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.