May 4th, 2015

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

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How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Groovy Green Livin

Finally the warm weather is here and with it I’ve noticed an constant stream of ants marching through our kitchen. These aren’t red ants or ants with wings. They’re black common house ants that look like this:

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Groovy Green Livin

We’ve been trying to determine where they’re entering our house, but haven’t found the source. In the meantime we’ve been wiping all kitchen surfaces down, vacuuming and making sure that all food is stored properly.

Unless the situation is out of control,  I’m not willing to use pesticides. I don’t want them near my kids or pets. Conventional pesticides contain toxic ingredients that can, according to the EPA, affect the nervous system, cause skin and eye irritation, affect hormones, the endocrine system, and cause cancer.

There are non-toxic alternatives out there for ant control

But before I share the natural ant remedies that do work, there are a few that I’ve tried that really haven’t worked.

  • I’ve tried sprinkling cinnamon around the kitchen and it didn’t work very well. The ants tried to avoid the cinnamon, but ended up taking a different route. It’s also pretty messy.
  • Lemon Juice mixed with water in a spray bottle and a vinegar spray won’t work in my kitchen. Ants don’t like them, but neither do my granite counter tops. Frequent use of vinegar or lemon juice will dull and weaken the sealant on the granite over time.

Here are a few non-toxic remedies to keep the ants away

  • Clean up all surfaces. Vacuum floors, wipe down counter and stove tops.
  • Make sure food is stored properly.
  • Keep garbage sealed.
  • Use soapy water in a spray bottle to kill individual ants. This will also clear away the chemical trail that is left behind for other ants to follow. I like using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint for this.
  • Find where the ants are coming in and plug the hole with a water/sugar/borax mixture on a towel. According to this article the trick is plenty of sugar and a tiny bit of Borax. More ants will appear initially, but in a few weeks they disappear.
  • Another variation on the borax mixture above is to add a tiny bit of peanut butter to the borax/sugar solution and strategically place these homemade ant traps around the house.
  • HERE are a few more interesting natural ant remedies that I might try if these don’t work.

How do you keep ants out of your home?


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photo credit: Peep out via photopin (license) and TN ant 111710 via photopin (license)

15 Responses to “How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally”

  1. Hi Lori! Thanks for the great tips. Being a vegan I hate to kill anything so I’ll definitely use these tips next summer here in Australia. Ants have a right to live peacefully too! They work so hard after all..
    Luke Shavak recently posted..OMG GMO!My Profile

  2. Thanks for the tips! Very helpful!

  3. Hi Luke, Ants really do work so hard! The ants haven’t been around the past few days so I think a combination of these natural tricks are working. Hopefully they’ll stay outside for the rest of the warm months here in Massachusetts. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you soo much. The ants annoyingly creeping all over the house is very disturbing. Thankyou for the above tips.

  5. We had them for years but not this year! Last year, hubby made an assumption about where their nest might logically be and doused it with water. It worked!! We had used many of these and they worked, but the ants were super industrious about “walk arounds” lol
    Gina B recently posted..5 Ways to Help Your Child Sit Still in Quiet PlacesMy Profile

  6. Amazing that you were able to locate their nest Gina. We haven’t had as much luck! Can’t figure out where they’re coming in.

  7. You’re very welcome Cavs. Hope they work for you.

  8. THese little buggers have been driving me nuts for a month now. Great tips!

  9. The hubby resorted to a little ant hotel sort of thing, which I can live with much more easily than the toxic sprays. The peppermint is wonderful for cleaning!

  10. Definitely ant season where we live. I was just discussing this with a friend who’s having a problem. I think sugar/borax is definitely the way to go. It’s worked for many folks I know to wipe out the colony.
    Betsy (Eco-novice) recently posted..30 Minutes in Nature Every Day with My Kids: Week 1 of the #30x30challengeMy Profile

  11. Keeping clean will keep their numbers low, but the sugar and borax mixture will help clean them up. Borax works great against many other pests, too. It’s handy to keep some around in case you discover an infestation.

  12. Thank you for sharing how to get rid of ants naturally in the home. I have ants come in my kitchen every summer and it is so frustrating. They are such pests! Like you said, “clean up all surfaces, vacuum floors, and wipe down counter and stove tops.” I also have to make sure that there aren’t any dishes in the sink. If this doesn’t work this summer, I will have to call a professional to help me!

  13. I sprinkled baking soda along the crack between the counter and the wall by the sink. The ants are gone.

  14. You can use cornmeal. It is safe for pets and children, I just sprinkle it on ant hills or on the kitchen counter, and in a couple of days, no more ants. The ants cannot digest the cornmeal and die.

  15. I think you should make sure that sugar and sugary stuff are out of ant’s reach. Its Like ants are addicted to sugar.

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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