A few years ago when I was trying to sell my home, the realtor called and said a potential buyer was coming in fifteen minutes. As I raced around doing a last-minute pickup, I saw a ten-foot long ant parade marching across the center of my kitchen floor. I about died.
We know to keep kitchen sinks and counters clean and dry to prevent ants, and here are other natural ways to keep ants out of your home in this guest post.
With spring in full force, tiny ants across the country are building their ant farms and reproducing by the millions. Spring brings upon a feeling of renewal, but it also brings upon a feeling of fear as ants successfully make their way into homes. A few ants here or there aren’t a problem, and most people aren’t afraid of an ant or two. However, when the ants living in the anthills on your front walkway start coming in the front door, you’ll need to do something about it.
The good news is that there are many simple, effortless and inexpensive ways to naturally control small ants in and around your home — and they actually work. In fact, the ingredients for natural ant control can be found right in your pantry. Keep in mind that if you have a major ant problem (or ants other than small brown ants), then chances are these natural tips won’t help the problem go away entirely. In that case, you may need to hire a professional pest control expert to handle it for you.
If you notice ants coming into your home and they are bothersome, try following some of these tricks:
Cinnamon Sticks & Garlic Cloves
Place cinnamon sticks or garlic in areas where you have seen ants enter, such as in window tracks, by doors and in corners around your home. While garlic cloves aren’t as aromatically pleasing as cinnamon sticks, they work really well. Just peel and slice a few cloves and place them where you notice the ants. Last year we had some unexplained ants that kept invading my daughter’s dresser so we placed the cloves on the dresser. After a day or two, we replaced them with fresh cloves and the ants never returned.
You can also place cinnamon sticks around the pantry for extra protection. Once, I ran out of cinnamon and used cloves instead – it worked just as well. I actually witnessed ants crawling away from the cloves.
Place white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on areas where you have seen ants. The fungicidal and insecticidal properties in the vinegar help prevent ants.
Sprinkle black pepper where you see ants. The ants will immediately scatter. Pay attention to where they run; chances are they will be exiting your house and you’ll be able to treat the entry area with pepper too.
For serious anthill problems in your yard or walkway, pour boiling water over the anthills. It sounds a bit cruel, but pesticides can be equally, if not more, cruel.
Mint destroys the smelling capabilities of ants and prevents them from entering your home. There are several ways to use mint to prevent ant infestations. First, plant mint around your home, especially near doors and close to areas where you have seen anthills. Second, place mint leaves in and around windows. If ants are entering your pantry, place some mint leaves on the shelves and in the corners.
Here is a list of some other plants which have been known to be effective at warding off ants. The idea is the stronger the smell, the more likely the plant is to keep the ants away:
- Chili peppers
Persistence is the key when trying natural ant control remedies. If one of these methods doesn’t work for you, then try another. You may need to repeat it a few times.