How to Get Rid of Ants - 10 Natural and 5 Chemical Solutions

Is your house swarming with ants? Are you fed up with throwing away the food you’ve stored in your pantry because ants are crawling all over? Do you feel like it’s getting out of hand?
If so, then this article is for you. Instead of wasting money on sealed plastic containers to safely hide your food, you need to deal with the root of the problem.

10 Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Ants

There are several natural ways to get rid of ants. And luckily, most of what you’ll need will be in your kitchen or available for purchase at grocery stores.

1. Essential Oils

Essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted from plants. When used to get rid of ants, they have little to no negative effects on humans. Still, you should keep children and pets away from them.
There are various oils that can be used as natural ant repellants, such as:
Peppermint essential oil
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Neem essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Tea tree essential oil
Follow one of these two methods:

First Method

Choose an essential oil
Mix 10 drops with about 2 cups of water
Put the mixture in a spray bottle
Shakewell before use
Spray surfaces where you’ve seen an ant or more
Leave to dry
Repeat when needed

Second Method

Get a clean cotton ball
Saturate it without dilution with one of the essential oils
Leave it in corners or where you’ve spotted ants
Replace it on a weekly basis

2. White Vinegar

The smell of vinegar is very disturbing to ants. Also, it eliminates the smell they leave behind for other ants to follow.
To use it effectively:
Mix two equal quantities of vinegar and water
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
Add 10 drops of any of the essential oils above
Shake well and spray it daily on ants and surfaces
This will kill ants within only a few hours.

3. Cornstarch

Cornstarch isn’t toxic, but it can be used as a trap to get rid of ants without using insecticides.
Follow these steps:
Bring a cup of cornstarch
Pour it close to the ant colony
Wait 12 to 24 hours for ants to come out trying to carry the starch to their nest
When there’s a large number of ants, spray little water on the starch
It should look like cement (not liquid)
Give it enough time to dry up and kill the trapped ants
One disadvantage that comes with using this technique is that it takes a long time. Another is having to clean up the messy spots of dry starch.

4. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds work as natural ant repellents. After drinking coffee, take the freshly-brewed grounds and put them on a plastic sheet near the areas where ants typically dwell.
Note, however, that once the coffee grounds dry up, the repelling effect is lost.

5. Black Pepper

Ground black pepper can kill ants within an hour and it’s suitable for outdoor use.
Just mix half a cup of water with two teaspoons of ground black pepper in a spray bottle. Shake well, and spray the area infested with ants.
Avoid inhaling the mixture and keep it away from children and pets.

6. Garlic and Cayenne

A mixture of both is effective if your garden is swarming with ants.
Blend a cup of water, five garlic bulbs, and two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, then pour it into a spray bottle.
Next, spray affected areas as well as into anthills. Ants will never come back.

7. Silicon Dioxide

Silicon dioxide is a natural substance that can be found in sand and can be manufactured. You can buy it online at reasonable prices.
Sprinkle some silicon dioxide powder and it will kill ants by dehydrating their skeletons. Be sure not to inhale it or expose your skin to it to avoid irritation.

8. Boric Acid

Although boric acid can be found in nature, it’s quite poisonous. It can be used as an insecticide because it damages the ant’s nervous system and skeletons.
Sprinkle its powder over ants, or mix it with honey and stick the mix in corners as a trap.
Avoid using it in gardens as it may kill plants as well.

9. Lemon Juice

This is an excellent ant repellent with an extra advantage; it smells good.
If you regularly spray it in your kitchen or garden, you will get rid of ants in no time as ants can’t stand its acidity.
It’s recommended to squeeze fresh lemons because concentrated lemon juice products at most supermarkets may contain sugar, which will make your ant problem worse.

10. Boiling Water

This works best if you’ve noticed anthills in the ground near your house.
Simply boil some water and wait for a few minutes to lose some of its heat. Next, pour the water into a bottle and add some salt to it, as advised by many home experts.
Now, all you have to do is simply pour it into anthills to get rid of ants.

5 Chemical Solutions to Get Rid of Ants

If you need to get rid of ants really fast, chemical solutions are your best bet. Here are the most effective chemical solutions to get rid of ants:

1. Liquid Detergent

Using standard detergents to clean up surfaces, especially the ones in your kitchen, will remove food crumbs, stains, and trails of pheromones that ants are attracted to.
The more you clean up using detergents, the higher your chances of getting rid of ants.

2. Bleach

Bleach can be used instead of liquid detergents to clean most surfaces. To add, you can spray it into cracks to kill all types of ants.
Note, however, that you should never mix it with other cleaning products as certain mixtures can be highly toxic to humans.

3. Bait Traps

Bait traps may contain hydramethylnon, which is a chemical compound that can kill ants quickly. Keep in mind, though, that it’s also dangerous to children, pets, and plants.
You might be wondering, “How do bait traps attract ants?” Well, basically, bait traps attract ants to them by containing sugar or protein.
Manufacturers insert the hard mixture of sugar/protein and hydramethylnon inside a plastic disc with openings for ants. Ants will eat some parts and take pieces back to their colony.
Consuming the mixture kills ants very quickly. However, you need to patiently wait until ants find their way to the trap so you can get rid of as many ants as possible.

4. Insecticide Sprays

For faster results, use trap baits along with an insecticide spray.
Insecticide sprays contain Fipronil, which kills ants slowly to give them time to take backtraces of the insecticide to their nest.
Note that this type isn’t a repellent. So, it’s better to use it several times by directly spraying ants and their colonies.

5. Professional Help

If you’ve tried several methods and nothing worked, you might be dealing with carpenter ants.
This means you need to contact professional exterminators to deal with the ant infestation in your house as carpenter ants are hard to get rid of.

Preventative Tips to Keep Ants Away

Now that you know how to get rid of the ants in your house, follow the preventative measures below to prevent ants from paying you future visits:
Keep your kitchen clean as spilled food attracts ants
Eliminate damp areas throughout your house
Seal wall or roof cracks and openings
Spray ant repellents or insecticides around your house
Check your house plants and use natural repellents in their vicinity

Conclusion

Let’s sum up how to get rid of ants. First, decide on a natural remedy, a chemical treatment, or both.
Natural remedies can be found in most kitchens, e.g. essential oils, white vinegar, cornstarch, coffee grounds, black pepper, boiling water, and lemon juice. They also include silicon dioxide and boric acid (available online).
Chemical solutions include cleaning liquids, like dish detergents and bleach. They also include products that are specifically manufactured to kill ants, like bait traps and insecticide sprays.
Finally, when in doubt that you’re dealing with carpenter ants or if you don’t want to deal with an infestation yourself, you should seek professional help.