Every Spring, it never fails, ants appear in our kitchen. I keep our home clean, but they still appear. I have done a lot of research on how to get rid of ants naturally. Read on to find the best home remedies I have found to get rid of ants.
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Ants: the Unwelcome Pests
There are over 700 types of ant species in the United States. Ranging anywhere from fire ants, and carpenter ants to odorous house ants and pavement ants, I’m sure you’ve encountered them where you live.
Ants are unwelcome pests who can contaminate food and even cause property damage.
When we get ants in our home, they tend to be the little black ones which I believe are odorous house ants. They become problematic because there is usually an army of them. Anytime you see a few ants, know that there are a ton more somewhere nearby.
Usually, a few ants go and scope out an area. If they find food, they take it back to their colony and tell everyone else. We’ve awoken to a trail of ants across our kitchen floor after seeing no ants before going to bed.
How to Prevent Ants
In order to keep ants from wanting to take residence in your home, there are some things you can do to try to prevent them.
- First, make sure you keep your home clean.
- Make sure you sweep up any crumbs each night which fell on the floor throughout the day.
- Don’t pile dirty dishes in the sink. Be sure to either hand wash them, or rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher every night.
- Keep your food stored in airtight containers. It’s amazing what ants can smell. Actually, research shows that ants have an exceptional sense of smell, having four to five times more odor receptors than most other insects.
- Make sure all of the cracks along your walls, cupboards, and flooring are sealed. Basically, look for any place which might be an entrance for those little pests.
- Make sure you don’t have any standing water near your house. Ants need to drink so that will attract them (and other unwanted pests).
If you have done things to prevent ants from invading your home, but they still find a way inside, it’s time to try some natural ant killer.
Why Not Opt for Indoor Pesticides to Kill Ants?
Using pesticides can create health challenges. Even the EPA states that “pesticides are inherently toxic.” They remind us that “it is important to remember that the “-cide” in pesticides means “to kill”. ”
Exposure to pesticides may result in:
- irritation to eyes, nose, and throat
- damage to the central nervous system and kidney
- increased risk of cancer
With the health challenges that pesticides can pose, it’s best to get rid of ants naturally.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ants
I have tried multiple home remedies to get rid of ants. Some worked for a short period of time, while others ultimately got rid of them. The home remedies that worked for me the best are near the end of this list.
I believe that all of these home remedies are worth giving a try. Some of these natural remedies might work better than others depending on the type of ant species you’re dealing with.
Also, you might have to apply the mixtures for multiple days until all of the ants are taken care of. Some of these home remedies repel ants so that they might move onto a different location, while other remedies will ultimately kill them.
How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally
The smell of vinegar may confuse ants. Try spraying vinegar along the entry points of where you think the ants may be coming into your home. You can also dilute the vinegar with some water (1 cup water/1 cup vinegar) if you would like.
The acid in lemon juice can mess with an ants sense of tracking. Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water. Spray the mixture along the entry points of where the ants are coming into your home. You can even mix lemon juice and vinegar to use as a spray.
Essential oils, such as peppermint, tea tree, or lemon can help to repel ants. You can use essentials oils as a spray mixture, or as a rubbing mixture. As a spray, mix 8 ounces of water with 12 drops of an essential oil. Shake the bottle up and spray along the points where you think the ants may be entering your home.
Otherwise, you can put a few drops of the essential oil on a cotton ball and use it to wipe along cupboards or baseboards.
Be cautious as some essential oils shouldn’t be used around children or pets.
Use a mixture of borax and powdered sugar to kill ants naturally. Mix one part borax to 3 parts powdered sugar and place it in a bottle cap, or cut a straw into smaller pieces and put the mixture in there. The powdered sugar attracts the ants and the borax will eventually kill them.
You can also make a paste of borax, powdered sugar, and water. Spread the paste on pieces of cardboard, or something else you can use to lay near the ant’s entry point. The ants will take it back to their nest to unknowingly poison the colony. Reapply more paste after it dries up.
Be cautious with this if you have children or pets. Place it in an area where they can’t reach.
Mark your home where ants are unwanted by drawing a line in the sand (so to speak). Use white chalk to draw a line across the areas where you don’t want ants to go. Amazingly, they don’t like to walk over chalk.
Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the areas where you think the ants are entering. Ants don’t like the smell of coffee (neither do I:)). They will quit venturing past that point.
Cornmeal does more than repel ants, it can kill them as they have a hard time digesting it. Try placing out a mixture of cornmeal and a little powdered sugar. The powdered sugar will attract the ants. Once the ants eat the cornmeal or take it back to their nest, you should start to see a reduction in the number of ants.
Use Diatomaceous Earth for a Natural Ant Killer
The tiny razor-sharp edges of Diatomaceous Earth dust can be used as a natural ant killer since it drys them out and can shred their insides. Sprinkle it around your home near the areas where you think ants are entering.
Mix some water and dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray around areas where you think the ants are entering. The soap will destroy their chemical trail and should eventually kill the ants.
Wash the Floor
Use a mixture of hot water, 2 tablespoons of Dr. Bonner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap, 15 drops of peppermint essential oil, and 5 drops of tea tree essential oil. Use the mixture to mop your floors.
How I Personally Got Rid of Ants Naturally
I used a combination of a few things to ultimately get rid of ants in our kitchen. I sprinkled salt along our floor baseboard. I set out a cinnamon stick at the edge of our dishwasher. Then I placed powdered sugar and baking soda in a bottle top. That ultimately ended our ant problem.
Sprinkle salt along the area where you see ants entering. The ants don’t like to walk through the salt.
Cinnamon to Repel Ants
Sprinkle cinnamon near the areas where you think the ants are entering. The smell will repel the ants. If you are concerned about the cinnamon discoloring the area where you sprinkle it, try laying out a cinnamon stick instead. You might even want to add a couple of drops of cinnamon essential oil on the stick to increase the scent.
Mix equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar and place it in a bottle cap. The powdered sugar will attract the ants and the baking soda will kill them. They will take it back to their nest and it will kill the others.
If you’re someone who would rather purchase a natural ant killer, here is a non-toxic option: Eco Defense Home Pest Control Spray.
Let me know how you get rid of ants naturally in the comments below!
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