How to Get Rid of Ants Permanently in the House & Kitchen

Ant Home Remedies

Are there suddenly trails of ants appearing all over your home? Whether it’s due to a bout of bad weather or due to other reasons, there are certainly things you can do on your own to get rid of the ants before they become an even bigger problem.

Even pest control professionals will agree that ants are one of the more difficult pests to get rid of at home. You should expect it to take a few weeks to clear out the ant invasion at home.

Recommended Ant Traps

If you are already facing a fairly major ant problem at home then we suggest trying out these well-documented ant control products to help you eliminate the tiny bugs.

Ant Trap with Borax

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 the bait stations near common ant gathering points such as the space underneath kitchen appliances and windowsills.

Harris 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 pets but you should still keep them at a safe distance when the powder is being applied.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the House

Here are the important steps you need to take to prevent more ants from invading your home. Ant problems can be avoided if you get rid of the things that are attracting the ants in the first place.

Store the Food Away

Clear the Food Away

Most ants make their way into homes because of the presence of food. Store away all food in tightly-sealed containers and vacuum the house religiously until there are no crumbs left on the floor.

Remove Standing Water

Remove Sources of Water

Water is another common reason for ant home invasions, especially in places with dry weather. Checking for leaking faucets around the house and get rid of all standing water.

Seal the House Gaps

Seal the House Exterior

Try to repair or fill any openings along the house exterior that may act as an entrance point for ants. This includes wall crevices and cracks, power outlets, and loose window frames. Ant may try to find shelter in homes during bad weather.

Avoid Squashing the Ants

Avoid Squashing the Ants

Stepping on ants will trigger the release of a scent called oleic acid, which may attract more ants to rush to their dead comrade. The scent may also activate an ant’s self-defense mode and cause them to scatter.

Here are some common house supplies that may help with killing the ants.

  • Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
  • Sugar + Borax
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Vacuum with Filter

Natural Ant Remedies at Home

It doesn’t need to cost a fortune to get rid of ants at home. All it may take are some everyday supplies that can already be found at most homes. Be prepared, however, to spend at least 1 hour daily to eliminate the ants.

Ant Remedies at Home

Sugar + Borax Bait

Baits are one of the more effective methods of killing ants as the effects aren’t immediate. Most ants will have enough time to take the bait to their colonies and share it with other ants. One simple bait you can make is with sugar and borax. Mix 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 ant and take back the borax mixture back to the colony. Borax will gradually kill ants by causing havoc on their digestive system. You could also consider using peanut butter as an alternative to sugar.

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

While the effects of it isn’t immediate, food-grade diatomaceous earth is one of the most cost-effective ways of dealing with pest infestations at home. Food-grade diatomaceous earth works well for soft-bodied insects like ants, fleas, and roaches. It can get rid of these insects by scraping against and damaging their exoskeleton, which leads to the loss of bodily fluids.

All it takes is to sprinkle a very fine layer of the diatomaceous earth powder near the trail of ants. You can also mix the powder with a bit of sugar to attract the ants. One thing to note. Diatomaceous earth loses its effectiveness when it becomes wet so make sure the powder isn’t applied in damp areas.

Spray Vinegar Solution Near Entry Points

By now, you may have identified the main points where the ants enter your home. One way to deter more ants from coming in is to spray the area with vinegar solution. Ants rely heavily on scent for directions 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 fruit flies. We recommend making the vinegar spray by mixing equal parts water and white or apple cider vinegar. If you don’t like the scent of vinegar then you can use cinnamon as an alternative solution. Cinnamon very much works in the same way by confusing the ant’s sense of smell.

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 destroy the scent and replace it with something the ants don’t like.

Build a Barrier Before it Rains

A lot of homeowners suffer from major ant problems due to bad weather such as heavy rain. To avoid future ant invasion problems, you can take a step ahead of time by building a barrier around your home using the methods suggested above. For example, you can create a thin wall of food-grdae diatomaceous earth or cinnamon powder along the door or any other potential ant entry points.

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.

Sam at Organic Lesson

is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.