Ants are very important and they have a job in the environment. However, they’re also considered as pests the moment they invade your home, scavenging for food or shelter, and sometimes, even both. This could be a headache for some, and in order to resolve that, they’ll rely on the use of harsh chemicals to eliminate these little buggers as quickly as possible.
There are many ways on how to get rid of ants, but most people believe that it involves the use of pesticides. Besides, nothing kills effectively than a blast of toxic poison. However, try to consider you and your family’s health as well. Being exposed to these toxic chemicals could have negative effects. With that, eco-friendly pesticide methods have been developed in order to resolve this issue. These methods would be beneficial for your children and pets. No need to worry about their health.
Getting rid of ants is considered to be a cumbersome process and it’s quite hard to find a source or reliable information that will teach you how to free yourself of these pests naturally. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the best methods and tips that will teach you how to get rid of ants for good. It’s a DIY guide that’s not even complicated to follow, but it is an affordable and effective solution.
1. Boric Acid or Borax
A lot of people think that Borax and Boric acid are the same. Well, they’re not. However, Borax contains Boric acid and they’re usually cheaper and you could easily buy them anywhere. Nonetheless, they’re different from one another, but you could use them both to eliminate ants. Borax is in powder form and is generally used as a cleaning agent. In some places, it’s also used in preservation. On the other hand, Boric acid is a white powder that’s used as a pesticide for roaches and could be as toxic as a regular table salt.
Both of them should never be ingested, for they could be harmful to one’s health. However, if it’ll be in contact with body fluids, such as nasal moisture, or the eyes, their toxicity level decreases, because they can be dissolved.
WARNING!!: Even though Boric acid could be a very potent repellent to keep the ants away, it could also be fatal to children. Therefore, it’s not really advisable to use it if you have kids around the house.
How it works: For insects, ingesting Boric acid would kill them. Though, it’s not a desiccant, which means it doesn’t cause dehydration, nor it could be absorbed in the insect’s protective surface oil or wax. Female insects would experience sterility in the event that they’ve ingested a sub lethal dose of it.
Ants live in colonies, where it’s mostly made up of worker ants and the queen. The queen ant rarely goes out. She relies on her worker ants to bring food for them.
On a side note, Boric acid is a slow-acting poison that you could use to get rid of ants. Mix them with food and the workers wouldn’t notice, but would keep on carrying it back to the colony, sharing it with other ants. With that, you’ll be able to kill them all easily. Boric acid is usually present in certain medications, which includes eye drops, but you could always buy them as is at pharmacies.
What you’ll need:
- A teaspoon of Boric acid
- 6 tablespoons of sugar or honey
- 2 cups of water
- A few cotton balls (jumbo size)
Combine these ingredients to make your homemade bait solution, then soak the cotton balls. Put 3-4 swabs of cotton ball inside an inverted jar lids or inside jar and place them where ants have been previously seen. Replenish the liquid every now and then until the ants are gone.
This method requires patience. The worker ants would carry low doses of Boric acid back to their nests and it might take some time before every ant is killed. As dramatic as this may sound, your ant bait would probably serve as their last meal and they wouldn’t even be aware that they are feeding poison to their friends either.
Another Smart Tips!!!
You could place a small dish with honey or maple syrup in areas where the ants usually hang out. Just put a small amount in the middle and sprinkle the Boric acid around it. This would force the ants to cross the poison just to get the honey. As they do, the honey would stick to them and when they walk back, the boric acid would also stick to their feet. Once they go back to their nest, they would be carrying the Boric acid with them.
2. Baking Soda and Sugar
By combining baking soda, active yeast, and sugar, you could make an alluring, yet potent solution to kill the ants. The sugar would overpower the taste and scent of baking soda, which would instantly attract and trick them to carry this poison back to their queen. The ants would eat the baking soda without knowing that it could kill them. Basically, baking soda would react with the formic acid in their stomachs which would cause gas. Unlike humans, ants can’t eliminate gas, which would make them literally explode.
What you’ll need:
- An empty water bottle
- 5 tablespoons of baking soda
- 5 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of water
1) You could easily eliminate these tiny buggers using this method. Cut the empty water bottle to about 2 inches tall. Then, take a small amount of sugar and combine it with an equal amount of baking soda.
2) Powdered sugar is important in this method, and as much as possible, opt for sugar with finer grains.
3) Mix the ingredients thoroughly and place a small amount against the walls or on areas where you usually see the ants.
This solution would attract the ants and they’ll eat it without even thinking that it could be harmful to them. Likewise, they’ll be collecting more of this to feed others in their colony. Due to the fact that baking soda and sugar are almost similar in appearance, the ants wouldn’t be able to separate these two items. Therefore, as they eat the sugar, there’s a high possibility that they’ll be ingesting the baking soda as well.
3. Essential Oils
You could use peppermint essential oil, tea tree oil, lemon or orange oil. Essential oils usually contain d-limonene that’s considered to be poisonous for ants. Furthermore, it could also mask their scent trails and would hinder them from going back to their food source.
When ants go out to gather food, they mark their paths by leaving pheromones on the trail. Then, other ants will sense this smell with their antennae and follow it. However, if you’re looking for ways on how to get rid of ants, you could utilize some botanical scents and they could interfere with these scent trails.
Just place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton swab and wipe the baseboards and other entry points where you usually see the ants. You could also leave a cotton ball that has been soaked in essential oil inside the cabinets and other areas. This should be repeated for a couple of days until the ants are completely gone.
