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10 Natural Ways to Beat an Ant Invasion

10 Natural Ways to Beat an Ant Invasion

The ants come marching one-by-one, two-by-two, and gazillion-by-gazillion into our home whenever it’s rainy, snowy, too hot, and too cold.

My husband favors chemical warfare to get rid of the determined critters, who make a beeline from our bathroom window to his vanity. I prefer to get rid of the little rascals the natural way, so no humans and pets are harmed during the making of our pest-free home.

Here are some non-toxic (to you) ways to prevent ants from entering your house, and tips on how to get rid of them when they do storm your barricades.

An Ounce of Prevention

Don’t kill ants if they don’t invade your space. Here are some ways to keep them outdoors, where they belong.

1. Ants need to eat, too, and they particularly like crumbs on your counter and floor, dirty dishes, and uncovered food. Keep your kitchen tidy, and you’ll see fewer ants.

2. Use a latex caulk or filler to plug the exterior holes in your home where ants enter.

3. Block ant entrances with substances they hate and won’t cross – salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, spearmint leaves, and coffee grounds. Spread a line of these repellents along window sills and baseboards.

4. Ants don’t like the smell of lemon. To keep ants away, spray a lemon:water solution around your house, and rub a lemon wedge along the base of doors and windows.

5. Spray a peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil solution (10 drops of oil:1 cup of water) around the inside and outside of your house. After a rain, rinse and repeat.

6. Place pet bowls in a soapy water moat to prevent ants from eating Fido’s food.

7. Pour boiling water over ant colonies to kill ants where they, not you, live.

A Pound of Cure

If you can’t keep ants out, you’ll have to rub them out.

8. Soak cotton balls in a sugar:borax solution, and set them about your house in jar lids. The sugar attracts the ants, and the borax poisons them.

9. Vacuum ants, and quickly empty your bag or canister outside.

10. To prevent ants from swarming in the same spot, spray their path with vinegar, which will remove their scent and disrupt their trail.

Read more: Home, Household Hints, Natural Pest Control, Natural Remedies, Non-Toxic Cleaning, Surprising uses for ..., , , , ,

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Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Lisa Kaplan Gordon, creator of, is an award-winning journalist, avid gardener and fly-fisher. She lives in Northern Virginia on a half acre that always needs weeding. Please visit her on Twitter (@kaplan_lisa) and Facebook (Lisa Kaplan Gordon)


+ add your own
11:20AM PDT on Mar 26, 2015


2:39PM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

From personal experience I can tell you that cloves are another effective ant deterrent. Ants HATE cloves! Last time I had an ant problem, I sprinkled cloves near where they were getting in, and they made themselves scarce.

3:19AM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

Thanks, something new to try!

5:15AM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

We have Peony bushes in our yard and they attract ants. The little varmints come in every Spring!
I read somewhere about putting a scented dryer sheet in your windows will keep them out. I tried that this year after I saw the first batch of ants, and it did keep them out of those windows. But, they found another way in and I had dryer sheets everywhere until the middle of June!

11:14PM PDT on Jul 24, 2014

Some good ideas, for the non-rainy seasons.

7:48AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Thank You.

10:34PM PDT on Jul 11, 2014

I will try these tips!

4:25AM PDT on Jul 11, 2014


1:16PM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

I'm waiting for someone to say "Ants are people, too"

6:33AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

good tips, thank you

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