A “remedy” you say? Now that doesn’t make sense! I want to get RID of them!
Rest assured these remedies will help deter ants from entering your home naturally without the harsh chemicals.
Ants are actually a very important part of our environment but can sometimes become a nuisance when they invade our kitchens looking for food, water, or shelter. No one wants a whole colony of ants hanging out in their homes, but I assure you, harsh chemicals are not the answer.
Pest control products contain some of the most toxic chemicals you can let in your house. There’s a reason they’re labeled with huge warnings; this stuff can greatly harm/kill you not just the pests you’re trying to eradicate.
When dealing with small invaders it’s important to consider gentler options for not only our environment but for ourselves. If you have pets or small children in the house this is even more important. Just because a remedy is natural does not mean it is less effective. In fact, a lot of remedies for ant control are totally harmless and those are the ones I want to share with you today.
The Best Home Remedy for Ants
For a quick remedy, bust out the vinegar! Plain white vinegar is an awesome weapon to have in your arsenal when dealing with ants.
There are a number of different ways to use it:
1. Soak a cotton ball and run it along doorways and windowsills
This will deter the ants from wanting to cross the vinegar. Ants rely on smell above all other senses. When a forager goes out in search of food it leaves a pheromone trail behind to help lead other ants to its find. Vinegar makes it impossible for them to follow the scout’s scent trail. They literally become lost so it works like a charm.
2. Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water in a squirt bottle and spray around where the ants are entering
This home remedy for ants is super easy to make ahead of time and keep with your other cleaning supplies. Just throw a batch together (it will last indefinitely) and spray liberally on surfaces where the ants are collecting food, taking shelter, or entering your house.
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar try adding essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, or cinnamon to cover up the smell. Usually 30 drops to every ½ cup of solution will do the trick. Be sure to stick to peppermint if you’re spraying around food or where food is prepared.
3. Amp up your vinegar by using a cinnamon stick or fresh citrus peels
This remedy is even better than using just plain vinegar! All you have to do is snap a cinnamon stick in half and pour white vinegar over it. I usually add a couple sticks and fill up a quart mason jar half way with white vinegar. Alternatively you could peel an orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit and toss the peels in a jar as well. Cap it tight and shake it up once a day for a few days. After that store it in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks to macerate (learn how to make herbal tinctures here). Strain the cinnamon sticks/peels out of the vinegar and use it either straight on a cotton ball or make up a batch of vinegar spray.
Repeat the above methods every day for a few days to ensure the ants have given up.
A Couple More Home Remedies for Ants
FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth
Let me say that again…FOOD GRADE. You DO NOT want to use the kind used for filtering pools. That stuff isn’t safe to breathe in. Food grade DE is perfectly safe.
How to Use Food Grade DE:
• Begin by cleaning up whatever is attracting the ants like changing trash bags, wiping counter tops, sweeping up crumbs, etc. It’s always wise to get rid of the stuff that’s luring the ants into your home.
• Next sprinkle a thin layer of FG DE onto carpets, around doorways and windowsills, around garbage cans, the pantry, the perimeter of your house, etc. Keep in mind that the surfaces you sprinkle FG DE on has to be dry otherwise the DE will become useless.
• Repeat in a few days or as needed.
DE is an incredibly potent home remedy for ants and pretty much every other pest that might try to infiltrate your home.
Honey or Sugar Water Trap
When I was a child I used to use large containers to build my own little ant farms. I would find just the right twigs and tiny plants to make a mini world for the ants to live in. In the morning, I would go out to an ant nest and use a spoon to collect them and add them to the new beautiful home I built. I was even able to catch new queen ants before they flew off to begin colonies of their own. The tops of the containers were then covered with plastic wrap (poked with holes of course) so that I could watch them tunnel and collect food. To feed them, I used to drip sugar water into a tiny bottle cap that they would quickly fill with dirt so that they could drink it. Sugar water was their favorite thing. It was all very fascinating!
So here’s a tip: ants LOVE sugar water. Like a lot.
This remedy is for outdoors only because it’s so enticing ants will flock to it so don’t put this in your house.
The key to this home remedy for ants is to keep them outside far away from your home. When you find ants in your house, do your best to track down the nest.
Here’s what to do once you find the ant nest:
1. Leave a small dish outside with a dollop of honey in it
2. Leave a small dish outside with sugar water in it (mixed at a ratio of 1:1)
It’s best to leave these traps near the nest itself or in the opposite direction of your house. The only downside is you will need to “feed” the ants every so often to keep them away. If this isn’t doable, go with one of the above options for best results.
Tips to Keep Ants from Moving in
Ants are always looking for food or new places to build their colony. The best way to keep them out of your house is to clean up after yourself and keep food items sealed. There is nothing more alluring than crumbs or dirty dishes left on the counter or garbage that needs to go out. Like I said before, ants rely on smell more than anything else.
Keeping your kitchen and dining area clean and food items tightly sealed will really help to keep them away.
I hope you found these simple remedies useful! What have you used to keep ants away naturally?
Learn about other home remedies for ants below:
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