At one time or another, most homes are invaded by ants. Big ones, small ones – it doesn’t matter what size they are, the little buggers are annoying. And usually they’re pretty tough to get rid of.Never fear, here’s an arsenal of anti-ant strategies:
It’s easiest to deal with ants if you can avoid attracting them to your home. Make sure you:
- Keep your house clean – especially your kitchen. Don’t leave food out. Wash your counters to make sure there are no crumbs or sticky spots. Wipe up spills immediately.
- If you regularly store food on your counter tops, make sure it’s stored in airtight containers.
- Make sure your trash cans are clean, and take garbage out daily during prime ant season.
- Frequently change the food and water in pet dishes.
Natural ant traps
If you feel like setting traps for your invasive ants, here are two to try:
- Mix one Tablespoon of Borax with two tablespoons of jelly, jam, peanut butter, or sugar water. Place the mixture near the ants’ trail. (You can spread the jelly or peanut butter on a cracker for easy placement.) Ants will die once they eat the mixture. Be sure to keep this trap out of the reach of children and pets, as it is poisonous.
- Leave a small amount of instant grits or Cream of Wheat where ants usually go – the ants will explode once they swallow the cereal and the food expands.
Natural ant sprays
If ants do come in your home, try a variety of natural sprays until they leave:
- Like cockroaches, spritz ants with a mixture of soap and water.
- Mix one cup of water, ½ tablespoon of dish soap and three drops of tea tree oil. Spray the mixture in doorways, corners and along the floor to repel ants.
- Squirt white vinegar or apple cider vinegar wherever you’ve seen ants. Let the vinegar dry. The ants (and vinegar smell) should disappear.
- Mix two parts water, two parts rubbing alcohol and one part dish soap. Spray directly on ants to kill them, or spray along the ants’ path to eliminate their scent trail.
- While not natural, this spray is safer than pesticides and should work wonders: mix one part Windex and one part liquid Ivory soap. Spray wherever you have problems with ants.
Natural ant deterrents
Looking for easy ways to keep ants away? You might want to try some of these tactics:
- Peel a cucumber, sprinkle the peel with salt and leave it where ants usually invade. They aren’t crazy about cukes and should stay away.
- Soak a cotton ball in essential lemon oil, essential orange oil, essential grapefruit oil, or essential peppermint oil. Place the cotton ball along the ants’ usual trail.
- Bay leaves, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coffee grounds, dried mint leaves, garlic cloves, paprika, and dried sage are deterrents, too. Leave a small amount in the ants’ typical path.
- Just like mosquitoes are warded off by outdoor plants, ants are, too. Try planting some of these ant repellent plants: Basil, bee balm, citronella, chili peppers, eucalyptus, garlic, geraniums, lavender, lemon balm, mint, pennyroyal, peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, and thyme.
Have you tried any of these methods? Have they worked or are they ineffective?
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Hilary Kimes Bernstein is a Christ follower, wife, mama, and journalist. She writes about making healthy decisions that honor God and happen to help the environment at Accidentally Green. Short and sweet - like her writing - Hilary is the author of several healthy living eBooks.
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Viviane Paolini says
I use talc for ants, they never come back. Put it from where they come in. That’s all.