Have an ant problem? Avoid harsh chemicals with these 10 all natural and effective solutions!
Ants feel very comfortable inviting themselves into my home. This summer they seem to have spread the word that my kitchen is the place to be. Nearly every morning I wake up to a sea of tiny moving black dots. Yes, cleanliness is key, but those little rascals are relentless in finding any unguarded aromatic morsel in your home. For those of us who like to avoid harsh chemicals in the home (especially important for homes with pets and/or small children), here are the 10 most effective ways to get rid of ants using natural ingredients!
1. Baking Soda
Baking Soda is one of nature’s magical cure-alls. It’s great for cleaning, restoring your pH balance, and is a natural disinfectant. But baking soda is also disastrous for ants, disrupting their body’s natural chemistry. Create your own natural ant bait by mixing equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. Pour the mixture into a shallow container (plastic or metal lids work great) and place it near the line of marching insects to attract them to your homemade bait. The ants will take it back to their nest, eat it and rapidly dwindle in numbers, thus saving your pantry and your sanity!
You can also strategically position this natural ant bait in places where ants might enter or your home like window sills or in the corners of your pantry and cabinets where food is stored to prevent future invasions.
Borax works similarly to baking soda, and may help eliminate roaches and other critters if you have them. But it is extremely poisonous to all animals, so keep out of reach of children, pets, and other small animals.
Mix some borax with water, sugar and peanut butter to make a paste (the complete step-by-step recipe can be found here). Punch a few holes in a plastic container, fill it with your borax mixture, secure the lid and place your homemade trap near ants or in any places that may be of interest to these pesky critters.
I love this trick! So simple, easy, and effective. Ants won’t cross a chalk line. While this may seem silly, it’s a fact! The powdery substance disrupts the insects’ pheromone trails – the scent markings which an ant uses to communicate with the other members of its colony. Drawing a fresh line of chalk or pouring a powdered chalk line between the ants’ points of entry and their desired food source (e.g., your pantry, cabinets, kitchen trash, etc) will prevent them from reaching their destination.
4. Soap & Water
For a quick fix that will eliminate the ants currently in your home and keep their brethren at bay long enough for you to mix up a more permanent solution, a simple mixture of soap and water will do the trick. Just fill a spray bottle with warm water, add a liberal amount of liquid dish detergent, shake and spray. The soap will coat the ants’ bodies and suffocate them while simultaneously washing away their scent trail so the rest of the colony won’t be able to find whatever delicious snack to which it previously led.
Vinegar is up there with baking soda with its array of uses. Besides cleaning and deodorizing (among other things), it is an excellent natural remedy for repelling the ant invasion. Like chalk, vinegar works by destroying the ants’ pheromone trails. You can watch this effect in action by spraying a mixture of vinegar and water in a circle around a group of marching ants. Cut off from their scent markings, the line of ants will almost immediately break apart and the insects will start to wander aimlessly around, lost without their scent trail to direct them.
Because it disrupts their pheromones, ants also hate the smell of vinegar. Spray around doors and windows or any other places where ants might enter your home to keep them out. Of course, the mixture will evaporate over time and will need to be reapplied daily to be effective. Still, this is a great natural and totally non-toxic solution to the ant problem – even better if you love the smell of vinegar!