Ants are pretty common household pests, especially in the spring when they’re looking for food to take back to their nests. If you see ants in your home, don’t panic! There are some great natural remedies you can use to get rid of them—and prevent future infestations—that don’t involve resorting to potentially toxic commercial insecticides. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of ants in your home with natural remedies.
The easiest and least harmful way to get rid of ants from your home is with natural ingredients.
Begin by investigating what causes ants to come indoors and look for potential food or water sources they could be traveling towards. Even if they find a tiny drop of honey or a sink’s dirty utensil, get rid of it by putting it where it won’t be disturbed by a hungry ant. Never leave food out where ants can find it. In order to remove ants from food, you can put it in glassware that seals well, like a pyrex dish, or in the refrigerator. If you haven’t had any luck with them, give these a try.
1. Distilled White Vinegar
You can wipe out ants for good with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Ants don’t like the smell of vinegar. This not only repels them, but it can also kill them. Regardless of how strong the smell is, mix together a ratio of at least one part vinegar to three parts water. Some people mix 100% vinegar or use a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
To combat ants, they’ll make use of pheromones and leave a trail that other ants will follow. To get rid of the trail, just spray this solution anywhere you spot them. Watch out for the house’s entrances such as windowsills, doorframes, and baseboards. Use the solution to wipe these surfaces and then clean and sanitize them. When used once a week or so, you should see a definite improvement.
2. Citrus Fruits
it hates the smell of citrus fruits, so they are a natural repellant. Keep your lemon or grapefruit peels near entryways. They’re not harmful to ants; they are natural repellents.
3. Peppermint Oil
One of the best household remedies for preventing critters from entering your home or garden is peppermint oil, suggests Harry Peters of the UK-based cleaning site Tidy Choice. It has a strong enough odor to keep insects—ants, flies, and mosquitoes—away, but it is not too strong to give you a headache or nausea. It can be used in the house or garden to prevent unwanted pests from entering your home. You can add peppermint essential oil to your homemade household products or spray it on doorways, window sills, and baseboards to keep pests out of your home.
It may be possible to use an oil-based incense to help deter ants from crawling around your home.
Studies have shown that cinnamon has a compound that is effective in repelling and killing ants. Put ground cinnamon in common entryways, where its strong smell will act as a natural repellent. Alternatively, coat cotton balls with cinnamon and place them near ant-prone areas.
Place salt near your nooks and corners to deter ants. One way to do this is to use a salt line that works as a natural barrier. Using a spray of salt water, ants can be killed by dehydration.
6. Cayenne or Black Pepper
Ants dislike the smell of raw pepper, so sprinkle it around the areas where they have access to the house. In Texas A&M’s research, a water and pepper solution was found to be an effective method of controlling ants.
There’s some evidence to suggest that coffee makes for a pretty effective ant repellent. Researchers, for example, tried using three different types of coffee to ward off three species of ants. Arabica coffee had the highest mortality rate among three types of ants: the pharaoh ant, the ghost ant, and the big-headed ant.
The importance of cleanliness
Why do we so often forget how important it is to keep our homes clean? In theory, there’s no good reason why we should ever overlook things like cleaning and tidying up. After all, a home that’s littered with clutter and dirt can make us feel stressed and uncomfortable. But even though we know what’s healthy for us—we seem to have trouble implementing it into our daily routines.
There are many different reasons for our aversion to cleaning. It might be that it’s hard work, or we don’t have time. We could also suffer from a touch of compulsive hoarding and simply can’t bring ourselves to part with our things—even though they’re taking up space in our home. No matter what your reasons are for avoiding housework, you need to make a change.
How to Keep Ants Out of Your House
- Plug up any entranceways into the house with ant-repelling caulk and seal any gaps or cracks for protection.
- Sweets should be kept in airtight containers, tightly wrapped with foil or plastic, or in the fridge.
- Keeping counters, floors, cabinets, and pantries tidy, clearing up pet food between mealtimes, and washing pet bowls, are part of maintaining a healthy kitchen.
- Clear the garbage and cans of lingering filth by emptying the trash and cleaning the canisters on a regular basis.