Quick & Easy Ways to Get Rid of Ants Permanently

Ant Home Remedies

Are there suddenly trails of ants appearing all over your home? Whether it's due to bad weather, scent of food, or for other reasons, there are plenty of simple steps you can take on your own to get rid of the ants before they become a bigger problem.

Where is the Ant Infestation?

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Terro Ant Bait

Set up the Terro Ant Killer Bait

This simple but super-effective ant bait uses borax as an active ingredient to help you eliminate ant colonies in or around your home. Just place a few of these bait stations near common ant gathering points, such as the space underneath kitchen appliances and the windowsills.

Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle a very fine layer of diatomaceous earth where the ants are frequently sighted. Give it a few days and you should start to see the ants slowly disappear one by one. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is also safe for use around pets. That said, you should still keep them at a reasonable distance while the powder is being applied to the ant-infested area.

Ant Borax Bait

Create a Sugar + Borax Bait

Sugar baits are one of the more effective methods of killing ants because they don't kill ants immediately. It gives enough time for the ants to take the bait back to their colonies and share it with other ants. You can make this ant bait by mixing half a cup of sugar with about 1.5 tablespoon of borax and warm water. You can then soak some cotton balls in the bait solution and place it near the trail of ants. The ants will be attracted by the scent of the sugar and will take the borax mixture back to the colony. Borax will gradually kill ants by causing havoc in their digestive system. You could also consider using peanut butter as an alternative to sugar.

Vinegar Spray

Spray Vinegar Solution Near Entry Points

By now, you may have identified the main points where the ants are entering your home. One way to deter more ants from coming in is by spraying the area with vinegar solution. Ants rely heavily on scent for direction so the strong scent of vinegar may help by blocking the ant's main form of communication. Vinegar is also used to eliminate other common household pests like gnats. To create the spray, mix equal parts water and white or apple cider vinegar. If you don't like the scent of vinegar then cinnamon could be used as an alternative. Cinnamon works in the same way by confusing the ant's sense of smell.

Wipe Ant Scent

Wipe Away the Ant's Scent

Ants rely on pheromone to create a chemical trail from their nest to potential food sources. When you have managed to eliminate some ants, you should wipe down the previously-infested area with water and dish soap to eliminate the trail scent.

Don't Step on Ants

Don't Squish the Ants

It'll actually make the situation worse if you try to kill the ants with your own hands and feet. Ants are actually pretty social. An ant that gets squished or stepped on will emit an alarm pheromone, which turns other surrounding ants into attack mode. This phermone will just attract more ants to your home so avoid stepping on them. The most effective ant control method tends to be bait-related.

Organic Pest Control Spray

Apply an Organic Ant Control Spray

You can try using a pest control spray that makes use of natural ingredients, such as essential oil. This particular organic pest control spray we recommend utilizes active ingredients such as peppermint oil and spearmint oil. You just need to spray the mist along the areas where the ants are found and give it a couple of hours before the ants start dispersing.

Common Species of Ants

Ants aren’t the easiest of insects to distinguish due to their tiny size. Here are a some of the most common species of ants that one may encounter in their home or backyard.

Odorous House Ant

These ants make an appearance in most states and are largely known for producing a foul odor when they get crushed. They typically have a dark brown or black body appearance, and they are also known for constructing their colony nests near sources of moisture.

Carpenter Ants

The carpenter ants are probably the most destructive ant species for homeowners as they can build elaborate tunnel systems in wooden structures. They are also found in many states and typically have a black (with a mix of red) body appearance.

Fire Ants

The fire ants are more commonly found in the southern states and they can leave quite a sting. Those who get bitten by a fire ant may experience intense pain and itching. You may have come across images of fire ants creating a “floating island” when a colony find themselves in flood waters.

Ant Control FAQ

Here are some common questions that people have about getting rid of ants in the house.

What Will Keep Ants Away?

The ants will stay away as long as you don’t give them a reason to visit in the first place. As mentioned, get rid of the things that will attract the ants such as open food crumbs, water, and shelter.

What Smells do Ant Hate?

Vinegar and cinnamon are common household ingredients that ants don’t particularly like due to the strong scent. They may also not like the scent of peppermint, which is used as an ingredient for repelling other common household pests. If you plan on using essential oil to repel the ants then make sure you dilute it first.

Does Windex Kill Ants?

Household cleaners such as Windex may kill ants instantly on contact, but we suggest you use it with caution, especially households with children and pets, as the solution contains chemical that may cause irritations to various parts of your body.