It may be fun to watch an ant colony work in an enclosed, “ant farm” or watch them work together to make their homes in side walk cracks. But the fun ends and frustration begins when you find them all over your kitchen counter or on your bathroom sink! Once they set up shop in your house, they are unlikely to leave unless you take measure to “help them out!” The good news is that there are many safe and inexpensive home remedies to get rid of ants naturally, many of which you probably already have in your house!
5 Ways to Get Rid of Ants
Borax is toxic to to ants, but is no more toxic to people than table salt. Borax can be found in the laundry aisle of larger grocery stores. 20 Mule Team is a popular brand. Once you have borax in your home, you will want to discover the many other great uses that exist for this humble but powerful powder.
The easiest way to use borax to get rid of ants is to mix 2 teaspoons of borax with 2 tablespoons of honey. Spread the mixture into one or more old plastic lids. Place these lids wherever you have seen ants, ideally where pets and children will not get to them (because it is messy if they get into the honey!) Within a day or two the ant bait will be covered with ants because the ants will tell their friends about this wonderful treat. But then, a day or two later, after the ants have returned to their nests with the borax, you will not see any more ants. They will have spread borax all around their living quarters and borax is toxic to ants. Now you can throw away the ant bait.
If you do not have honey, you can mix equal parts of borax and soda pop (not diet soda) for the same effect. You just need to attract the ants to the borax with something sugary.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is an ant deterrent. The smell is too strong for them. An advantage to this method is that your house will smell quite pleasant and cool. Get cotton balls and put a few drops of peppermint essential oil onto the cotton balls and place them in cabinets, in the corners of counter tops, etc. This is also a deterrent for mice!
If you do not have peppermint essential oil, try one of the following essential oils:
- Tea tree
3. Whole Cloves
If you use whole cloves around the house to deter ants it will smell like the holidays! Cloves can be placed where ever you see ants coming in. These are non-toxic to people and to animals. If you have white or light colored carpet, you might not want to put the cloves right on the carpet. The oil in the cloves is dark and if you leave the cloves for a long time you may stain your carpets a bit.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is found at farm and home stores and useful for many different bug deterring applications. One bag of this inexpensive product will last you a very long time. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth along baseboards, on windowsills, or wherever you see ants coming in. You can even sprinkle it along the backs of counter tops in your kitchen and bathroom. While pool grade diatomaceous earth is toxic, the pure diatomaceous earth at the farm store is safe for internal use for pets and people.
5. White Vinegar
White vinegar is a super cheap and safe remedy to get rid of ants! Put white vinegar straight into a spray bottle. Spray counter tops, windowsills, baseboards, floors, wherever you have seen ants. Vinegar erases the scent trail of the ants. It is also strong smelling to the ants and works as a deterrent as well.
Do you have a natural remedy for ants? Please be sure to share it with us! Keep reading on to learn how our readers have deterred ants, including the surprising remedy, “Tell them to go away!”