How To Get Rid Of Ants

Have you noticed ants showing up around your property a little close to home? Perhaps they’ve even already invaded the interior of your house.

Ants are one of the most common pests disturbing households around the world. That said, learning how to get rid of unwanted ants is a simple task.

Ants Invading Your Home?

Ants are one of the most common house pests in the world, so it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find them in your home, or your neighbors home, even the multi-million dollar homes of celebrities (especially the ones who skipped the pest control option).

Improperly stored food, pet food, livestock feed, and mere natural causes such as slowly expanding ant colonies creeping onto your property, are but a few of the main reasons that ants are invading your home.

Significant signs of an infestation of unwanted ants include small pieces of food missing, like sweets or bread, and of course the ants themselves crawling around in their numbers. Cracks in foundations and floors may lead to the discovery of their nests.

How To Get Rid Of Ants

Getting rid of unwanted ants is a fairly simple process to learn and carry out. So, have no fear. By following these four easy steps, your house will be cleared of all those pesky unwanted ants in the blink of an eye (well, quick enough anyway!).

1. Clean And Prepare Infested Area Prior To Treatment

A clean home (and surrounding property) are key in treating and preventing pests such as ants. That said, before taking up arms against the six-legged unwanted enemies invading your turf, tilt the odds in your favor by cleaning up and preparing the battle ground (the infested area) first.

This first step includes what may seem obvious to some, but is incredibly important at any rate; removing access to food, water, and shelter. How do you do this, you might ask? Simple. Observe the ants and the routes they are taking into and through your home and then block them out. In addition, starve them out. Literally.

All things considered, cleaning and preparing the infested area prior to treatment is half the battle. It gives you a bit of leverage against the ants by making them more visible and eradicating any trace of attractive substances.

2. Seal Up Entryways

Technically, sealing up entryways should probably be included in the first step. However, it is such an important factor that it deserves to be a step of its own. 

Blocking out the ants, by denying them access to your home, is a pretty simple yet effective tactic to employ against these drone-like hordes of miniature six-legged beasts. 

So, check floorboards, basements, masonry work around the home including the foundation, and anywhere else there may be cracks or crevices deep enough for ants to create a colony or gain access to your home.

Depending on where the entryways are located, various substances can be used for the job. Cement, plaster, and all-purpose caulk are just a few of the most popular choices.

3. Apply Your Chosen Pest Control Treatment For Ants

The third step, and most crucial, is to actually apply proper pest control treatments for ants (you can find a detailed list in the next section). Keep in mind that the more techniques you use, the greater the chances of success are.

Generally speaking, you should choose a treatment that kills ants, and one that keeps unwanted ants away for good. So, at least two pest control treatments. That said, this included anything from hiring professional exterminators to creating and using homemade remedies.

For all of the treatments that will work for getting rid of ants, baits, boric acid, and sprays are probably the most useful (they are definitely the most popular among homeowners). 

4. Rinse And Repeat

Once you’ve carried out the steps listed above, it’s time to evaluate your infestation, and, if necessary, start all over again. If you are still noticing ants, you have failed. Likewise, if no ants are returning to your home, you’ve most likely completed the mission.

Depending on the severity of your circumstances, it may be necessary to apply these steps several times (especially if your problem is with seasonal ants). So, don’t be disappointed if you don’t seem to succeed immediately. 

Pest Control Treatments For Ants

Before you get to unsheathing your weapons of war, you must choose them. And, when it comes to pest control treatments for ants, there is a plethora of choices to pick from. Whether you are into humane methods, or simply want to carry out an ant-genocide, there is a proper pest control treatment for you.

Here are but a few of the best pest control treatments for getting rid of unwanted ants from your home:

Boric Acid

An oldy but a goody, boric acid is one of the most old school methods for dealing with insects such as ants. To use this treatment, simply sprinkle this powdered ant-killer around the foundations of your home and into the cracks and crevices from which these unwanted micro-monsters have launched their offensive from. It will have them begging for mercy and retreating in droves (as well as possibly dying in pain and agony).

Ant Baits 

The greatest treatment method for getting rid of ants is perhaps baits. That said, baits can be a bit tricky to use as each type of insect species, and subspecies, require specific types of attractants such as scents and food ingredients. 

You will need to know which species of ants that you are dealing with before purchasing and using ant baits to rid your home of these pests. Also, you will want to consider adding peanut butter, powdered sugar, or honey to your bait in order to attract the largest numbers of pests as possible.

Killing isn’t easy, but somebody’s gotta do it. Ant baits make the job simple, though they are not the fastest acting treatment they are definitely efficient.

