20 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Ants
Don’t know how to kill ants effectively? So here are 20 easy ways you can do to kill ants. Try them now to get rid of ants for good.
Ants are a nuisance that can invade the house overnight. When your home is being overrun, you need to learn how to kill ants quickly.
There are many remedies available from natural to pesticides, but they don’t all work. Read our comprehensive guide to learn how to kill ants in your house.
When you face any sort of problem, knowledge is power when you need to overcome it. Let’s take a closer look at what the ant is so you can properly defeat it.
What are Ants?
There are currently more than 10,000 species of ants worldwide, but only about 25 of them infest homes. Ants are known to eat any food, but particularly like sweets.
They can live anywhere from weeks to years depending on the species. Ants are related to wasps and bees and contain three body regions: the abdomen, thorax and head. They also have antennae.
Ants tend to be social and live in large colonies. These colonies can consist of millions of ants at once.
Many times these nests will be found underground, in trees or in ground-level mounds. Inside of a colony, you’ll have a queen, female workers and males.
The queen is in charge of laying eggs. Sometimes there is one and other times, colonies have multiple queens.
Workers are the females that most people come in contact with. They don’t reproduce but are in charge of finding food and caring for the offspring.
The male ants only have one purpose and that is to mate with the queen and die.
How to Kill Ants Naturally
For many people, it is important not to use pesticides in the home. Learning how to kill ants naturally, helps to keep your household safe from dangerous chemicals.
Here are a few tactics that have been tested and work.
1. Bay Leaves
Start by placing some bay leaves underneath the countertops. This is especially important where food is prepared.
It is also wise to use near entrances of the home. Many cooks find this to be a favorite remedy.
Ants are naturally deterred from coming near the smell of vinegar. That’s why it makes a great household cleaner.
You’ll want to make sure that you don’t use apple cider vinegar as that has a tendency to attract more ants.
- Mix white vinegar and water in equal parts
- Pour your solution into a spray bottle
- Spray the mixture on ants directly to kill them
- Spray more of the mixture on ant trails and entry points of the house
- Clean and disinfect the kitchen with solution
The same sidewalk chalk that your children use can keep the ants away! Simply draw a line in the entrance to deter them.
4. Coffee Grinds
Place coffee grinds near the entrance of your home to keep the ants away. The smell of coffee works to deter them while the acid can actually burn them.
5. Borax & Sugar
If you’ve ever wondered how to kill ants with Borax, I have a recipe for you:
- Mix ½ cup of sugar and 1 ½ tablespoons of Borax with 1 ½ cup of warm water
- Take cotton balls and dip them into the mixture. Place these on jar lids where ants tend to travel
- If you would rather use a powder, mix 3 parts sugar and 1 part borax. This can be placed wherever ants travel.
Read more: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
6. Boric Acid
Using Boric Acid is a simple way to kill ants. Try this recipe mixed with honey as a bait.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoons boric acid and form into a paste.
- Place this paste on cardboard and place where ants frequent.
- Replace your trap every few days until ants disappear.
Keep in mind that Boric Acid is toxic. Keep it away from your children and pets.
7. Essential Oils
Essential oils can be a valuable resource when attempting to do your own pest control. There are several used to rid the home of ants, including:
- Peppermint oil
- Tea Tree oil
- Lemon oil
- Clove oil
To make a spray, mix ½ teaspoon of your chosen oil with 8-ounces of water. Shake well before use.
8. Diatomaceous Earth
Purchase the food grade quality for a safe version to use around pets and children. Then, follow these instructions:
- Sprinkle the entire perimeter of the home with powder. Reapply when it rains.
- Sprinkle around the windows, kitchen cabinets or anywhere else you’ve seen ants.
- Apply powder around the pet food bowls.
Read more: 15 Simple Ways to Kill Mosquitoes
How to Kill Ants in the House
Sometimes you just need a fast solution to how to kill ants in the house. These are the times when you require the use of commercial products.
There are many available to you and most work quickly.
Ant baits will lure ants out of their deep hiding places and help bring them to the end. Liquid baits tend to be effective for indoors as well as how to kill ants outside.
First, the ants will come and consume the poisonous bait. Then, their digestive system works to carry it back to the nest.
In the nest, all the other ants, including the queen, will share the bait. Once they’ve eaten, they will surely die.
Ant baits come packaged inside plastic so there is little to no mess required. In addition, they are normally safe to use around children and pets.
Read more: How to Get Rid of Flying Ants
Ant sprays are common in stores nationwide and they are normally in aerosol cans. You can use these to spray ants that are visible.
The downside to using a spray is that it doesn’t have any impact on the nest. However, when you are hosting a dinner party, you need to know how to kill ants in the kitchen fast; that’s when you use a spray.
These sprays can produce fumes due to the chemicals they contain. Be careful when using around pets and children.
