Some pesky things in your home are inevitable, for instance walking into your recently spring-cleaned kitchen to find an army of ants marching over the countertop. You may see a steady stream of ants walking across your kitchen countertop or along the window sill. This is a very common problem, but luckily it’s not tricky to eradicate the problem and prevent them from returning. With the steps we’ve listed below, you will be able to get rid of ants permanently, no matter if they are inside or outside your home. We have researched the best natural methods without chemicals. If you find this other common pest in your home, learn how to get rid of termites before the irreversible damage is done.
How To Get Rid Of Ants Indoors
Pro tips for dealing with ants inside your home:
- Inspect: The first step is to find the source of what’s attracting ants to your home in the first place. Ants are always looking for sugary things – if they believe they can find food in your home, they will find a gap in the walls, baseboards or window sills. Then they will send a few “scouts” and leave a trail marking your home as a place where food is accessible. If you see a few scout ants, don’t kill them, they can help you find the hole where ants are getting in. There is always a source, even a lone fork in the sink. Be sure to clean up whatever has attracted the ants.
- Shut down the trail: The teams of scout ants look for food using pheromones. The pheromones leave behind a scent trail for the other ants to follow, meaning you have to destroy their trail. This can be done with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Pour this mix into a spray bottle and spray it onto any surface where you’ve seen ants.
- Repel: To get rid of ants naturally, combine peppermint or lavender oil with water – ants hate these scents. Spray the mixture onto entry points like window sills, baseboards and door frames. If you want to choose the chemical route (the most effective), look for products with boric acid, but be sure to read the instructions carefully as some may be harmful to children and pets
- Wait And See: Once you’ve applied the repellents, try not to begin killing ants. They will unknowingly do the work for you and take the poison back to their nest, eliminating the colony.
How To Get Rid Of Ants Outdoors
- Look for ants in your garden or along your home’s foundation. Carpenter ants tend to hide in damaged or wet wood, so check tree stumps, wood piles, damaged trees, old patio furniture, and other outdoor structures.
- Once you’ve found the nest, pour boiling water or spot treat areas with an outdoor insecticide.
- A well-maintained garden is the best way to keep ants away. Keep an eye out for branches, bushes and shrubs that touch the house, they can provide easy access for the ants to get into your home.
Keep Ants Out For Good
- Seal all points of entry: Caulk and seal any holes, cracks, or exposed crevices in and around doors and windows.
- Hide sugary items: Black ants are the most common invaders. Keep foods, especially sugar, syrup, and honey in airtight containers or tightly wrapped in foil or glad wrap. You may want to place them in the fridge instead of a cupboard where it’s more accessible for ants.
- Do the chores regularly: Frequently clean your floors, countertops, cabinets and your pantry, where crumbs are likely to hide. If you have pets, keep their food properly stored between feeds and clean their food bowls after every meal.
- Take out the bins: Ensure that trash cans are covered, especially the kitchen bin. And inspect the can for any residue that may be stuck after throwing out the garbage.
Most Common Mistakes
1. Using only natural ways
As long as the colony is out there, worker ants will constantly look for a way into your house. There’s only so much you can do with essential oils or pepper. Although they indeed hate some scents and certain powders, it messes with their sense of direction. But don’t forget that if you repel ants one way, they will likely find another way in. Thousands of ants treat your house like a grocery store, ants will always come back.
2. Keeping A Dirty House
To prevent ants in your home, you must wash the dishes in the sink and not leave them to pile up. Don’t forget to close and seal cereal boxes, and also wipe up food or drink that may have spilt on the counter.
Cleaning doesn’t only hide food sources, it can disorientate ants too. Natural ingredients like lemon juice and white vinegar are popular natural options that throw ants off the pheromone trail and are useful natural cleaners.
Make sure to wipe down the kitchen countertops every day, and never leave dishes out. Sweep or vacuum your kitchen floor, particularly in those hard-to-see areas like underneath the cabinets. Clean grease and crumbs from your stove and stove top regularly. Take out the bins on time, and keep trash closed.
3. Putting Off Home Maintenance
Make sure to seal up entry points, including window sills, baseboards, and door frames. A handyman can help you with silicone or caulk sealant. You should look at plumbing issues you may have. As long as you have a leaky drain or other plumbing issues, you will likely have an ant problem.
4. Not Securing Foods
Unorganised cabinets are easy bait. Put those fancy organising systems you’ve seen online to use. Your panty is likely long overdue for a clean-out. Get rid of incorrectly sealed foods, expired foods, and anything else that will attract ants into your home.
Try these methods in your home to get rid of ants. If you have tried the techniques and ants still come back to your home, you probably have an infestation. If you have an infestation, then you will need to call an expert. They can identify the ant species and will know the best method to get rid of them for good. Lastly, if your home needs a deep clean, head over to SweepSouth and book the best cleaning service you can possibly receive.