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Complete Guide: How To Get Rid Of Ants In The House

Complete Guide: How To Get Rid Of Ants In The House

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.

1. Chalk

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    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.

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    2. Flour

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      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

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        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.

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        1. Borax, Water and Sugar

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          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.

          2. Flowerpots

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            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

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              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.

              1. Vinegar

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                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

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                  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

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                    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

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                    Jenny Marchal

                    Freelance Writer

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                    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                    1. Work on the small tasks.

                    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                    2. Take a break from your work desk.

                    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                    3. Upgrade yourself

                    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                    4. Talk to a friend.

                    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                    7. Read a book (or blog).

                    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                    8. Have a quick nap.

                    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                    9. Remember why you are doing this.

                    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                    10. Find some competition.

                    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                    11. Go exercise.

                    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                    12. Take a good break.

                    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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