If there’s an ant infestation in your home, don’t rush to use chemical repellents, because not all of them are 100% safe for humans. Try these 10 methods to deter and kill ants before you reach for a chemical repellent, especially if you have children and/or pets!
- Cucumber or citrus peels
Ants strongly dislike certain substances found in cucumbers and citrus. Put cucumber or citrus peels in places where you find the ants, and you can say ‘goodbye’ to them.
Apply chalk around possible ant entry points to keep them away from your home. You’ll have to repeat this procedure from time to time for this method to work well. It’s unclear whether it’s calcium carbonate in chalk that deters ants, or it’s the chalk line that interferes with ant scent trails, but is seems to work.
Its smell sure is nice for humans, but ants don’t like it. According to one study, cinnamon work well both to prevent ants from getting inside you home and to kill them. And it can be applied differently:
mix 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon essential oil with a cup of water. Dip a cotton ball in this liquid and wipe presumed ant entry points and places where they live in your home. You’ll have to repeat this procedure one time a day until you see the effect;
putting ground cinnamon and whole cloves at the entry points on places where ants live might also work.
Peppermint is also a good option for repelling ants and can be applied in different forms:
mix 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1 cup of water. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and apply it in areas where ants live. Repeat this procedure two times a day until ants disappear;
sprinkle dried peppermint around entry points and garbage areas to keep ants away;
growing peppermint plants in your kitchen garden can also help.
5. White vinegar
Killing and repelling ants is one of white vinegar’s multiple uses. Here’s how to use it:
make a solution (one part vinegar, one part water) and pour it into a spray bottle;
add several drops of any essential oil and shake the bottle well;
spray it around entry points;
you’ll have to repeat this one time a day until there are no ants.
6. Liquid dish soap
It’s not a natural way, but it’s safe and effective. It also works to repel and kill cockroaches. Here are two different ways to use it:
add 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap and 1 tsp. of baking soda to a cup of water. Stir it well, and apply the solution to the entry points;
add 1/3 liquid dish soap to 2/3 water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle, shake it well, and feel free to spray it around places where ants live.
Ants hate lemons because of the acidity and strong smell. Squirt lemon juice on entry points (e.g. door thresholds and windowsills). Place pieces of lemon into holes and cracks that ants may use to get inside your home. Sprinkle grated lemon rind around possible entrances outside the house.
8. Bay laurel or bay leaves
Bay laurel or bay leaves can be used to deter ants from the foods that attract them (such as sugar, flour, and paprika). Place bay laurel or bay leaves in the containers with the foods. If you’re afraid that bay smell will contaminate the foods, place it around the containers. For best effect, replace the leaves once in a month with new ones.
9. Certain foods that ants can’t digest
Spread these foods where ants live:
used coffee grounds (you’ll have to wait a few weeks to see the results);
farina (a form of milled wheat ) – spread raw farina in places where ants live; they will die after they eat it;
cornmeal – a good option if you have children or pets, because it’s safe for them.
10. Keep your place clean
Cleaning your home is also an important part of getting rid of ants and keeping them away:
store food in airtight containers;
sweep, mop, and vacuum often;
keep your sink clean;
wipe all surfaces often;
put pet bowls in larger bowls filled with water to prevent ants from getting there.