There are many natural ways, instead of using dangerous products, to get rid of ants, some work better than others, but in the battle against ants all weapons are valuable. The more weapons you have in your arsenal, the less likely the ants will be coming back.
Don’t settle for the over the counter products that can harm your children and pets. Here is a list of natural remedies to get rid of your ant problem:
Clean everything in sight
The first couple ants you will see are scouts. They are there to recon your area and report back to the ant base for further invasion to gain food.
The first, and perhaps most important, weapon you have in your natural arsenal against ants is a clean house. Ants can find food residues even when we cannot see or smell them so we must not only clean but sanitize common food areas with something such as a vinegar and water mixture to eliminate the food residues as well as the ants scent trails which guide them back to tasty areas. Clean the bathrooms with the mixture as well, ants like to get into hair products and cosmetics sometimes depending on the ingredients.
Clean with soapy water
Soapy water will both kill the ants it hits and it will destroy their chemical trail, preventing more ants from following in their tracks. This cheap and easy method consists simply of putting one teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle and filling it with water. When you see ants, spritz them and that will be it!
- Additions to the water for added potency include mint oil or citrus peels or citrus rind oil.
- Adding soap to water barriers can make them even more effective than simply using the water.
Putting up a defensive barrier against ants
here are a number of barrier methods that you can put into place to really terrify the ants and keep them at bay. Many of the products that form these natural barriers are probably already in your kitchen; they just need to be deployed properly. A barrier doesn’t need to be wider than a quarter of an inch (6.35mm) but it must be an unbroken line. Be clear that barriers won’t work on ants already in the kitchen (indeed, you’ll be trapping them inside) but they will prevent any more ants from coming in. Some of the items with which to make barriers include:
- Powdered charcoal
- Citrus oil
- Black or cayenne pepper (hotter is best); or try red chili pepper
- Chalk lines
- Vaseline (great for doors and windows)
- Baby powder
- Powdered cleanser
- Desiccating dusts such as diatomaceous earth or silica aerogel.
Catnip, pennyroyal, peppermint, sage, and spearmint. Tansy which is often recommended as an ant repellant may only work on sugar type ants. These are the ones that you see on peonies and marching into the kitchen.
Warning: You do not want to plant Tansy anywhere that livestock can feed on it as it is toxic to many animals. Do not let it go to seed either as it may germinate in livestock fields.
This method is especially great around pets or children, as corn meal by itself is not poisonous. The ants will carry it home and try to eat it, but they can’t digest it properly. Be sure to put corn meal wherever you see that the ants like to frequent.
Cream of Wheat
Put out cream of wheat (farina). Don’t cook it – use it raw. The ants eat it and it expands in their stomachs, killing them. Put the food somewhere you know there will be ants and just leave it.
Ants are extremely susceptible to caffeine. Leave coffee grounds (used works) where the ants are and they will carry it home and eat it. This method takes a few weeks to see.