You may see ants starting to enter your home and garden around mid to late spring. However, ant infestation may occur any time of the year.
The most common ants you may find, in your home and garden, include carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, pavement ants, acrobat ants and odorous house ants.
Ants are capable of ravaging your foodstuff, damaging your property especially your furniture and could also bite you.
You may feel like using chemical-based pesticides and insecticides to eradicate ants. However, this may be both toxic and harmful to you, your kids, your pet and the environment.
Here are some good practices, to consider, when dealing with ants;
- Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink.
- Ensure your clean window sills and furniture surfaces regularly.
- Wipe away moisture from kitchen countertops.
- Keep your floors, cabinets and kitchen countertops clean and clutter-free.
- Always cover your food (both cooked and uncooked food).
Below are 53 home remedies, traps, and repellents to get rid of ants;
1. Liquid Dish Soap
Liquid soap is an excellent ant remedy that will help you get rid of ants in a cheap and easy way.
Take a cup of water and add a teaspoon of liquid soap. Also, add some baking soda to it and mix well. Put a few drops of this solution in places where you see ants.
Alternatively, mix liquid dish soap with water in 1:2 ratio and spray it around the infested areas. You may later clean away the dead ants by wiping the surface with a cloth.
2. Citrus Fruit Peels
The strong scent of citrus fruits repels ants and drives them out of your home. Avoid throwing away peels of lemon, oranges, and grapefruits in the garbage. Instead, place these peels near the entryways and on the affected areas to get rid of these tiny insects.
You may also grind dried peels of citrus fruits and sprinkle it over the ant infestation.
3. Chalk Lines
Ants avoid crossing the chalk lines. It tends to disrupt their pheromone trails and ruins their communicating power. This harmless way of repelling ants is great for houses with kids and pets. Just draw lines using a chalk to prevent them from entering your space.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a great alternative to chemical insecticides. It can effectively ward off the pesky ants from your home.
Add one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol with water and mix well. Now add 1 teaspoon of dish soap and fill the solution in a spray bottle. Disrupt their scent trails by spraying on them and near the entryways. This solution can also be used to effectively reduce ants from your garden.
Ants dislike the smell of cinnamon and get irritated by its presence. Use powdered cinnamon to sprinkle on the infestation. The sweet smell of cinnamon is strong enough to repel these small creatures.
Since cinnamon is harmless to humans, it can be liberally used to sprinkle in food areas and around plants. You may also make an ant repellent spray by mixing the cinnamon powder with water.
6. Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
Vaseline is an age-old remedy to get rid of ants from your home. Since the ants find it hard to creep over the sticky substance, they get repelled and stay away from places where it is used. But to use this remedy, you need to know the entryways the ants use to get into your home. Once you find their entryways, just apply enough vaseline on these areas to create a barrier which they will never cross.
Cloves contain eugenol which acts as a potent insecticide. Eugenol can kill ants, thus, helping you get rid of them fast. Furthermore, the strong odor possessed by this spice is irritating to the ants and many other insects.
Spread cloves in places of high ant population and you will soon find them getting repelled. Clove oil can also be used to keep ants away.
8. Cucumber Peels
Many insects including ants are repelled by the smell of a cucumber. Since cucumber is harmless, you can use it in kitchen shelves, cabinets and bedroom closets to keep ants away. Putting it in your garbage bins will also prevent an ant attack.
Peel a cucumber and place these peels wherever you see ants. Don’t forget to replace them with fresh peels every day.
9. Borax And Sugar Trap
Borax or boric acid is non-toxic to humans but is highly toxic to ants. Mix borax with powdered sugar and place it at all the places where you spot ants. They will get lured by the sugar and eat the mixture. As a result, the ants will die out of toxicity. Ants will also take this bait to their colony and feast on it. In this way, the whole colony gets destroyed.
Cornmeal is as effective as any other remedy to kill ants. Since they get attracted towards the smell of cornmeal, you can see a lot of ants around the bait. Soon after eating cornmeal, they will die as their bodies are not able to digest this food.
