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One of the most prevalent household pests is ants. They could be pretty annoying, and getting rid of them can be challenging.
If you are looking for a natural way of getting rid of ants, you have a few available options. Choose the approach that works best for you.
Why Are Ants Harmful?
According to a study, most people are aware of the issues that an ant infestation can cause. However, they do not generally believe that ants are a threat to public health or carriers of harmful germs.
Various microbial groupings, including coliforms, Bacillus spp., E. coli, Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., and fungus were detected in the microbiological studies of ants collected from home kitchens. They can therefore spread dangerous bacteria from contaminated settings to food. (1)(2)
For instance, Salmonella and other bacteria are carried and transmitted by ants. They may also contribute to the spread of illnesses such as dysentery and smallpox. (1) Ants may negatively affect your mental health as well as anxiety, depression/sleep disturbances.
Ways to Get Rid of Ants Naturally
Here are some natural ways to get rid of ants.
1. Try cleaning solutions
You can try using the following cleaning solutions to get rid of ants.
a. Water and vinegar
If you don’t want to use any chemicals, you can try some natural ways to get rid of ants. One way is to mix equal parts of water and vinegar, which creates an acidic solution that ants can’t tolerate. (5) Put this mixture into a spray bottle and spritz it on areas you see ants or their entry points to your home.
b. Sugar and borax solution
Another option is to make a sugar and borax solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of borax with 1 cup of sugar, and put the mixture in a jar with holes punched in the lid. Place this where you’ve seen ants so they’ll take the bait back to their nest, which will hopefully kill the rest of the colony. (6)
Just be sure pets and children can’t get to it, as borax can be toxic if ingested.
2. Diatomaceous earth
If you have an ant problem outside, try sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the boundary of your home. (7) This powder is made from fossilized algae and is abrasive, so it will kill ants by slicing through their exoskeletons and causing death by dehydration. (8)
3. Pepper can repel ants
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of ants, pepper is a great option. Ants are repelled by the strong smell of pepper, so sprinkling it around your home can help keep them away.
In a spray bottle, combine pepper and water to create a homemade ant spray. (9)(10) Research on the constituents of various species of peppers has shown that all species have varying concentrations of insecticidal agents. (10)
Test the solution on a small area first to make sure it doesn’t damage your surfaces.
4. Tea tree oil as a natural insecticide
Tea tree oil is a powerful essential oil with many uses. One of its most popular uses is as an insecticide – it can effectively kill ants and other insects. (11)
To use tea tree oil as an insecticide, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and mist it on the ants or their path. Cotton balls can also be soaked in the mixture and placed close to where the ants are entering your home.
Ensure that children and pets are kept away from treated areas until the mixture dries completely. If you have any concerns about using tea tree oil, consult with a pest control expert or your doctor before proceeding.
5. Try lemon oil
Lemon oil is an effective natural insecticide that can be used to get rid of ants. (12)
Just combine a few drops of the oil with some water in a spray bottle, and then mist the mixture around your home where you see ants. The lemon scent will repel them and they will soon disappear.
Other citrus scents such as orange have been shown to be equally effective in repelling ants. (13)
6. Use peppermint oil
Peppermint may be the answer to your ant problem. Peppermint oil is a natural insecticide that can kill ants and other pests. (5)
Simply mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture around your home, especially in areas where ants are active.
You can also make a homemade ant trap by combining equal parts of sugar and borax and adding a drop or two of peppermint oil. Place the mixture in a shallow dish and set it out where you’ve seen ants. The ants will be attracted to the sugar but the borax will kill them.
7. Spray cinnamon leaf essential oil
Cinnamon leaf essential oil is an effective and natural way to get rid of ants. (14) Ants dislike the pungent, spicy aroma of this oil.
Simply diluted with water, cinnamon leaf essential oil can be sprayed directly on ants or in the vicinity of their potential entry points into your home.
8. Try using neem oil
An organic insecticide that works to get rid of ants is neem oil. (15)
To use neem oil, mix 1 teaspoon of neem oil with 1 cup of water and spray the solution on the ants. You can also put some neem oil on a cotton ball and place it close to where the ants are coming in.
9. Sprinkle coffee grounds
If you are on the hunt for a natural way to get rid of ants, coffee grounds may do the trick. (16)
Simply sprinkle coffee grounds around the perimeter of your home or wherever you’ve seen ants. The strong smell of coffee will deter them and they’ll stay away.
You can also try setting out a small bowl of coffee grounds near where you see ants. They’ll be attracted to the smell, and crawling into the bowl will give them a fatal dose of caffeine.
10. Boric acid as a natural pest control
A naturally occurring substance called boric acid can be used to kill ants and other pests. It is inexpensive and easy to find, making it a popular choice for those looking for an effective natural pest control solution. When used correctly, boric acid can be highly effective at killing ants and other pests. (6)
However, it is important to use caution when using this substance, as it can also be harmful to humans and pets if not used properly.
11. Use lemons
Lemons are one of the most effective home remedies for ants. Lemons contain citric acid, which is a natural insecticide. (17) To use this method, simply cut a lemon in half and place it near where you’ve seen ants.
The ants will be drawn to the aroma of lemon and enter the lemon halves. Once they’re inside, they won’t be able to get out and will eventually die.
Tips to Prevent Ant Problems
Here are some tips that may prevent ants from getting into your property:
1. Check your houseplants
If you have ants in your home, there’s no need to reach for the toxic pesticides right away. There are several natural ways to get rid of them.
One way to keep ants away is to simply check your houseplants. If you have plants that generate sugary sap, there’s a good likelihood that they’re luring ants to your yard since ants are drawn to sweet substances.
To keep ants away from your plants, regularly inspect them for signs of ant activity. If you see any ants, simply remove them by hand. You can also try spraying the plants with a mixture of vinegar and water.
2. Cut off sources of food
One of the most effective ways to get rid of ants is to cut off their food supply. If you have an ant problem in your home, chances are there is a food source that they are attracted to. To get rid of ants, you need to find and eliminate this food source.
A great place to start is by taking a look at your kitchen. Do you have any food sources that are attracting ants? If so, clean them up or make sure they are sealed tightly. Also, take a look at your trash can. Make sure it is empty and clean so that ants are not attracted to it.
You can also use baits and traps, which are widely available nowadays. Find one that is specifically designed for ants and follow the directions on setting it up properly. This will help you catch and eliminate the ants in your home quickly and effectively.
Ants are found only in one area of my home. What do I do?
If ants are only in one area of your home, inspect the area closely to check if there is anything there that encourages ant colonies, such as food particles, dustbins, and plants. Try removing it from the area to check if it’s effective in warding off the ants.
Ants are making small mounds of earth in corners of my home. What should I do?
If ants are burrowing into doorframes or corners, they can create mounds from the dust. To ensure that they do not form colonies, take appropriate measures such as keeping food sources covered and stored properly.
Ants can be a menace during certain seasons, but with proper precautions and simple home remedies, they can be kept at bay. The good thing is there’s no need to reach for toxic pesticides as soon as they enter your home as easy-to-use home remedies can be just as effective.