There are many ant species on Earth, each of which is very similar in characteristics. Fire ants and carpenter ants are among the most common species found around the house.
Just like other insects, they go about in search of food and water and will invade your home if it offers such.
So, do you have an ant infestation in the house?
Don’t panic, as we are here to help.
In this article, we’ll be giving you useful tips on how to get rid of ants.
All you have to do is read all the way through!
What Attracts Ants in Your Home?
If you want to know how to get rid of ants in your house, then you need to first know what attracts them there in the first place.
You need to understand that ants are hard workers and can travel long distances in their quest for food and water, so your house isn’t off-limits.
Ants need food, and they really like those with sugar. So if you have cake crumbs or juice spillages laying around your home, a house ant may invade.
Ants also leave trails of their scent as they travel. This scent not only leads them out of your house, but it also guides the other ants in their colony to follow suit in the same direction – Your home!
This means finding a few ants in your living room or kitchen means that more are on the way.
Why Do I Have Ants in My House?
In search of food and water, ants will take advantage of as many entry points as they can find. This means they will pass through the cracks in your window or door frames (if there are any).
The cracks in your foundation are also enough for ants to creep through and make their way into your basement.
They are small creatures so even tiny spaces are enough for them to crawl through.
As you can see, ants are very hard to get rid of due to their size and resilient nature. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Sealing all the cracks in your foundation, as well as tightening up the window and door frames is a good approach you can take to get rid of them.
Eliminating their food sources is also effective in making your house unappealing to them.
Why would they stick around if your home offers them nothing to eat?
Keep reading, as we will be discussing in detail how to get rid of ants in your house, and ensure that they don’t come back.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants Naturally?
Many people don’t like the chemical approach, which means they will frown upon using poisonous insecticides to get rid of ants.
If you’re one of such people, then here’s how to get rid of ants naturally.
Here’s what you can do.
1. Use Vinegar
Using vinegar is a great means of pest control.
Luckily, ants hate it too and will stay away from surfaces that carry vinegar smells.
Dip a piece of cloth into some vinegar and use it to wipe your cupboards, countertops, sinks, and any other surface that they are most likely to crawl across. This will keep ants away.
Your main target areas should be the places where you have actually seen them operate.
The solution should be a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Apply the solution across these surfaces at regular intervals to control ants effectively.
Another advantage of using vinegar is that it removes the ant trails that other ants have left behind. This means others in their colonies cannot trace their way into your home.
I have to warn you though, vinegar isn’t ideal for use on natural stone countertops. So if you have quartz, marble, or granite countertops, then it is best you use another type of cleaner to wipe the surfaces.
The alternative cleaners will also remove the scent trails, as well as the food or drink spillages that attracted the ants there in the first place.
2. Use Chalk Or Baby Powder
For some reason, ants do not like chalk and baby powder.
But that doesn’t matter, as long as they hate it, then that’s another way to get rid of ants.
It could be the calcium carbonate contained in chalk that repels them, it could also be that the powder blocks off their scent.
With this in mind, you can draw lines of chalk along possible entry points to keep ants away.
Don’t forget that chalk and powder lines will fade away over time, reopening the passageway for the ants. This means you will need to check on the chalk lines every now and then to see if they are still there.
If they are faded, then refresh the lines to maintain the barrier.
You can have some fun out of the exercise by getting your kids to join in. Children love drawing across surfaces so you can make a game out of it while exercising pest control.
3. Use Borax Or Diatomaceous Earth
Borax and diatomaceous earth have proven to be effective forms of ant control.
All you have to do is mix equal parts of these ant killers with syrup, sugar, or jelly (as they are sweet foods that ants are attracted to). Now place the mixture in areas where the ants will easily locate it.
Be careful to place it in areas where kids and pets can’t reach, but the ants can. It’s true that Borax is natural, but it is still toxic, and you wouldn’t want your kids or pets touching and ingesting it.
When the ants find the Borax-laced foods, they will eat them and be poisoned by them. Borax will not only kill the ant’s digestive system, it also breaks their exoskeletons.
4. Combine Herbs, Spices, and Essential Oils
Mint, cinnamon, black pepper, chili pepper, and garlic are also among the effective natural substances you can use for ant control.
You can apply them in the areas where you have previously seen the ants operate to keep them away.
You can also place some bay leaves in your kitchen cabinets and drawers to repel ants.
Essential oils are also a viable option, as it too can deter ants.
Peppermint, eucalyptus, and citrus oils can be applied on surfaces where the ants are active. Just dip a clean cloth in any of these oils and use it to wipe the relevant surfaces.
You can also mix the oils with some water, pour the solution into a spray bottle, then spray into the cracks and crevices where they may be hiding.
Essential oils will work because they produce scents that irritate ants. The good thing is, these scents are pleasant to humans, especially citrus.
Nonetheless, you should still keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
5. Use Coffee Grounds
If you’re dealing with outdoor ants, then coffee grounds is a good ant control option.
All you have to do is sprinkle some of your used coffee grounds around your garden and the perimeter of your home.
Ants hate the scent produced by the coffee’s phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium content, but so do cats. This means you should skip this option if you keep any.
That aside, coffee grounds are also great for your garden soil.
6. Cucumber/Citrus Peels
Carpenter ants detest the smell of citrus and cucumber, so you can also use these to deter them. Simply peel of some, then place the peels in the areas where they are active.
This will also work because citrus and cucumber peels are toxic to the types of fungi which ants eat. If it’s toxic to their food, then it will be toxic to them as well.
Commercial cleaners made with citrus extracts can also be used to solve your ant problem. They do a good job of cleaning food and drink stains, as well as removing the trail scents left behind by the ants.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants Permanently
Solving the ant problem in your home is great, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to come back. This is because there are a lot more where the few in your home came from.
Ants never work or live alone, as they have colonies headed by a queen, as well as hundreds or thousands of other worker ants. This means you have to kill them where they live if you want to get rid of them permanently.
Ant baits still remain the most effective means by which you can get rid of ants permanently. Destroy the colony, and there will be no more ants bothering you.
Ant bait is a slow-acting pesticide that can be mixed with sweet foods to attract and kill ants, not immediately, but over a period of time.
When they do, the other members of their colony (including the queen), will eat it and be poisoned as well.
As we said earlier, the poison will not kill them immediately, so you should expect to see more ants coming over via their scent trail to get the poisoned food.
Resist the temptation to kill them on-site, allow them to take the food back to their anthill, and poison the rest.
This is the best way to permanently remove fire ants and carpenter ants inside your home.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Ants?
The time it takes in getting rid of an ant infestation depends on the size of their colony and the methods you use in getting rid of them.
With slow-acting pesticides, you can expect the ants to be gone between 5 to 10 days.
So, guys, that’s how to get rid of ants in your house or in your yard.
Just remember that ants will be attracted to your home if it’s a food source, so make sure you clean up after you eat.
Also, make sure you tighten up your window and door frames as much as you can to limit their entry points.
We trust this article on how to get rid of ants has been helpful.
Thanks for reading!