By this time, you have noticed if you have a full-on ant problem. Its okay, it happens every year when the warm weather moves in. Yes, we know that those ant traps laying around the house are an eye-sore but there’s no other solution, right? Wrong. Ants can be deterred from your home using some products you already have in your house. Getting rid of ants can be quite simple. Here are a few ways to get rid of those pests naturally.
- Vinegar: Ants hate the smell of vinegar, and it removes the scent paths they use to get around. Have you ever noticed that ants use the same path to get around? Take a look sometime. If you take away their means of direction in your home, it will be harder for them to get inside, making life easier for you! Use a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water, to wipe down your counter tops, cupboards and anywhere you have spotted ants. Repeat this process throughout the day to maintain the efficiency.
Do not use vinegar on natural stone counter tops (granite, marble, quartz or other types of stone.) Use a regular spray cleaner instead.
- Chalk/Baby Powder: For some reason, ants do not like chalk. Some say that they do not like the calcium carbonate in the chalk, while others say the chalk interrupts their scent path.Whatever the reason, it works for getting rid of ants. Draw a line of chalk or use baby powder in front of the spot where ants are entering your home. Refresh the chalk line every now and then to maintain efficiency.
- Borax: When ants, and other insects, consume borax, their digestive systems and exoskeletons break down resulting in death. This is not the most humane way to rid of ants, but it is a fast solution. Mix together equal parts of borax with either syrup, jelly, or sugar. Place the mixture where the ants can find it and voila!
Keep out of reach of small children and pets.
- Herbs/Spices and Essential Oils: Many plants and oils give off a strong scent that repels ants and other insects. Sprinkling cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, or cloves of garlic in an area where you have seen ants can deter them. You should treat your house’s foundation in the same way. Placing bay leaves in cabinets, drawers and containers can also help! Or place a few drops of essential oils on a cotton ball, and place in problem areas. Oils that work are peppermint, citrus, eucalyptus or cinnamon.
If you have small children or pets, use something other then pepper. The capsaicin found in peppers can irritate the mucus membranes resulting in burning eyes, nostrils, and irritation. Also keep essential oils also out of reach of children and pets.
- Coffee Grounds: Ants are repelled by the scent given off from coffee grounds (so are cats, if you have any pesky strays.) Just sprinkle coffee grounds in the garden and around the base of your house. If you don’t have coffee grounds at home, Starbucks will give them to you for free!
- Cucumber/Citrus Peels: Cucumber and citrus peels are toxic to the types of fungi that ants feed on, so of course they avoid them. Just leave cucumber or citrus peel in areas of ant activity to get them out! If you have ants in the kitchen and bathroom, instead of leaving vegetable and fruit peels laying around, switch to a cucumber or citrus-scented cleaner. However, look for products that are scented with actual oils. The synthetic fragrances don’t do anything.
Thank you to Erin Huffstetler from The Balance for the original information.
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