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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 September 16, 2019

                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                    • (1) Research
                    • (2) Deciding the topic
                    • (3) Creating the outline
                    • (4) Drafting the content
                    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                    • (6) Revision
                    • (7) etc.

                    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                    2. Change Your Environment

                    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                    6. Get a Buddy

                    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                    Reality check:

                    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                    More About Procrastination

                    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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