3. Granular Baits
These ant baits will target the nest and protect the home all at once. They are slow acting and naturally occurring as they are made from biodegradable fungus.
Just like the regular baits, the ants carry the poison back to the nest where everyone will enjoy it. Many granular baits are designed for a specific kind of ant, so you’ll want to be sure that you are using the proper variety.
This is especially true if you need to know how to kill fire ants or how to kill red ants.
4. Call the Professionals
When all else fails, you need to call the local, professional pest control company. They will have formulations and ideas that you might not be able to implement.
How to Kill Ants by Prevention
Prevention is the best way to handle any sort of pest control. Getting rid of ants and learning how to kill ants in the kitchen starts with the right steps.
Here are some tips that will keep you pest free:
1. Clean the Countertop
Use bleach to wipe your countertops down every night. Ants are attracted to dirty counter-tops and will seek out the tiniest crumbs to eat.
Bleach helps to sanitize as well as breaks down any pheromones that ants are using to follow one another.
Read more: 20 Simple Ways to Kill Roaches Effectively
2. Clean and Dry the Kitchen Sink
Just as important as the counter-tops, be sure to keep the sink clean. Ants love a dirty sink especially when there are water and leftover food traces.
If you must leave your dishes sit overnight, rinse them thoroughly. After you complete the dishes, wipe out the entire sink to ensure there is no moisture or debris left behind.
Then, pour bleach down the drain as a precautionary measure. This keeps any rotting food from smelling and attracting more bugs.
3. Clean the Kitchen Floor
Mop and sweep the kitchen floor every night before bed. This is most important during the warm, summer months.
You can use bleach during this process as well. It will help you to ensure there are no food or pheromone trails left behind.
If you have carpeted floors, be sure they get vacuumed on a regular basis.
4. Clean the Garbage Can
Take out your trash on a timely basis. When you remove the bag, inspect it for any punctures or holes that could cause spills inside the can.
It is wise to invest in garbage bags that don’t rip easily. There are even some brands that have Arm & Hammer baking soda. This helps to keep the bags smelling fresh even when they are full.
When you take the trash bag out, be sure to take the time and clean the can. Using bleach is a great way to sanitize and remove any unwanted odors.
5. Maintenance Around the House
There are some simple maintenance tasks you can perform around the house to ensure the ants stay away. Here are a few ideas:
- Seal up any cracks that are found around the doors or windows
- Replace your damaged or old roof
- Seal up the foundation
- Replace decaying wood frames or shingles
- Spray pesticides around your foundation
- Seal any cracks around your pipes
6. Maintaining Clean Areas around Food
Food is what the ants are after, so you must be diligent about keeping the house free of food products.
Keep all of your opened boxed or bagged goods in sealed containers or bags. This includes fruit snacks, cookies, cereals and chips.
Store your molasses, honey and syrups in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use them, simply warm them up.
Do not leave any sticky snacks to sit on the counter. Store your flours and sugar products in the airtight storage containers.
All baked goods and bread should also be stored in a bread container or inside the refrigerator. You also need to store any open juice, sodas or teas inside the fridge as well.
It is imperative that there are no sugary foods put in the sink. They are hard to clean up and leave a residue that will attract ants.
How to Kill Ants Outside
When you are dealing with ants outside the home, there are some practical tips you can use as well. Start by using the natural remedies and pesticide options that were listed above.
Then, try these tactics:
1. Destroy the Nest
If you can find the nest, there are some great ways to kill the ants inside and cause them to leave your home for good.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the entire anthill.
- Flood the ant nest with running water. You can do this easily if you have a garden hose outside.
- Dump bleach into the hill.
- Pour scolding hot boiling water into the nest.
- Drown the nest in hot coffee.
2. Clean Out the Car
Many people who suffer from ant infestations outside will notice many little creatures inside their vehicle as well. Here are some tips for that as well.
Be aware of your parking space.
Oftentimes, we have a tendency to park right where there might be an ant hill. If this is the case, you can simply move your parking spot and treat the nest with the tips above.
Baits can also be used inside your car. They are self-contained and discreet so no one will see them.
Clean out the car well. Follow these steps:
- Vacuum the car while paying attention to any crevices and cracks. Make sure you remove all floor mats and seat covers.
- Wipe down the entire car with a high-quality spray.
- Clean up any spills that happen on the dash or in the console.
- Clean the windows, inside or out to ensure that there are no sugary substances from your hands.
- Remove any food from the car
There is no more need to wonder how to kill ants in and out of your home. We’ve laid out all the best solutions for you so you can take hold of your household.
Pick the options that you think will work the best in your surroundings and be sure to take your financial budget into consideration. You are just one person, battling an army of ants, but with the right tools and tricks, you’ll overcome them.
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