Do you have ants in your house? Is there a trail of them across your bathroom wall or along the kitchen counter? Once ants enter your house, it’s time to get rid of them. Here are my best natural remedies to get rid of ants from your home.
There are several ways to approach this. And all of them are natural. Don’t reach for the insecticide spray yet!
If Ants are Coming in Your Window Sills
Once a month fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and use it to spray around your window sills.
You don’t need to spray the windows at all, just the sills.
Also spray in the area around the pipe openings under your kitchen or bathroom sink. This will keep the ants away. You can spray the vinegar more often if you need to.
Peppermint Spray to Get Rid of Ants
2 tablespoons water
15-20 drops peppermint essential oil
Place ingredients in an 8 oz. glass spray bottle and shake before use.
You can use this spray at any entry point to your house.
I use it along baseboards in the living room, the kitchen and the laundry and it works well. You get the added advantage of it smelling really nice in the room.
Ants at the Back Door
Place the door stopper where it interrupts the ant trail and they won’t come back.
If you need to refresh the clove oil, you can just add more to the door stopper when you need to.
Note: I’ve also tried using whole cloves to stop ants but they don’t work. It’s the clove oil that really works.
If you want to use clove oil in other locations, you can drop some oil onto a cotton ball and place in on a window sill or anywhere there is an ant trail. I find that the door stopper works so well because it stays where you put it. Cotton balls on the floor tend to get moved by anyone who walks past.
Removing the Temptations
Of course, one of the most important things to do when getting rid of ants is to make sure you don’t leave any tempting morsels for them.
At the end of each day (or each meal if you have kids!) be sure to clean up spills or crumbs and make sure the kitchen trash can is sealed or the trash is taken out.
All food containers must be clean on the outside.
With kids you’ll find that if they leave honey or jam on the outside of the jar, this is sure to attract ants.
And as for crumbs…I use a cordless vacuum to clean under the table after all meals (or at least at the end of the day, if I don’t do it every meal).
My kids always leave crumbs or food scraps spilled on the floor. The easier it is to use a vacuum, the more likely you are to get rid of those crumbs on a daily basis (see this cordless vacuum, if you need one).
It also helps to keep very sugary foods in the refrigerator.
If the kids, or anyone else, spill soda this is almost guaranteed to attract ants. You can’t wait until the end of the day to clean it. Wipe up spilled soda straight away.
Homemade Ant Bait
For an easy DIY ant bait, mix 3 parts sugar with 1 part borax. Shake the ingredients together and spread it near the location of the ants. This will kill the ants. Ants will take it back to the nest and it will kill the colony.
If you don’t want to kill the ants, try the deterrent method using the peppermint spray (see above).
My son doesn’t like me killing the ants. He makes me feel guilty about it. So, I use the peppermint spray.
Also, if you have young children or pets, do not use borax. It can be harmful even in small amounts for children. And young children can be exposed to borax through hand to mouth transfer. Don’t risk it.
Another Interesting Method to Remove Ants
Draw a line in plain white chalk around any place that might be an entry point to your house.
The ants will apparently not cross that chalk line.
I’ve not tried this myself but other people say it works. I think you need to draw a very distinct line for it to work.
I don’t know whether it is the chalk substance that they don’t like – the texture? the smell? the color? Maybe they just like to follow rules, and won’t cross the line! Whatever it is, it’s worth trying as long as you know where the entry point is for the ants.
It’s always a nuisance to find an ant trail in your home. Obviously the best method to deal with it is prevention. So, if you can keep the kids’ crumbs and the sticky jars away from an ant’s reach then you’re on the way to avoiding an ant problem. But when the inevitable happens, try one of these natural remedies and keep you family safe from harsh chemicals.
Since the methods above are working well for me, I haven’t had a chance to test the chalk idea. If you try it, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear how it went.
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