Ants are a common type of insect and there are around 12,000 species of ants in the world. However, only a small handful of these ants invade our homes in search of sweet foods, or flesh and greasy foods. Ants are mainly found indoors and some of the common species include the Argentine ant, the Pharaoh ant, the Thief or Grease ant, the Pavement ant, and the Odorous House ant. Sometimes, you may even find the Carpenter ant, an ant which tries to destroy the wood that can be found in your home. Now, how to get rid of ants in the house when they start to get out of control?
Ants are good!
Yes, ants are good for your home! They eat away the larvae of clothes moths, silverfish, flies, bed bugs, spiders, and fleas. So, it is always suggested that rather than eliminating the ants completely from your house, it is better to control them. In order to control the ants, there are some very easy, natural, and effective methods.
How to get rid of ants in the house
If the ants have infested your home, then, you will find the first signs in your kitchen. Ants that infest your kitchen for the first time are scouting ants that check out your kitchen for signs of suitability to invade. Once they are convinced, they will return back to their holes and inform other ants about your kitchen and how it is a potential place for them to invade. Once you see the scout ants, you should waste no time in cleaning your kitchen. You should immediately seal all food and remove all sources of sticky, sweet, greasy, and flesh foods.
Apart from that, here are certain steps which you can follow to get rid of the ants:
Sweep and vacuum
Make sure that you sweep and vacuum the kitchen area daily. This will help you clean away the dust particles or else it will attract the ants.
Clean the dishes
You should not leave out any dirty dishes. Once you have your food, wash all the dishes or put them in a dishwasher and close the door tightly. Apart from that, you should also wipe down your cupboard and bench-top surfaces with vinegar. You should use vinegar as it cleans, disinfects and leaves a nasty smell as far as ants are concerned. Also, make sure that you remove all sources of garbage and keep the kitchen bin shut tightly.
Rinse off bottles and jarsants in the kitchen
You should also rinse off any jar, especially that of jam/jelly, sauce bottles, pickle bottles, cordial bottles and honey and syrup containers so that it has no sticky or leftover residue. You can even place ant-attractive foods inside a bowl of water.
Seal food items
You should also seal every food item and place them in air-tight containers. Once the ants have nothing to eat for 3-7 days, they will leave your kitchen and go elsewhere.
Seal fragrant items
In order to keep the ants at bay, you should also make sure to seal the fragrant items such as cleaning powders, deodorants, etc. in case these attract the ants’ initial attention.
Seal the entrance
You should also take steps to seal off the entrance areas of the ants so that you can stop them from entering your kitchen. You can use silicone caulk, putty, glue or plaster. As a temporary method, you can even use petroleum jelly or poster tack. But it is always recommended to go for permanent solution soon.
Use soap water
Soap water is an easy way to ward off the ants. With the help of soapy water, you will be able to kill the ants and also destroy their chemical trail which will help prevent more ants from following in their tracks. Using soapy water is one of the cheapest methods to get rid of the ants where you need put one teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle and fill it with water. When you see ants, spay it on them and get rid of them.
Use herbal methods
Herbal methods have proven extremely helpful in getting rid of the ants. You can use mint oil or citrus peels or citrus rind oil in order get rid of the ants. You can even use lavender oil, crushed mint leaves, clove oil and camphor in order to get rid of the ants.
You can use various barrier methods in order to scare the ants away. Some of the products which will help you in forming natural barriers include powdered charcoal, turmeric, citrus oil, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, powdered cleanser, chalk lines, baby powder, Vaseline etc.
Spray deterring odors
In order to ward off the ants, you can even spray various deterring odors like peppermint spray or camphor spray. Ants dislike them and won’t enter your house. You can spray the deterring odors as per your choice.
Bay leaves or laurel
These leaves can be used to keep the ants at a distance from a specific food item. Ants are specially attracted to sugar, paprika and flour. Put laurel/bay leaves in the sugar can, paprika jar and flour canister. You will find results very soon.
Corn meal is not poisonous in itself, but the ants are unable to digest this food. So, you can place the corn meal at the entrance of the ants. They will take it home and try to eat and won’t be able to digest it. This is a good technique if you have kids at home. As corn meal is not poisonous, you won’t have to worry about the kids.
Hopefully, these methods or ways educate you on how to get rid of ants in the house and keep them under control!