Sprinkle cornmeal liberally on places where they are usually seen. You may need to repeat this trick unless you see them vanish completely.
Although the smell of flour may attract ants, they do not like the powdery texture possessed by flour. They will find it difficult to deal with it and will get repelled. It is a natural and non-toxic way to keep ants away especially when you have kids and pets around.
The strong and sharp smell of camphor works well in keeping ants away from your house. Find out their nests and infested areas around your house. Mix one part of camphor oil with nine parts of denatured alcohol and pour it on their nest or anthills in your garden. You may also sprinkle camphor to ruin their scent trails.
13. Lemon Juice
Using lemon juice to repel ants is a good way to enjoy an ant-free home. The strong citrus smell of lemon deters ants and wards them off your place.
Moreover, the acidic nature of lemons will mask other smells that ants get lured to. So, squeeze out some lemon juice and sprinkle it over the area of infestation to get rid of ants. You may also use cotton balls soaked in lemon oil to place in the entry points and around the house.
Ants are sensitive to salt because it has a dehydrating effect on their body. As soon as they come in contact with salt, their bodies start losing water and they die. Their belly and mouth absorb the salt in a quick manner. Sprinkle salt in the areas where ants are present in large numbers.
15. Red Chili Powder
Ants find red chili powder suffocating and easily get repelled by the powdered pepper.
When they come in contact with the spicy red powder, they are not able to maintain their sense of surrounding and eventually die. Sprinkle it over the ant infestation to effectively get rid of them. You can also mix it with borax to make this remedy more effective.
16. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth or DE is a readily available non-toxic powder that helps in eradicating most insects including ants. Spread it liberally near the ant hills, over your plants, and on indoor infestation.
The small particles of the powder have edges that are too sharp for the ants. It causes damage to their exoskeleton causing them to lose fluid and die.
17. Baby Powder
Ants hate the texture and smell of baby powder and get repelled when sprinkled around their nests and infestation. This makes baby powder a harmless repellent and can be used with kids and pets around.
Sprinkle it on the affected areas to get rid of them. Baby powder can also be used on grasses and plants to prevent ant damage.
18. Coffee Grounds
The strong scent of coffee tends to block the trails of ants and irritates them. Sprinkle used coffee grounds in your garden to ward them off their anthills and get rid of them. If you want to protect a particular plant from ants, sprinkle coffee in a circle around it so that the ants cannot cross the coffee circle.
19. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil repels ants by interfering with their trails. Putting a few drops tea tree oil over their pheromone trails will cause them to be repelled. You may also prepare a homemade spray by mixing 10 drops of tea tree oil with water and spray it on the affected areas.
20. White Vinegar
Ants hate the strong odor of vinegar. If you use vinegar to repel ants, their scent trails would be masked with vinegar scent and they lose their sense of direction and coordination. Mix some white vinegar with equal parts of water and spray it directly on them. Vinegar is effective for ants near sinks, countertops and window panes.
21. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint works in the same way as other oils with a strong smell. It masks the scent trails used by ants and repels them. Mix 10 drops of this oil in a cup of water and spray it over the affected area.
This solution is harmless and can be used around plants to prevent an ant infestation. You may also plant peppermint in your garden to repel ants.
Ants get attracted to molasses and will be lured by it when used in a trap. Mixing molasses with borax or dry yeast makes for an effective trap that the ants will not survive. They will feast on the molasses and consume the borax or dry yeast. Since the other two ingredient is toxic to them, they die and get eliminated from your house.
Ants detest garlic smell and will not like to come to places having the annoying smell. Just peel a few cloves of garlic and place them in places from where the ants are coming from. This will not only repel ants but a wide variety of other insects too.
24. Essential Oils
A mix of essential oils, like lemon oil, peppermint oil, and tea tree oil, is strong enough to keep ants away. If spraying these oils individually does not work, prepare a homemade spray by mixing 10 drops each of lemon, peppermint and tea tree essential oil. Spray it over the affected areas to keep them away.
