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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

                    A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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                    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                      Why You Need a Vision

                      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                      How to Create Your Life Vision

                      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                      What Do You Want?

                      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                      Some tips to guide you:

                      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                      • Give yourself permission to dream.
                      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                      Some questions to start your exploration:

                      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                      • What qualities would you like to develop?
                      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                      • What would you most like to accomplish?
                      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                      A few prompts to get you started:

                      • What will you have accomplished already?
                      • How will you feel about yourself?
                      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                      • What does your ideal day look like?
                      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                      • What would you be doing?
                      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                      • How are you dressed?
                      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                      Plan Backwards

                      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                      • What important actions would you have had to take?
                      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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