This guide features some of the best alternate and natural ways to get rid of ants from your home or garden. These homemade remedies are relatively cheap, non-toxic and can be quite effective. In fact, some of the ingredients are already available on your kitchen shelves.
Ants are highly social creatures. Some species are wild while others house-invading. The house-invading ones include pavement, pharaoh, carpenter and acrobat ants. These ants are capable of getting into your food, damage property/plants as well as harm you.
>> Related article: Best Ant Repellent
There are many ways to get rid of these stubborn creatures. Some common ant killers include; ant sprays, baits and traps that can be purchased over the counter. While these ant killer products are effective, they often contain chemicals that are harmful to the human body, pets and the environment.
>> Natural Ant Killers
Vinegar can be used as both a repellent and killer.
Mix a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. Pour it into a spray bottle and shake thoroughly. Spray it on the ants to kill them. After an hour or so, sweep the dead ants into the dustbin. Repeat once a day until the ants are completely gone.
You can also wipe all the floors, countertops and windowsills with the solution. The strong scent of vinegar usually masks ant’s scent trails which makes it difficult for them to move in one direction.
To deter them from entering your home, spray the solution around the doorways, windowsills and other potential openings.
Dish Soap and Water
Mix two parts water and one part dish soap in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly. Spray the solution directly on the ants. In a short while they will suffocate and die. To treat the ant colony, track its nest using their trail and pour huge amount of the mixed solution into it.
>> Also read: 9 Best Ant Killer
Boric acid is a natural and effective natural ant killer. It comes in form of blue and white powder.
Sprinkle the powder on the insects. The acid poisons their stomachs and affects their metabolism thus killing them. The powder is also abrasive (has a grinding effect) that it affects their exoskeletons.
Though non-toxic, the acid should not be consumed by humans or pets.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is comprised of fossilized diatoms that have been crushed into powder form.
Using an applicator, sprinkle the powder around the house wall perimeters, windowsills, doorsteps, baseboards or any high ant-traffic areas. When ants come into contact with the powder, it will scrape against their exoskeletons, dehydrating their bodies and eventually killing them.
>> Also read: 6 Best Ant Bait & Gel
Borax is a laundry product but also an ant killer.
Boil 2 cups of water and pour into a jar, add 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of borax into the water and stir until completely dissolved. Soak some cotton balls in the mixture and place them at the ant infested areas. Within 24 hours the ants will be no more.
A good alternative to Borax would be baking soda.
Simply mix 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to 1 tablespoon of baking soda and place mixture in the ant infested areas.
>> Also read: Natural Ant Killers & Repellents
>> Natural Ant Repellents
Here are some home remedies that will not necessarily kill the ants but repel and deters them from your home.
Ants detest cayenne pepper. Mix some amount with water in a spraying bottle then spray it at the ants and all their entry points into your house.
>> Related read: TERRO Ant Killer Reviews
Peppermint essential oil
The scent of Peppermint essential oil usually interferes with the ants’ pheromone trail scent.
To use, put a few drops of peppermint oil on a fabric or cotton ball and wipe on areas that will likely enter as well as the cabinet and baseboards. Repeat this daily as needed.
Cinnamon is another excellent ant repellent.
Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon in 1 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Soak a fabric of cotton ball in the mixture then wipe on all the ants’ entry points. Do the same daily until they are all gone.
>> Also read: How Long Do Ants Live? Ant Lifespan & Life-cycle
The Lemon acid interferes with the ants’ scent trails thus destabilising them.
Cut some lemons into two each and with each piece rub them on your doorsteps, windowsills and every other entry points. You can also put a few drops on cotton balls and place them on shelves or cabinets.
Lemon peels can also be placed outside the house and along entry points of the ants.
Chalk or baby powder
It is believed that ants hate calcium carbonate in the chalk; it also destroys their scent trails.
Draw several lines of chalk in front of the place where their entry point is. The line will act as a barrier thus keeping them off. Keep refreshing the lines daily until you see the ants no more.
For the powder, just sprinkle a small amount to form a barrier of defence.
Ants get irritated by the scent of coffee grounds.
Simply sprinkle used coffee outside your house and around potential entry points to keep them away. Do place a piece of paper underneath for ease of cleaning after use.
Cucumber or Citrus peels
Cucumber contains a chemical compound called trans-2-nonenal that repels insects. Simply clean your house with citrus or cucumber-scented cleaning products.
For great results, simply clean your house with such soap(s) daily.
>> Also read: What Do Ants Eat? Diet of Ants
Ants can be really annoying once they’ve decided to intrude your house. It’s not always worth it to ‘toxify’ the home with chemical products in the name getting rid of them. Homemade remedies are a good option to keep this annoying tiny pest away.
Deterring ants is just one part of the equation, ensuring that food sources are eliminated is essential in keep ants away in the long run. For more serious ant problems at home, more heavy duty ant killer products like the ant bait and ant spray will still be the most ideal options.
Have you tried any natural ant killer or repellent? Or do you know of anything that natural keeps ants out? Feel free to leave a comment to share with the community.