Or you could make your own essential oil ant spray:
What you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup of purified water
- 1/4 cup of vodka (vodka would help suspend the oil in the water. However, if it’s not available, just shake your homemade repellent as often as you can)
- 15 drops of tea tree oil
- 15 drops of peppermint oil
- 7 drops of citrus oil or 1-3 drops of clove oil
Pour all of the ingredients into a small bottle and shake it well before using. Start with a little amount first to ensure that it wouldn’t leave any damage. After which, you could now spray them on areas where you frequently see the ants. Be careful, and avoid spraying near any foods and drinks. However, if you’re going to spray on food surfaces, omit the tea tree oil and add 15 drops of peppermint oil instead. You could spray this directly on ants, entry points and on areas where they usually go, such as your pantry. This should be done every few days until the ants disappear.
Vinegar is considered to be an effective method of getting rid of these pests. Ants smell with the help of their antennae and it allows them to determine the intensity of scents. For instance, a forager ant found food. He’ll mark a trail that will lead back to the colony, and other ants would follow after.
Every time the trail is traveled, the intensity of the smell becomes more notable to them. However, by spraying white vinegar on all of the entrances and paths could disrupt the scent, making it difficult for them to go to the food source.
Spraying white vinegar on the ant’s entry paths would leave a very strong scent that would also repel them. Also, make sure that you cover all the corners and other areas, which includes the counter tops, windows, and sink. Classic vinegar is commonly utilized for this purpose, but you could also opt for apple cider vinegar and it’ll deliver the same result.
What you’ll need:
– 1 part white vinegar
– 1 part water
Pour the white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and mix them well. Spray or wipe all of the entrances with this solution. Likewise, you could also add 30 drops of your essential oils, such as peppermint essential oil if desired.
Lemon is considered to be one of the most effective insect repellents. It works like vinegar and could be used with other repellents, such as essential oils. If you’re not aware, ants can’t tolerate citrus-based fruits, the smell of mint, bay leaves, and garlic cloves. So next time you spot an ant in or around your home, better pitch that can of bug spray and use lemon juice instead.
What you’ll need:
- Half lemon
- Purified water
- Empty spray bottle
Combine the lemon juice and purified water in your spray bottle. You could also add a few drops of essential oil, for every 1/4 cup, if you want. On the other hand, if you’re planning to use clove oil, better start with a few drops first because it might be too strong.
Spray your solution around baseboards and entry points where you usually see the ants and repeat this as much as it’s needed.
Ants don’t cross a chalk or a powder line. When they travel, they leave a pheromone trail that other ants follow. Therefore, when you draw a line using chalk on their trail, the pheromone path would be broken, and the ants would find another route.
If you find ants marching around your home, just draw a thick chalk line, or sprinkle a good amount of talcum powder across the door threshold, along the window sills, and around the foundation of your house. You could also douse ant hills with several shots of talcum powder and this would leave the ants disoriented.
What you’ll need:
- Sidewalk chalk
Just draw a thick line around the entrances, and repeat this step if needed. Likewise, this should be used with another method of elimination to ensure efficiency.
7. Other ways
One natural tip that really works is by collecting used coffee grounds and placing them on top of an ant nest in your yard. Apparently, the ants would consume these grounds and it’ll kill them.
b) Soap, water, and alcohol
Combine these three wonderful ingredients in a spray bottle and use them on the entry points where ants usually get in. This kind of solution is somewhat potent that it could kill the ants, but it’s safe for humans. Likewise, it’s a cheaper alternative as compared to those commercialized chemical pesticides that usually do more harm than good.
c) Cornmeal or CornMeal + Borax
Spreading cornmeal wouldn’t kill the ants instantly, but as they consume it, they’ll start to swell and eventually die. Sprinkle generous amounts of cornmeal around the ant hill or near entry points. After killing the ants, just vacuum or sweep up the remains.
You could combine corn meal and Borax together to come up with a lethal pesticide.
What you’ll need:
- A tablespoon of Borax
- 2 tablespoons of corn meal
The corn meal would attract the ants and the Borax mixed in it would kill them. They will take the bait back to their nest and it’ll slowly poison the whole colony. The effect would be noticeable after 4 days, and you’ll never see any ants again.
Ants can’t tolerate strong spices. Cinnamon and cloves are some of them. Take advantage of this and place them strategically around the entry points where the scent would easily be detected by ants.
Perhaps you’re wondering why ants love going to your house. Well, their main target, which is food, is pretty abundant there. Likewise, they’re also attracted by sticky and sweet substances. Therefore, better not allow your children to leave tea or juice glasses around the house. Wash them as soon as they’re done drinking.
As these ants enter your house, they’ll start scouring for food. So it’s important to follow these six golden rules to ensure that they wouldn’t have a reason to invade your home again.
- Wash the dishes immediately. Drink and food spillages attract ants.
- Whenever you leave the dining area or kitchen, cover the food.
- Make it a point that all your rubbish bins are tightly sealed and the ants wouldn’t have a chance to creep inside.
- Always clean the food debris and crumbs left on/under your kitchen appliances.
- After the pet, or children are done eating, clear away its food, and clean the dishes immediately.
- The compost should be covered and enclosed at all times.
Why Opt for Natural Remedies
In case that you’re one of those people who are eager to know how to eliminate these tiny buggers around the house, but doesn’t want to use any harmful chemicals, then you’ll have to rely on natural remedies instead.
Furthermore, even though chemical pesticides are quite effective, they’re not considered safe. They could be hazardous to one’s health in the long run. If you have kids, old folks, and pets living in your house, they’re very vulnerable to the negative effects of these chemicals. It could cause an allergic reaction and worse, it might even lead to hospitalization.
So, how to get rid of ants? It’s pretty simple. Instead of using these chemicals, you could switch to homemade remedies instead. They’re effective and safe for use.