Your home is being invaded? These natural home remedies for ants will help you get rid of them quickly and without any chemicals.
Even though they are mostly harmless, there are many reasons why you may not want to share your home with a colony of ants.
It’s not hygienic, for starters. Ants transfer dirt and bacteria and contaminate your food and kitchen surfaces. Some types of ants bite humans. Others can damage building materials in your house.
But, even the smallest traces of spilled food can serve as an invitation for these persistent, stubborn little pests.
And even though there are many commercial insecticides that can help you get rid of ants in no time, spraying chemicals all over your house is not the best idea. Especially if you have kids and pets running around, you may want to look into natural alternatives to get rid of ants.
So,here are the 7 most effective home remedies for ants, proven to work without putting you and your family at risk.
7 Best Home Remedies for Ants
1. Coffee grounds
You’ll hardly find a cheaper, safer and easier way to naturally get rid of ants. Most of us have some used coffee grounds in our houses every single day. So why not use it to get rid of the unwanted company?
Ants do not like the smell of coffee. Put some used coffee grounds (especially if it is fresh) on their path, and they will not cross it. If you know exactly where the ants are entering into your house, just spread some coffee grounds all around the crack and you can be sure it will keep them away.
Just make sure to completely block their path; do not leave them a crack to sneak back in. And put enough coffee grounds, or they’ll just push it out of their way and be back in your house in no time.
White vinegar is a great natural all-purpose cleaner and there are many ways you can use it around your house. And, on top of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, it is one of the best home remedies for ants.
Apparently, ants hate the acidity and scent of vinegar. Plus, the solution of water and vinegar removes the scent trails ants leave behind. These trails are the only way for ants to find their way around. When you remove the scent, the ants walk away, trying to find it somewhere else.
To use vinegar against the ants, first dilute it with an equal amount of water. Use the solution to clean your countertops, cupboards and floors and spray it around your windowsills, doorways, cracks and any other openings you’ve noticed the ants around.
If, for some reason, you don’t want to use vinegar, you can use lemon instead. Lemon juice has similar properties as vinegar and it is equally efficient in getting rid of the ants.
The fresh citrus scent we all love so much is something the ants will try to avoid at all costs.You can use lemon to repel ants the same way as you would use vinegar, except that you should use 3 cups of water for 1 cup of lemon juice.
If the ants stay persistent, you can also blend citrus peel(lemon, orange, grapefruit etc.) and pour the mixture into the ant hill openings around your house.
On top of making your house smell earthy and warm, cinnamon is also an excellent natural way to get rid of ants.
There are two ways cinnamon can help you with this. First, you can sprinkle ground cinnamon around doorways, windows and all the areas you’ve noticed ants around.
And second, you can use cinnamon essential oil. Cinnamon oil can be irritating even for humans, and ants can’t stand it at all. Use diluted cinnamon essential oil to wipe the countertops and all surfaces you’ve seen ants around and spray the mixture around the cracks and openings.
Another essential oil that is great at repelling ants and keeping them out of your home is mint essential oil. Ants tend to avoid strong scents, and mint sure has a scent strong enough to keep them away.
Mix 10 drops of mint essential oil and 1 cup of water. Spray the mixture around cracks, doors and windowsills. You can also soak cotton balls in mint essential oil and leave them in cabinets where you usually see ants.
And, of course, you can plant mint and keep the pots around your doors and windows. It will keep the ants out of your house, plus you will always have some fresh herbs on hand.
6. Cayenne or black pepper
Being a warm, heavily scented spice, pepper has a lot in common with cinnamon. And just like cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper scents can repel the ants and keep them out of your house.
On top of the scent, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is irritating to ants. They will try to avoid it at any cost. So, pouring ground pepper in a thick line right around their entryways will deter them from coming in.
You can also mix the pepper with some water and spray the solution all around your doorways and windows.
7. Chalk (or baby powder)
Another home remedy for ants that is inexpensive, safe and easy to use is chalk. Ants avoid crossing the chalk lines since the chalk’s powdery texture disrupts the scent trails they leave behind and use to communicate with other ants.
To get rid of ants and prevent them from coming back to your house, sprinkle some powdered chalk on their entry points and around the places they usually come to. You can also draw chalk lines around the areas where the ants enter into your house.
If you don’t have any chalk on hand, you can use baby powder, diatomaceous earth or even plain flour instead. They all have similar ant-repelling properties, since their powder-like texture hides the scent trails left by ants. That way, it deters all the following ants from finding their way into your home.