25. Cayenne Pepper Powder
Sprinkle this pepper powder on the affected areas and you will soon find the ants vanishing. When mixed with turmeric, cayenne pepper works as an even more effective ant repellent. Create a barrier with the mixture to prevent ants from entering your house.
26. Baking Soda And Sugar Trap
Baking soda is toxic to the tiny insects and causes them to die easily by damaging their digestive system. Prepare a trap by mixing baking powder with sugar and sprinkle it in areas where ants are present abundantly. Don’t forget to place this mixture at the ants’ entry points.
They will eat the mixture due to the presence of sugar and will consume the baking soda which will work its way to kill them.
27. House Cleaning
Keeping your house clean will not only prevent an ant infestation but will keep it free from many other insects and rodents. Since ants leave a trail so that other ants can follow it, cleaning your house regularly disrupts their trail and prevents them from affecting a large area.
Cleaning also ensures there is no fallen crumbs and food leftovers that the insects may feed on. Cleaning would also help you get rid of clutter and piles of clothes that become a good place for ants to hide and live.
28. DIY Ant Trap
An effective trap for ants can be prepared at home that ensures killing most of them. Just take a small plate and fill it with borax. Make some space in the middle of the powder and put a few drops of honey.
The ants will get attracted to the honey and walk over the borax. Leave this trap near the infested area. Since borax is toxic to the ants, they will die easily.
Ants hate any strong smell and if you do not have a sharp smelling essential oil or herb to distract them from their trails, you may get hold of a perfume bottle and spray it on them. It will repel them effectively.
30. Cream Of Wheat
Cream of wheat is another great home remedy to get rid of ants. Ants get attracted to cream of wheat in no time and love to feast on it. But the food expands in their guts and wreak havoc on their digestive system.
Soon after eating it, the ants die. You can fill a plate with cream of wheat and place it in the infested areas to kill them naturally.
Aspartame can damage the nervous system of the ants and cause a malfunction in their senses. As a result, they starve and die. If you can get hold of aspartame, you may easily use it to kill ants.
Just empty a pack of aspartame around the house. In no time, you will see the ants enjoying the sweet treat. Soon after eating aspartame, they will vanish like a magic.
32. Ant Traps And Ant Baits
You could make and use several types of homemade sprays and baits to get rid of ants. Most of these baits and sprays often involve the use of borax, baking soda or one of the numerous essential oils.
33. Get Rid Of Trash
Leftover food and fruit peels in the trash bin can invite too many ants around them. It is important to get rid of the trash on a regular basis. Keep the trash bin covered to prevent the luring smell from spreading. If possible, keep the trash bin far from your house to prevent ants, other insects, and pests from your home.
Ants will not cross over copper metal. Hence you can create a barrier by laying a copper wire in areas of infestation. Putting some copper coins or copper wire mesh in the ant prone areas is also a great way to repel them.
35. Hot Water Treatment
If you find ants living in the hillside holes, you may try pouring hot water in these holes. It will kill all the ants preventing them from entering your home.
36. Ant Repelling Plants
Some plants repel ants in a natural way. They have a distinctive odor that drives ants away from your home. Plant marigolds, tansy, rosemary, rue, mint, and marjoram to deter ants from your home and garden.
37. Silicon Sealants
Silicon caulk is a great remedy for blocking the entry of ants in your house. Using it for sealing gaps, cracks, crevices, and space around the windows and doors help in keeping ants out of the house. All you have to do is inspect your house thoroughly and repair cracks and gaps to prevent them from entering.
38. Proper Food Storage
Storing food items in airtight containers will not only keep them fresh for longer but will also prevent most insect (especially flies and ants) infestation.
If ants keep getting an easy access to food in your pantry, they will multiply rapidly. It would be more difficult to eradicate the ants if their population grows beyond a certain limit. So, keep food items under seal to protect them from ants as well as starve them and drive them away from your house.
