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Ants are certainly interesting creatures, but they are a real nuisance if they make their way into your home. Not only are ants bothersome, but they can also spread harmful germs throughout your home and even damage the building’s structure. If you’ve spotted troops of these insects throughout your house, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of ants so you can protect your family’s health and the quality of your home. Read on for everything you need to know about getting rid of ants and keeping them out of your house for good.
Why Do I Have Ants?
As you learn how to get rid of ants, it helps to know a few things about ant behavior and how ant colonies are structured. Every colony has different types of ants, each with its own job to do.
There are also ants you don’t see, which is what you need to keep in mind when dealing with the workers of the colony.
The queen, for example, never leaves the nest and is the ant that lays all the eggs. That’s why dealing with the nest and the queen is so much more effective than dealing with the worker ants.
Watching their behavior is important, as the worker ants can show you where the nest is located. What you don’t want to do is spray the ants you see on your floors or countertops. The colony is somewhere in your home and will simply send out more worker ants and continue to cause problems.
How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally
Fortunately, getting rid of ants is an age-old problem so people have already figured out how. There are a number of methods to eradicate the entire ant colony. After that, secure your home against ants and other pests so you don’t experience ongoing infestations.
There are plenty of tips on how to get rid of ants naturally, that have been time tested and proven over the years. You don’t have to resort to harsh chemicals to rid your house of ants, which is good news since those products can be harmful to pets and small children.
How to Get Rid of Ants with Borax
Borax is one common household product that can be used. Here’s how to get rid of ants with borax:
- Mix 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of borax, and 1 cup of warm water in a small container until the borax and sugar are completely dissolved.
- Soak cotton balls in the solution for 1 minute.
- Place the cotton balls close to the ant nest where you see worker-ant traffic.
The ants are attracted to the sugar, so they’re compelled to bring it back to the nest to feed the colony. They also bring the borax with them, though, which is toxic to insects.
Home Remedies for Ants Invasion
There are a few more home remedies to get rid of ants and ways to keep them from coming back that you might want to consider.
Flour, cayenne pepper, and borax are all ant deterrents that you can sprinkle around entry points.
How to Get Rid of Black Ants
There are a few tips to keep in mind when you have a black ant invasion. They are very common house ants, so they may have developed to eat many different types of food.
Be sure to deal with not only sugar, honey, and jam messes in your kitchen, but any and all food messes! The black ants will try to consume anything calorie-dense, including oil, peanut butter, and other foods that might be sitting out.
How to Destroy Red Ants
Red ants can be alarming since they are often identified as fire ants. There are many species of ants that are red, however, so seeing red ants doesn’t necessarily mean you have a fire ant infestation on your hands.
Don’t be alarmed if you see red ants: fortunately, the process for other types of ants works well for most red ant species as well.
How to Get Rid of Fire Ants
Fire ants are an even bigger nuisance than other types of ants because they are dangerous. You might be interested in faster, more thorough methods to exterminate fire ants. Here’s how to kill fire ants:
- Use the household methods described above to get rid of fire ants in the home.
- Prevent re-entry with cinnamon, flour, borax or other natural deterrents applied to windows and doors.
- Find the nest, which is likely outside, and pour boiling water into the entry points. The large mounds fire ants leave are a dead giveaway.
How to Kill Tiny Ants
Tiny ants sound like they should pose less of a problem than other types of ants, but the reality is that they can be just as bothersome and destructive. Here’s what you need to know about killing tiny ants.
- Some tiny ants can even make it through screen windows. Keep them closed whenever possible, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Be diligent when sealing holes and cracks under doors. Tiny ants don’t need a lot of room to get into your home!
How to Get Rid of Ants in the House
If you want to know how to get rid of ants in the house for good, you need to identify where the ants are getting in. Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms of the house most vulnerable to ants, so either room is a good place to start.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom
Because of the moist air, the bathroom is one of the most common areas of the home to have ant problems. Here’s what you need to do:
- Eradicate the colony using borax and sugar or another natural home remedy for ants.
- Clean the bathroom thoroughly, wiping out all cupboards and drawers and every nook and cranny.
- Address areas with moisture buildup. Carpenter ants and other species make their home in damp, rotting wood. Make replacements where needed and consider a dehumidifier if moisture is an ongoing problem. Wipe up water spills promptly.
- Seal points of entry for the ants such as windows and baseboards.
- Deep clean the bathroom frequently to prevent the buildup of food sources.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the number one problem area when it comes to ant infestations. Food left on the counter, or even in the cupboards (if it’s not properly sealed) will quickly attract hungry ants.
Related: food storage enemies
Here’s how to keep ants from making their way to your kitchen:
Once you’ve used the borax-sugar solution to kill off the colony, prevent them from coming back with a few simple practices:
- Wipe off food messes and spills quickly. Sweet foods like honey and syrup are particularly attractive to ants since they provide so much energy.
- Take out the trash frequently and keep the garbage pail clean.
- Clean hard-to-reach areas often. Crumbs and other food sources for ants can build up in areas like under the stove and behind the refrigerator.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Garden
It’s not just the house that unwelcome ants can make themselves known. You might also be wondering how to get rid of ants outside. Here’s how to get rid of ants in the garden and other outdoor spaces.
- Set a borax and sugar trap.
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper around plants where you want to deter ants.
- Pour fine cornmeal around the ant colony.
- Sprinkle cayenne pepper outside windows, doors, and the foundation of your home to deter them from entering.
How to Get Rid of Ants in the Car
Believe it or not, ants can also be a problem in the car for the same reasons that they love the bathroom and kitchen. Bits of food as well as easy access from outside, all make the car a hot spot for ants. Here’s how to get rid of ants in the car:
- Keep food out of your car or remove it quickly when you do eat in there.
- Thoroughly vacuum your car often, getting all the areas under the seats clean and free of crumbs.
- Keep your windows rolled up all the way and seal any areas where insects can enter.
While preventing ants does require maintaining a few routines, you’ll find that it’s much easier than dealing with frequent infestations.