead.
We got some ant-motels, put them in the food area. I dunno if they worked very well, they're designed to just attract the ants and not let them out. Threw them out a while ago. They probably worked. Considering my lack of curiosity at the time, it's now hard to say.
After annihilating the ant colony with the Raid, I checked the other side of the same wall, and low and behold, another trail of ants was leading under the sink. This time I used Grant's Ant Control System, which is basically a little container of poison the ants are attracted to. They scoop up the poison, and take it back to the colony, presumably. I put out a couple of these in the ant stream, and they sure attracted the ants! In fact, the ant stream got heavier. But by that evening, they were gone. Of course, we had to make sure to keep my year-old son out of that room for the day, and that's not an easy task. We had a couple of hair-raising moments, where we decided it just wasn't worthwhile... But those ants died as well.
So, I'd temporarily fixed my problem, but the ants were coming back periodically, and I was sick to death of worrying myself sick about the potential sickness and death of my child. So we started just wiping up the ants whenever we saw them, and sterilizing everywhere the ants had walked. This took out the scent trail, and the ants stopped coming that way. It took persistence, but the ants have finally stopped coming in, and I'd definitely have to recommend this method over the poisons. But if your ant problem is outdoors and this isn't practical, the Grant's is probably your best bang for your buck.
Yes, you should definitely track the ants back to their source and clean up the entire scent trail. Stopping up the hole they are entering through with a bit of Elmer's also prevents confused scouts from trying to figure out where their scent trail went.