Springtime is wonderful. It brings new sunshine, spring flowers but it also brings the dreaded ant season. There are a large variety of ants that invade our homes and gardens and the shear amount can be irritating and frustrating. With numerous ways for them to enter – floors and foundations, crevices in the walls or ceilings – in fact any holes that are an opening to attractive smells and food, ants can appear in their hundreds. With so many it can feel like a tall task to get rid of ants in your home but there are some great, effective ways to prevent, deter, and eradicate an infestation. The last thing you want is to have them crawling all over your kitchen and living spaces so here are some different ways to use homemade, cheap alternatives to get rid of those pesky ants once and for all.
Preventing An Ant Invasion
The first thing you can do is to make sure you do as much as you can to prevent an infestation or stop an infestation getting worse. By doing a few simple preventative tasks, you can get yourself on the way to an ant-free house.
- Keep your house clean by sweeping floors of food and dirt.
- Keep trash and rubbish away from the house and make sure you put any rubbish out on a daily basis.
- Don’t allow moisture on surfaces – ants like to find sources of water and tend to stay near them.
- Always cover food when it’s not in the fridge.
- Don’t leave dirty plates and utensils around – wash them up straight away.
Deterrents For Ants In Your Home
There are many substances that ants just don’t like and using these can deter ants from certain areas like the kitchen, or you can use these methods outside your house if you know of a particular way they are getting in. Here are three different methods for detering the ants easily and effectively.
Ants absolutely hate chalk. The calcium carbonate in the chalk repels the ants and stops them from entering the house. You can simply draw chalk lines where you don’t want the ants to wander either around the house or in rooms (if you’re able too). Alternatively you can purchase chalk dust and sprinkle this around any entry points to your home. The ants will be reluctant to cross and it will keep them at bay.
Similar to chalk dust, flour is also a repellent to ants. Sprinkling flour especially around food cupboards, will stop ants from getting in and crawling over food stuffs. You can put flour in front of open doorways or entry holes to prevent the ants from entering your home.
3. Double-Sided Adhesive Tape
A genius way to stop ants from crawling on to your food is to surround it with adhesive tape – sticky side up (double-sided would work best). The ants will get stuck and won’t be able to reach their prize.
Eradication of Ant Dens
If you want to deal with the problem at its source, and you are aware of where the ant mounds are then there are inexpensive, homemade ways to do this. Eradicating the ants at the source will help with fewer getting into the home. Here are three easy ways to deal with any ant hills or dens that you have close to your home.
1. Borax, Water and Sugar
This is a great way to attract the ants from their den and kills them before they can get into the home. If any ants survive they will take the borax solution back to their colony and spread it around doing half the job for you!
- Get some old plastic containers and put holes around the sides about a couple of centimetres from the top (about the width of a pencil)
- Mix Borax with sugar – around a ratio of 3:1.
- Put the powdered mixture into the container until it’s around a centimetre down from the holes and mix it with water. It should be a soupy consistency but it doesn’t have to be exact.
- Add a teaspoon of peanut butter (as ants love a bit of peanut butter) and mix it in.
- Leave it around the ant hill or den with the lid on. The ants will crawl through the holes but shouldn’t be able to crawl out again.
There’s a great and simple trick that uses a flowerpot. Turn a flowerpot upside down over the ant den and pour boiling water down the small drain hole of the flowerpot this will kill a lot of ants at the source leaving less to come in and infest your home.
3. Boiling Water and Washing Up Liquid
Much the same way as the Borax, having a jam jar full of boiling water and washing up liquid will attract the ants. Place these next to an ant colony or alternatively use it with the flowerpot method instead of plain boiling water. This will kill the ants almost instantly and prevent them from spreading to the house.
Homemade Sprays To Get Rid of Ants
Bug sprays can be full of chemicals so it’s best to use homemade versions that are environmentally friendly and still as effective. Keep a few different sprays around the house to use when an infestation occurs.
Ants absolutely hate the smell of vinegar so mixing equal parts water and vinegar into a spray bottle and aiming it at the ants will give them a huge signal to leave. They will soon be off to somewhere else that smells a lot better. Spraying this onto surfaces and letting it dry will also stop the ants from wanting to come near them. Use vinegar several times a day to get the full effect.
2. Citrus Fruit
Mixing any citrus fruit with water and using it as a spray will deter the ants away. The juice of oranges, lemons, limes (or all three if you want) mixed with water. Alternatively, lemon peels are particularly effective when blended up and added to water – let the mixture infuse before spraying in the direction of the ants.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another pet hate for ants so, again, mixing a few drops into water will make a great spray that will help get rid of ants in your home. There are also other smells including cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and some strong perfumes which are highly detested by ants. Using these with water will create safe, cheap homemade sprays that will rid you of the ants in your home.
Featured photo credit: brianbeedit via pixabay.com