Kill house ants naturally
January 16, 2013
Don’t reach for toxic pesticides the next time you spot a trail of ants! Use these safe and natural methods to prevent, control or kill ants.
Ant Prevention Checklist:
- Seal and/or caulk openings and cracks in your home’s basement, floors, walls, pipes, drains, sumps, and ducts.
- Repair screens on windows and doors.
- Seasonally inspect and repair your home.
- Store garbage (especially food waste) in clean containers with tight fitting lids.
- Use airtight containers for storing non-refrigerated food items.
- Keep counters and cupboards clean.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Clear out the clutter. Piles of textiles or papers are an inviting habitat for insects and rodents.
Ant Control Solutions:
First, find their entry point and create a barrier.
- Identify the entry point by leaving some syrup on a piece of cardboard overnight in the general vicinity. In the morning, there should be a clear line of ants to help you find where they’re getting in.
- Sprinkle red chili powder, black pepper, cinnamon, dried peppermint (or its essential oil) where the ants are entering your home. (According to Rodale, crushed cloves work, too.)
- Place pet food bowls within a larger bowl of soapy water. This creates a moat that ants can’t cross. (Just be sure your pet doesn’t drink the soapy water.)
Second, kill ants using natural solutions.
- Use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water or mix 4 oz of a natural soap in 1 gallon of water and spray as needed. Or sprinkle powdered soap around your home’s foundation. The soapy water will kill individual ants and it will also wash away the natural chemical trail that ants leave behind to help other house ants find them. Outdoors, you can use this same solution to flood anthills.
You may have to try more than one solution since there are different species of ants that respond to different treatments. Regardless, it’s so easy, even a toddler can do it! Watch little Luke!