There are several types of insects that can wreak havoc to your home but nothing is more annoying than ants. Ants for the most part won’t harm you, but seeing them forming lines in your walls and always finding a way to get to your food is just too much of a burden for you not to put an end to it. Although the best method to control or get rid of them is to call a professional pest exterminator, you should know that you can actually apply natural methods to effectively handle them without having to spend money on an expert.
We found this helpful article, “5 Natural & Effective Ways to Instantly Kill Ants,” from OrganicLesson.com. The reason why we quoted this post is because the five ways mentioned are so easy to do on your own and you don’t even have to spend more than $50.
1. Cayenne pepper for ant defense
Ants hate cayenne pepper. Black pepper will work just as well too. There are a few ways you can use cayenne pepper to get rid of ants. First, if you are able to locate the source of ant infestation problem, sprinkle some pepper around that area and if possible, create a wall that will stop the ants from accessing your household. An alternative solution is to mix some pepper with water and spray the resulting solution at the ants. The pepper won’t kill the ants but it sure will deter them from returning.
2. Use lemon water to drive ants away
Lemon water is another effective home remedy used to get rid of ants. Mix some lemon juice with water and spray the mixture at the area affected by the ant invasion. You may have to spray the area a few times a day to ensure the effectiveness of this particular natural method.
3. Use vinegar to block ant’s path
Have some unused vinegar left in the kitchen? Vinegar tends to work well for all sorts of pest problems. Fortunately, it is really effective for getting rid of ants. Like what you would do with the lemon juice, mix some vinegar with water and spray the resulting mixture around the ant’s trail. The strong scent of the vinegar will repel the ants. Keep in mind, however, that you would also smell the vinegar so only use this particular method if you aren’t troubled by the smell.
4. Dish soap is harmful for ants
Dish soaps and dish detergents are harmful to ants because a lot of the chemicals they contain can break down protective layers of the ant’s exoskeleton. This could eventually cause dehydration for the ants. With this method, you will mix some dish soap with water and spray the resulting solution at the entry points of the ant path.
5. Kill ants with food-grade Diatomaceous Earth
This is something you probably haven’t heard of. Diatomaceous Earth is a white powder that isn’t dangerous to pets and small children. Diatomaceous earth consists of the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton (crazy what people can come up with these days). The powder works by sticking to the exoskeleton of the ants and causing them to dry out. The diatomaceous earth can also cut up the exoskeleton of the ants. Although this powder sounds extremely scientific, it is readily available and can be easily purchased online.
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While those lessons above are focused on eliminating ants, still the most effective way to get rid of them is to prevent them from entering your premises. You need to keep in mind that they come to your home for a particular reason, probably because they saw something they like or they realized there’s a part of your home that they can use to build a colony. Therefore, make it a point to clean and make sure your property isn’t an ideal dwelling for ants.
Aside from those five tips, here’s another set, this time courtesy of WikiHow.com, in the article, “How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally.” This time, let’s focus more on the use of barriers and deterrents.
Put up defensive barriers. There 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
- A line of chalk
- Citrus oil
- Black or cayenne pepper (hotter is best); or try red chili pepper
- Vaseline (great for doors and windows)
- Baby powder
- Powdered cleanser
- White vinegar and water
- Desiccating dusts such as diatomaceous earth or silica aerogel.
Sprinkle around deterring odors. Ants dislike various scents such as peppermint and camphor and garlic. These can be used fresh or in oil form to disturb the ambiance of any area that ants have been making their way to. The great thing about these fragrant deterrents is that your own preferences for scent can be used to improve the household odors in general, all the while making your kitchen, pantry and other areas very ant-unfriendly. Here are some ideas:
- Crushed mint leaves; and grow mint near the entrance areas. Dried peppermint is also effective.
- Garlic Clove (rub garlic clove over ant trail and ant entrance)
- Lavender oil; and grow lavender near the entrance areas.
- Oil of clove or crush cloves and sprinkle as a barrier.
- Use laurel/bay leaves to keep the ants away from a specific food. Ants are especially attracted to sugar, paprika and flour. Put laurel/bay leaves in your sugar can, flour canister and paprika jar. You will be amazed!
Sprinkle Splenda where you see ants. This is not a danger to the kids, so it’s great for use where children congregate, such as at school.
Use coffee grounds. Empty coffee grounds on ant hills and along your house foundations. This safe material confuses the worker ants because they lose their scent trails. Thus the hatched young in the ant colonies have no food and starve. You need to be persistent and patient; it may take all summer at first but after a time, you won’t get ants in the house and the lawn will be mostly clear of anthills. It is important to reapply grounds every year but that is what makes this safe, as there are no residue effects. Clean kitchens are also a must.
Use dish soap with baking soda. Combine a small amount of Dawn dish soap and baking soda with water. Spread a thin line along area where ants are coming in. This is a great solution for dealing with ants on windowsills.
Aside from deterrents and barriers, you also can get rid of them in more ways than you previously though. This can include using chemicals to kill them or using baits instead. But the one thing you should remind yourself of is that unlike rodents, spiders, and even mice, ants are unique because they’re very persistent. Therefore, if you want to completely get rid of them for good, you have to follow the tips mentioned above and you will have to do it consistently and for a good amount of time. Simply put, you cannot eliminate them overnight.