The best way to stop ants from becoming out of control and invading your home is to find ways to keep them outside. You've eliminated their food and water source by keeping your kitchen spotless, but you still see ants in your cupboards now and then. And you've used scents in your home that ants hate, such as sage, pepper, cinnamon, and peppermint, but ants still scurry across your kitchen counter. What else can you do to make sure that the ants stay outside? You can make it impossible for them to come inside. Follow these tips for ways to stop ants from getting into your house:
- If you find where they are getting into your house, caulk the point of entry. While you're at it, caulk all cracks that you see, including those at the foundation, close to the ground.
- Use diatomaceous earth, found at your local hardware or home improvement store, around the foundation of your house. Also known as diatomite, diatomaceous earth is a naturally-occurring stone that breaks into a fine powder. The powder causes ants to dehydrate when they come in contact with it, and then they die.
- Use petroleum jelly inside of cracks, cervices, and holes. The ants cannot penetrate the jelly.
- Measure the perimeter of your home and use that length of yarn, soaked in lemon juice, cinnamon oil, or peppermint oil, to tuck at the base of your home. Once you've tucked the yarn solidly to your foundation, reapply the juice or oil. Ants usually will not cross anything soaked with those foodstuffs.
- Sprinkle coffee grounds around the entire perimeter of your house. Ants hate the scent of coffee.
- Other scents that ants hate are sage, catnip, mint, cucumber peel, white pepper, and bay leaves. Use any or all of those ingredients to place around your home, on window ledges, around doorways, and on porches and patios to keep ants away from your house.
- If you find where the ants are entering your house, place a pie pan full of powdered laundry detergent next to the entrance. The ants will carry the soap back to the colony, moisture may expand the soap, and then cause damage to or destroy the nest entirely.
The main point to remember is that ants will not annoy you inside your home if you keep them from entering it. Try several options and find what works best for your situation, since various scents work on different ants. Some home owners have found luck using tar as a deterrent to ants entering their home, but tar can be toxic and, while it traps ants, it can cause a mess for wandering pets and children.