Did you just spot an army of ants on your countertop marching toward your jar of favorite cookies?
If the sight seems annoying, the thought of losing your favorite sweet makes it all the more miserable.
Ants are tiny creatures usually discovered in and around your kitchen, house entrance and garden areas during warm weather or rainy seasons. Spotted in a number of different varieties, they live in colonies ranging from hundreds to millions in size, says the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project.
Very small in size, they may easily creep into your food, damage property or cause you stinging bites. And dealing with them is frustrating! While you have a number of commercial products available in the market, they may cause harm to the environment and, more specifically, to your home.
So, if you have had it with sharing your chocolates, sweets, cookies and sometimes even your living quarters with these pesky creatures, you might want natural ways to get rid of them!
While adhesive tape, chalk and flour spread are some proven conventional methods, here are a few other natural, easy and quick ways to get rid of ants naturally at your place.
- Method 1: Using Borax and Powdered Sugar
- Method 2: Using Vinegar
- Method 3: Using Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar
- Method 4: Using Cinnamon Powder
- Method 5: Using an Essential Oil
- Method 6: Using Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
- Additional Tips
Method 1: Using Borax and Powdered Sugar
Things you’ll need:
- Borax – 3 tablespoons
- Powdered sugar – ½ cup
- Warm water – 1 cup
- Cotton balls
Step 1. Pour water into a bowl
Pour 1 cup of warm water into a bowl.
Step 2. Add borax and powdered sugar
- Mix in ½ cup of powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of borax to form a mixture.
Borax is a good choice for controlling ants. It dehydrates their exoskeleton, thus damaging their digestive system and eventually leading to their death.
Sugar has a sweet smell that attracts the ants to come closer.
Step 3. Soak cotton balls in it and place them near the ants
- Soak some cotton balls in this solution.
- Place the soaked balls in different areas where you’ve seen a trail of ants.
The sweet smell of the sugar attracts the ants. They are ultimately killed by ingesting the borax, which turns toxic for their bodies.
Method 2: Using Vinegar
Things you’ll need:
- White vinegar – 1 cup
- Water – 1 cup
- Spray bottle
Pour vinegar and water into a spray bottle
- Pour equal portions of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle.
Vinegar has a very strong smell that is disliked by ants. Plus, it masks their scent trail, disrupting their communication and shooing them away.
- Shake well and spray it around the areas that are usually inhabited by ants.
- Repeat every few days until ants are completely gone.
Method 3: Using Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar
For those with kids and pets at home, this is one of the safest methods as neither baking soda nor sugar causes any harm unlike borax or vinegar.
Things you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- Powdered sugar
Mix the ingredients and sprinkle the bait
- Mix equal portions of baking soda and powdered sugar together in a bowl.
- Sprinkle the bait wherever you spot a trail of ants.
Baking soda affects the ants’ digestive system by building up too much gas. The excess acidity causes the ants to die. Sugar acts as a sweetener to lure the ants to the mixture.
Method 4: Using Cinnamon Powder
The International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications says that cinnamon essential oil yields positive results in both repellency and insecticidal activity. Owing to its smell, it acts as an effective DIY repellent to discourage the ants from coming into your house.
- Simply sprinkle some cinnamon powder around the areas infested by ants.
- Alternatively, you can use a cotton ball soaked in a cinnamon solution (½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil in 1 cup of water) and wipe down the areas dwelled by ants. Repeat once every day until the ants disappear.
Method 5: Using an Essential Oil
Ants hate strong smells and essential oils have a very strong scent that helps disrupt the trail and communication of ants, thus clearing the area of their infestation.
Peppermint, lemongrass, tea tree and lavender essential oils work the best in this case. These essential oils contain certain compounds toxic to the ants and obstructs their trail of communication, thus helping you get rid of them.
- Simply dab a small amount of the essential oil of your choice on a cotton ball and wipe it on baseboards and other entrance points used by the ants.
- Alternatively, you may dilute a few drops of essential oil in water and use it as a spray.
Method 6: Using Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a white powder composed of fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton that sticks to the exoskeleton of ants, causing them to dehydrate and ultimately die. DE also has microscopic razor-sharp edges that cuts through their exoskeletons, thus killing them.
- Gently sprinkle a thin layer of DE on windowsills, under cabinets, beneath the fridge, and in and round garbage cans or any place where you may spot ants.
- Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
- Keep moisture away.
- Keep your kitchen sink clean.
- Take out the trash every day.
- Put food in airtight containers.
- Don’t leave sugary food out in open spaces.
- Always cover the food you leave out in the kitchen.
- Clear away liquid and food spillages immediately.
- After your pet has finished eating, clear away its food immediately.