We have all encountered them a small army of ants trooping across the ground. They are fascinating to watch. That is, until they invade our homes. They are no longer amazing little creatures when they march across the floors, countertops and other surfaces. When this happens we simply want them gone. The question arises – how do I get rid of ants in my house?
First we need to try to prevent the ants from entering in the first place. Look for the places the ants may be entering. Windowsills, doorways and any spaces or gaps are a welcome mat for ants. You can use poison to kill them outside the home, but there are many non-chemical options as well. These will deter the ants from entering without killing them.
Use items you already have in your kitchen. Spices such as cinnamon, black pepper, red chili powder and mint repel ants. Sprinkling these on countertops and along baseboards will prove effective in preventing the ants from entering. Dipping bay leaves in mint mouthwash and placing them in your pantry area will also keep the ants at bay. Planting mint or cloves in a flower garden or window box will keep the ants from coming near, and thus into, your home.
Ants will not cross chalk or Vaseline. Create a line of these around doors and windows to prevent ants from entering the house. Baby powder can also be used to accomplish the same thing. A mixture of half vinegar and water can be used in the same way. Glass cleaner will keep ants out as well, but be cautious using this if you have pets or small children.
Make your home less “ant appealing”. Keep food put away and spills cleaned up. Do your dishes regularly. Sweep up daily especially in the kitchen area. Seal leftover foods in tight airproof containers. Take out the trash regularly as not to draw ants by the smell of moldy leftovers. These are simple steps that can make a very big difference.
Also consider getting rid of things outside the home that may attract ants as well. Standing pools of water will draw ants (not to mention other unwanted pests). A garden with aphids will draw ants because aphids excrete a sugary substance. Keeping trash or recycling bins too close to the house will draw the little armies close as well.
What if you have done all the things listed above and still have ants in your house? Now it is time to kill them! You can call an exterminator. He/she will spray with deadly chemicals to get rid of the invasion. But, if you prefer, there are some non-chemical options for ant destruction as well.
Corn meal is an effective option for ant removal. It is not poisonous to children or pets but is to ants. Place it where you see ants the most and they will carry it back to their homes. They will attempt to eat it, but they are unable to digest it. Thus, they will be gone for good.
Sprinkle uncooked Cream of Wheat in the ant’s path. When eaten it will expand. No more ants.
Borax is found in many sprays used by the professionals. It in itself however is completely natural. You can purchase it at most drug stores fairly reasonably. Place a small amount of maple syrup or honey behind a line of Borax. When the ants walk through it to get to the honey the Borax dissolves them.
If you are able to find the ant’s actual home (ant hill) you can destroy it. Simply knocking over the hill will not suffice, as the ants will build it again. Drown the ants by filling their home with water. Or you can make a Borax/water solution and pour into the hill.
These are just a few ways to prevent the little armies from having a successful invasion. If they do invade, these steps can make their encampment a short lived one. Ants are fascinating little insects but they belong in the great outdoors – not your house.