While you can use insecticides and pesticides to rid your home of ants, you can also control them with chemical-free products. Before using any product to get rid of ants, keep in mind that there are three things you must do to deter ants from entering your home in the first place:
- Eliminate their source of food. The only reason ants are in your house is because you are providing them food and water. An ant colony has food scouts and they send the scouts in search of food. Given enough time, and if ants find a point of entry into your house, the scouts will find food, take it back to the colony, leaving a pheromone trail the entire way, signaling other ants to follow the trail to the food in your house. To guard against ants finding food in your house, make sure that you use sealed containers and plastic bags to store food. Keep your kitchen clean and free of crumbs. Sweep and mop your kitchen floor, including behind appliances. Keep your toaster clean and free of crumbs. Clean drawers, cabinets, and shelves often. Wipe down your countertops and tables with a solution of vinegar and water, since ants hate vinegar. If you find ants in your pet's food dish, make a barrier around the food dish by setting it inside of a pie plate of soapy water. The ants will not cross the soapy water to get to the pet food.
- Disrupt the pheromone trail. Ants use pheromones to lay a trail to the food, and back to the colony. When you see ants trailing to your home and inside your house, spray them with vinegar, dispose of them, and immediately wipe the entire area with vinegar or lemon juice to kill the scent. You will need to repeat the process for at least a week before the scent trail is completely eliminated.
- Make it impossible for ants to enter your house. Use barriers to seal their ingress and egress by caulking around pipes and wires. Use spices that ants hate, such as chili powder, lemon juice, vinegar, and cinnamon, and sprinkle them liberally around windowsills and doorways, especially on thresholds.
Since ants find it nearly impossible to cross sticky substances, use petroleum jelly as a barrier. Buy several large containers of Vaseline and, using a Q-Tip or your finger, smear the jelly around the cracks of each window of your house. Make certain that you use the jelly on the inside as well as the outside of each window. Spread the jelly all around door jambs, on thresholds, in foundation cracks, and anywhere you've seen ants trailing into or out of your house.
Comments for this tip:
Noelle 18 Jun 2012, 21:06
I use Crisco - works the same as Petroleum Jelly by blocking their trail.
Heather 18 Jun 2012, 14:37
I was just at the Happy Valley Farmer's market this weekend and bought an organic product called ANT OUT. It is OMRI certified and food grade quality that works incredible!! safe for on my counter tops and outside. the local company at the market was called NW ORGANIC SUPPLY.
Thomas 17 Jun 2012, 23:57
Household salt works like a charm. Sprinkle it around your house (or other affected area) and ants will stay away.
It can also kill weeds, but does not harm the environment. Doesn't cost much either. ;)
John Hoke 17 Jun 2012, 19:42
Hi. years ago my wife and I discovered the ultimate anti-ant solution. Buy a couple of ozes of Cloves, scatter them in all of your drawers, windows sills, corners and shelves and they will not come back. IT WORKS like a charm on our Northern California Ants, how do they work for ants in other places?
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