39. Use A Specific Place For Eating
Limit yourself to your dining table for eating your food, even snacks. Taking food to your bedroom and living room will leave food crumbs to fall on the floor, carpets and even beds. This will provide ants an easy access to food and you will start seeing the ants at places they shouldn’t be.
40. Get Rid Of Insects
Insects such as aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs attract ants to your garden. Ants love to feed on them. Getting rid of these bugs will automatically reduce the population of ants in your garden. Ants also like to feed on dead bodies of various insects. Cleaning away dead insects on a daily basis will keep ants away.
41. Get Rid Of Old Tree Stumps
An old tree stump in your garden may provide enough warmth, moisture and space for a large colony of ants to thrive. Getting rid of such items from your yard can reduce the chances of an infestation. Keep your yard clean by eliminating broken branches of large trees and rotting wood to keep ants away.
42. Keep Food Covered
Keeping your food covered will prevent its smell from spreading and luring the ants. This will also make it difficult for ants to access your prepared foods as the cover acts as a protective screen.
43. Insect Barrier
Insects barriers are specially formulated products that help in killing the ants effectively. You can easily get one at a pest control store. Just place them in the area of infestation or near the stems of plants around your garden and they will do their work to eradicate ants and other insects. Probably the most popular brand of insect barrier is the Tree Tanglefoot Insect Barrier.
44. Remove Water
Ants need water to survive and removing water from their vicinity will drive them away from your home. Keep your home and garden as dry as possible. Eliminate standing water present in flower beds to make it uncomfortable for ants to thrive.
45. Black Pepper
Ants detest black pepper and get repelled by this spice. You can spread powdered black pepper over their trails to disturb them. Sprinkle it over their nest and every place you see them. You may also spray a solution made with black pepper powder and water on the ants to repel them.
46. Avoid Sugary Spills
It is important to clean up any sugary spill that occurs accidentally. Not cleaning it immediately may attract ants and increase their infestation. So, as soon as you spill a sugary or fruity beverage, clean it by mopping it with water and a mild detergent.
47. Lavender Scent
Lavender is a powerful insect repellent and works well in keeping ants away from your house. Use lavender oil and water to prepare a solution that will interfere with the ant’s scent trails and deter them effectively.
48. Salt And Talc
Talc acts as a poison for many insects including ants. Talc is a grandma remedy to get rid of insects. On the other hand, salt has a dehydrating effect on these tiny creatures.
Mixing talc and salt together will help in killing the ants in an excellent way. Just find out places that are infested with ants and sprinkle it to kill them effectively.
49. Reduce Clutter
Clutter can provide a perfect place for ants to grow and reproduce. They can hide under piles of clothes and have easy access to all places around your home from the clutter.
Old logs and piles of dead leaves in your garden can become a great place for ants to live. Remove clutter from house and garden to keep them clean and ant-free.
50. Cream Of Tartar
Cream of tartar is an age-old remedy to get rid of ants. If you know the access points used by the ants to enter your house, you can use this remedy to prevent them from coming in. Just draw a line using cream of tartar as a barrier. They will not cross this line and keep away from your home.
51. Sticky Tape
You can easily play a trick by placing sticky tapes to trap ants. Stick them near the neck of jars, so that they are not able to cross it and would get stuck on the tape if they attempt to cross it. You can also place sticky tapes in areas infested with ants to trap them. Put some cornmeal or sugar as a bait to attract more ants towards the trap.
52. Peanut Butter Trap
Peanut butter trap is another technique capable of killing an entire colony of ants. Take a teaspoon of peanut butter in a bowl and add an equal amount of borax in it.
The smell of peanuts attracts the ants and they come to eat the peanut in large number without knowing of the toxin mixed with it. They also take this mixture to their colonies and kill their fellow ants who eat the mixture too.
53. Naphthalene Balls
Naphthalene balls provide protection against a wide variety of insects including ants. Grind some naphthalene balls and sprinkle it over the areas where ants are present.
The strong smell irritates them and repels them far from your house. You may also use naphthalene balls in your closets, kitchen drawers and around the sink and garbage bin to repel ants.
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