Ants are undoubtedly fascinating creatures. They’re tiny, yet so wonderfully organised and have also managed to survive millions of years despite looking so meek. Fun fact, the weight of all ants in the world combined is more than the weight of the whole human population. Despite all these, ants can be troublesome inside our home and kitchen, and we may want them not invading our homes. If you’re suffering from a mild ant infestation, here’s a list of things you could do to fix the problem.
- Getting Rid of Ants
- DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Ants
Getting Rid of Ants
The following list can be used as a guide to fix your ant problem, although if the problem is beyond manageable, it is advisable to get an exterminator to do the job.
1. Eliminate the Trailing Ants
When ants start coming into your home, they leave a pheromone trail. Other ants smell this and follow. If you locate such a trail, disrupt it using soap, bleach or all-purpose cleaner. This will kill the ants and wipe off the trail for other ants to follow.
2. Use Vacuum Cleaner to Wipe Out Ants
Pour generous amounts of borax or diatomaceous soil on ants. Then vacuum it all up and empty the bag in a trash-can (preferably outside the house). Borax and Diatomaceous soil kill ants. You could alternatively put borax inside the vacuum bag instead of pouring on the floor. Also, wipe off the area with soapy water to remove the pheromone trail.
3. Use Bait Trap
Bait traps are very useful for killing off many ants at once. Buy a commercial bait trap and put them in places where you frequently see ants. Follow all precautions and be sure to keep your kids and pets away for them.
4. Block Ant Entry Points
There can be multiple small and unnoticeable points of entry for these little soldiers. They can be cracks in the wall, a hole in a window, or even a door that doesn’t close completely. You need to track these places down and cover them up with the necessary methods to keep ants away, like repair broken window panes or mesh, plaster any holes or cracks in the walls etc.
5. Use Natural Insecticide to Kill Ants in Your Yard
Insecticides can prove to be very effective in exterminating ants, but the commercial ones come with one huge downside; they’re harmful to your family and the environment. So use a natural insecticide meant for ants. You could sprinkle on spray insecticide directly on the anthills, or on the ground as a whole so that it can penetrate the soil and clear the ant mounds.
6. Remove Food Sources
Always store food items properly in airtight containers. No scent of food means no ants are going to find your house attractive.
Read about how to properly clean the kitchen cabinets.
7. Clean Surface After Meal
Just like removing the food source is important, it is also important that you clean up after you have any meals. Even the most minuscule amounts of food can draw in a large number of ants. Use normal water or an all-purpose cleaner to clean the table or the kitchen counter where you might have spilt some food.
8. Spray on An Ant Barrier
You could use scents that repel ants, just like the case of repelling mosquitoes. You could do so by mixing cinnamon or peppermint oil in the water and store it in a spray bottle. Spray on the places from where the ants enter. Coffee grounds are also an effective repellent. You could simply put out a bowl of ground coffee near windows or cracks. The ants are repelled by the strong smell, and also the acidity of the coffee grounds can kill ants.
DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Ants
Try out these simple DIYs if your home is ridden with ants (and even other bugs). Most of these are rather harmless to kids and pets, but one must always take a good amount of precautions.
Chalk is one of the most effective and easily usable repellents to keep ants away. Chalks contain calcium carbonate; whose scent is what keeps away the ants. Draw a line with chalk at all entry points to the house, like doors and the windows. You could also scatter some chalk powder near your flower-pots to save your plants from bug infestation (yes, many bugs and slugs can be kept away by using chalk).
Lemons are very powerful in keeping the ants away, thanks to their citric acid content. The tangy smell of citric acid repels most bugs. You could clean the surfaces frequented by ants with lemon all-cleaners, pour freshly squeezed lemon juice into cracks and holes which are usually the entry points of ants. Scatter lemon peels outside your door (the ants will receive the clear eviction notice you’ve so fondly put out for them).
Borax is toxic. Ants are killed upon ingesting borax. You could make traps using borax. Mix 1:3 parts of borax and granulated sugar and pour a little water to get a thick mixture. Apply it on the places ants come on from. You could also pour some borax in food jelly and put it on a plate where ants frequent. Be very careful with borax and keep your children and pets away from it.
The same logic as lemons goes for oranges. Blend orange peels and one cup of warm water to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on all points of entry. You could also leave orange peels in outside your entrance and on kitchen slabs.
Cayenne pepper or black pepper can help you get rid of ants just as well as they enhance your dishes. They’re despised by the ants, and thus should be sprinkled at all entry points. If you do not mind going brutal and are fed up with ants, you could pour some pepper directly into the ant mounds.
Just like chalk, sprinkle some flour near the entry points and the back of the shelves. The ants won’t cross the line of flour because it inhibits ants’ sense of recognising the pheromone trail.
7. Camphor Oil
Make an anti-bug spray with camphor oil and water. Spray some near the doors, windows and other cracks. Camphor oil has a very strong smell which keeps the ants and other bugs away. Ever burning camphor can keep the ants away.
8. White Vinegar
The smell of vinegar is pungent enough to repel humans, let alone the small and sensitive ants. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and store in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the entry points. You could also carry a bottle when you go on treks and camps.
Read about other uses of vinegar in your house.
Cinnamon has a strong scent which is attractive to us but repulsive to ants. Pour some cinnamon powder on the entry points of ants and in or around anthills. You could also mix some essential oils to boost the effect.
Mix up 10 drops of peppermint essential oil with a cup of water and sprinkle on the areas infested by ants. You could also use dried peppermint leaves outside to keep the ants away.