It is pretty unhygienic to have ants inside your home. Some ant varieties like Fire and Harvester can even bite humans. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, are known to damage building materials. Ants inside the house certainly contaminate the food. They carry bacteria which they can transfer to food or an open wound.
Dealing with ants can be very frustrating. Pesticides for ants contain chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment, but there are some natural, non-toxic ways to control ants. These may take some time and patience but will provide excellent results.
Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of ants:
Cinnamon is an effective household ant repellent. Its smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen. Just put some cinnamon on the entrance of the house and the areas from where you think the ants can enter. This a good method to also keep your house smelling fresh and earthy.
2. White vinegar
White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell. In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction. Prepare a solution of equal amounts of water and white vinegar. Store this solution and sprinkle it at the points from where the ants enter. Repeat this once daily.
Chalk contains calcium carbonate, which helps in keeping ants away. Spray some powdered chalk in the areas that are the entry points of ants or draw a line of chalk at the entrance.
To make your kitchen and other areas of your house ant-proof, try lemon. The smell deters ants and its acidic property masks their scent trails. Just squeeze a lemon or place lemon peels in places from where the ants enter. You can also wash your floors with water that has a little lemon juice added to it. Ants don’t like the smell of lemon juice so they will keep away.
5. Peppermint oil
Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that can effectively keep ants away. Ants hate its strong smell, which also disrupts their smelling capabilities so they cannot detect food sources. Prepare a mixture of 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and a cup of water and sprinkle it wherever you find ants. Repeat this twice a day. You can even sprinkle dried peppermint instead of the liquid mixture.
6. Cucumber peel
Ants have a natural aversion to cucumber, as they cannot stand its taste. Bitter cucumbers work best, but you can use normal cucumbers, too. All you have to do is to place pieces of the peel in all areas where you have seen ant activity.
Ants are pretty fond of sugar but they hate pepper. Sprinkle pepper at the areas from where ants enter your house. This is will help getting rid of ants.
8. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper also works as an effective ant repellent. The strong nature of cayenne pepper destroys the chemical signals that ants rely onto navigate toward food, their nest, and other places. Without a proper signal, ants will not able to survive and will thus look for new places to go. Just sprinkle cayenne pepper powder in areas where you notice ants.
9. Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE)
DE also works well as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ants’ exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out. Just gently sprinkle a thin layer of DE on windowsills, beneath the fridge, under cabinets, in and around garbage cans and any other places where you see ants.
10. Natural bait
To permanently rid yourself of ants, you really need to get rid of the ant colony. You should make a bait from peanut butter, sugar, Borax, and water and let it the ants take it back to their colony. Borax is toxic to ants and helps rid them from your house and garden. Ants are attracted to it and, when ingested, it ultimately kills them.