Spray

When it comes to killing ants, or any bugs for the matter, spray-type products are more heavily relied upon than any. Perhaps it is due to their easy to use manner (point and shoot), or their relatively affordable price. Whatever it is, there are more options for ant-killing sprays on the market than versions of most treatments on this list.

Basically, depending on the type of poisonous ingredients contained in the spray, the toxic treatment kills ants on contact. That said, some sprays may take a few minutes to begin working. 

Spray is a great option to use as a primary pest control treatment to get rid of unwanted ants. After spraying them down (like Rambo on a bad day), you can employ a secondary tactic to prevent them from coming back. And, truthfully, many sprays can do that part for you as well. 

It is important to note that sprays are also one of the most toxic and dangerous choices for pest control treatments that get rid of ants. So, make sure to be safe while using these products and clean up properly afterwards as well.

Natural Remedies For Getting Rid of Ants

Before snatching up the first insecticide for ants that you find, there are also several natural remedies that are known for successfully getting rid of unwanted ants. 

Here are a handful of the most potent natural remedies ants:

Essential Oils

The scent of essential oils, especially the potent ones such as peppermint and tea tree oil is usually enough to send ants packing back to their colony and pleading with their queens to relocate. They are also a much safer option than most pesticide-based products for ants such as baits and sprays. 

Essential oils, though, are rather expensive and are therefore are not the most practical pest control method to consider. But, if you happen to have some on hand, now you know that you have a secret weapon to deploy on those crumb stealing pests.

Simply sprinkling a few drops of quality essence along the most frequented ant-routes, as well as in and near the cracks and crevices leading to their nests, is more than likely enough to cull their numbers.

Chalk

A strange but solid remedy most would never think of when it comes to getting rid of ants is calcium carbonate. Yep, we’re talking about good old chalk. 

Simply smudging thick lines around your home with chalk can deter ants from continuing their invasion. As crazy as it sounds, chalk lines are somewhat like magical invisible barriers against ants. 

Just make sure that if you try using chalk against ants that you use a large enough quantity and that you protect it from children, pets, and the elements. That means you will probably need to replace it often.

Lemon Juice And Orange Juice

Due to their disdain of citrus-based scents and substances, lemon and/or orange juice make a great remedy for ants. Simply squeeze fresh juice, or purchase the real deal, and drizzle it in the infested areas in the same manner you would use spray, powder, or set baits. 

Pro tip: you can also use lemon or orange zest (which you get when you shave their peels) against ants in the same way you would sprinkle boric acid.

Table Salt and Black Pepper

As we already know, ants hate citrus and bitter, but love sweets. That said, salty and spicy tastes and smells are also on their list of things they can not stand. Sprinkling salt in the areas most traveled by ants is a great way to create a barrier. Likewise using pepper in the same manner will also get the job done. 

Keep in mind that these methods are a bit messy, and will require extra cleaning and reapplying several times more than likely before success. However, you can also get creative with it and create a spray from salt and pepper and make the job easier as well.

White Vinegar

Another natural ingredient that sends ants back to whence they came is white vinegar. Like a white knight vanquishing evil foes who’ve come to storm the stronghold, white vinegar will both kill ants and protect your home from further invasions from the pests. 

Pour it, spray it, or slosh it along foundations, into cracks, and on the main routes that you’ve noticed ant activity. 

Cinnamon

This tasty ingredient (which my wife adores in her tea, and I adore in my apple pie) double as an ant repellent as well (surprise surprise). Not only will it run ants off and keep them away, it will also replace odors with a pleasant scent.

Hide cinnamon stick around the foundation of your home, make spray or powder, or even use essence oil if you’ve got it. All of the above will get the job done. 

Peppermint

Last but far from least is peppermint. If you happen to have the plant growing in your yard, picking some leaves and tossing them around the foundations of your home regularly wouldn’t hurt. That said, essence oils and sprays containing peppermint are and excellent ant repellent as well.

Final Thoughts

Unwanted ants have no chance against a well-planned attack. After reading our article you should be free and clear of your unwanted ants in no time.

Keep in mind that a clean home and property are crucial in both getting rid of ants and prevent them from coming back. Also, make sure to choose and employ at least two treatments (one to kill and one to prevent).

Jordan Quinn Farkas
Jordan Quinn Farkas
Jordan is a full-time writer from his home in Southeast Europe. An avid outdoors-man and backpacker, he has gathered a plethora of tips and tricks for dealing with all sorts of pests.

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