Easy and Environmentally Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Ants
To some, having an ant problem can seem like a nearly insurmountable task to address by oneself, and many often think that the only solution is to call an exterminator. That can be a costly proposition. Instead, follow these four simple steps to eliminate that pesky ant problem once and for all.
Season with Cinnamon
Ants really don’t like cinnamon. The essential oils in cinnamon actually deters ants, as they mistake the smell for a toxin. To keep ants out of your kitchen (or wherever else they may be), simply add a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil to 1 cup of water. Wipe down any areas where you typically see ants dwelling or at any point from which they may be entering your kitchen or living areas.
Follow the Trail
Ants use their keen sense of smell in navigation, and some species rely almost entirely on their sense of smell to know where they are going. If you notice ants following a particular trail in your house, it is because they are sniffing out the pheromones left behind by the other ants in the colony. To keep the parade of ants away, it is important to wipe down any trails in your house where you typically see ants with soapy water. Additionally, you can use lemon juice, a cinnamon solution (see step 1), or any all-purpose cleaner to do the trick.
Infiltrate the Colony
Single ant colonies can exist for decades and contain hundreds of thousands of ants. It is for this reason that ants often seem impossible to completely expel from your home. One of the most effective ways of actually getting rid of ants is to address the problem at its source: the colony. Because ant colonies rely on their members to venture out into the world—or, just as likely, your home— you can bait ants with toxic morsels for them to bring back to their colony.
To make poisonous ant food, simply mix the mineral borax with sugar and water until it forms a thick, syrup-like consistency. Then place capfuls of the paste in areas where you typically see ants. Over time, the ants in your house will bring back the solution to their colony, poisoning more and more other ants until the colony itself is no more.
This step may seem easy, but a surprising number of people overlook common problems in their homes that may be main reasons for their ant problem. First, make sure any small cracks and crevices around doors and windows are sealed tightly with sealant. Those cracks provide easy access for unwelcome ant guests, so sealing them up is a must.
Second, make sure all food containers are properly covered, clean, and tightly closed, especially if they contain sugar.
Finally, make sure that window sills are wiped down with an all-purpose cleaner at least once a week. Ants often come from outside, and if there are even small traces of food by windows or doors, they are far more likely to be drawn inside.