Editors note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on May 4, 2013. Enjoy!
I love springtime except for the invasion ofants in my kitchen that this time of year seems to encourage.
We all have our worst ant moments; mine happened when I was preparing to give my 5-year-old son his breakfast cereal, and discovered that the entire contents of the package were alive, moving with all the ants that had found their way in.
Maybe youve tried making a trail of sugar, with the idea of leading the little critters away from your home, but that hasnt worked? So what to do?
Here are 10 tips for keeping those ants out of your house. Best of all, the recipes are all natural and involve items youre likely to have in your home already.
1. Deterrence. The best way to get rid of ants is to prevent them from ever considering your home an easy target. Ants are tiny, and can find thousands of doorways that you didnt even know about. But as much as you can, block those entryways.
2. Caulk. Continuing on this theme, try sealing with caulk any windows, doors and any cracks the ants crawl through. This will also give you better temperature control and lower energy bills, and is one of the least risky methods if you have kids or pets.
If those two dont work, try these deterrents:
3. Vinegar. Clean surfaces in your home with a half-and-half solution of white distilled vinegar and water. As an added bonus, this is a great mixture to use for cleaning in general, replacing detergents with polluting phosphorus. Vinegar works because ants hate its smell, and the vinegar removes the scent trails they use to get around.
4. Lemon Juice. Just like vinegar, lemon juice also seems to destroy those scent trails that ants follow. Try spraying lemon juice around the places you think ants are using for entryways.
5. Peppermint Oil. Heres another super-easy one to try. Clean off your surfaces really well, and then wipe them down with a clean damp cloth that has a few drops ofessential peppermint oil on it. Ants seem to really dislike the smell of it and it is also environmentally friendly, and safe for humans and children. Not to mention, your kitchen will smell minty fresh.
6. Spices and Herbs. Another deterrent to make your home smell awesome! Sprinkle black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, cloves or garlic (whichever you have at hand) wherever youve seen ants and along your homes foundation. You can also try placingbay leaves in cabinets, drawers and containers.
7. Coffee Grounds. Sprinkle your used coffee grounds in the garden and around the outside of your house. If you can locate exactly where the ants are getting in, be sure to put some there. You should see them move away from your home because they dislike the smell of coffee grounds.
8. Chalk and Baby Powder. Try drawing a line of chalk or sprinkle baby powder across the spot where the ants are entering your home. It works because talcum powder, an ingredient in both chalk and baby powder, is a natural ant repellent.
9. Cucumber or Citrus Peels. You can repel those ants by leaving these peelings in areas of known ant activity. Thats because cucumber and citrus peels are toxic to the types of fungi that ants feed on, so they dont want to go anywhere near them.
10. Dish Soap. Put a very thin line of dish soap around baseboards, windows, doors and wherever else the ants tend to gather. You can also try pouring dish soap directly onto ant hills or mix the soap with some water in a spray bottle.
Related Care2 Coverage
Sick Butterflies And Ants Treat Themselves With Medicine
Zombie Ants Saved By Fungus-Castrating Fungus
10 Surprising Uses For Potatoes
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
10 Ways To Keep Those Pesky Ants Out Of Your Kitchen …
- Squirrel Gallery :: Bed Bugs Pest Control NYC - December 11th, 2017
- American Oil Beetle (Meloe Proscarabaeus) | Beyond Pest ... - November 26th, 2017
- Soldier Beetle-How to get rid of ... - Beyond Pest Control - November 25th, 2017
- Squirrel Exterminator Syracuse, NY | Squirrel Pest Control ... - November 23rd, 2017
- Pest Control Services in Charleston, SC - HomeAdvisor.com - November 10th, 2017
- Pest Control Cost Guide 2017 - Pest Control Prices UK ... - September 4th, 2017
- In contrast to Stonington, Westerly hasn't had too many problems with rats - The Westerly Sun - September 1st, 2017
- VH1 Announces Scared Famous Starring Tiffany Pollard, Erica Mena, Drita D'Avanzo, Alaska Thunderfk, and More! - VH1.com (blog) - August 26th, 2017
- A Brief History of Traveling With Cats | Travel | Smithsonian - Smithsonian - August 15th, 2017
- GAM Exterminating - Pest & Termite Control - August 14th, 2017
- CINNAMON JANZER: Dogs have better manners than some children - Apalachicola Times - August 14th, 2017
- Exterminators :: Manhattan :: NYC :: Squirrels Gallery - August 12th, 2017
- Wildlife in Town: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. - The Hutchinson News - July 8th, 2017
- Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 6th - Spokane, North Idaho ... - KHQ Right Now - July 7th, 2017
- Exploring Outdoors Kan.: Wildlife in town the good, the bad and the ugly - hays Post - July 4th, 2017
- Squirrel , Pest Control and Pest Extermination in Nyc ... - July 3rd, 2017
- Bat conservation group to roost in Pontiac - The Detroit News - June 30th, 2017
- Bed Bug Liability Claims on the Rise, Allianz Reports - PCT Magazine - June 26th, 2017
- How a Joke About Flying Squirrels Led to an Ailing Woman's Cure - New York Times - June 22nd, 2017
- Tracking invasive species? Follow the people - Malay Mail Online - June 13th, 2017
- Rodenticide Market Headed for Growth and Global Expansion by 2020 - Digital Journal - May 24th, 2017
- How to: Tips on avoiding ticks this summer - Total Landscape Care - May 16th, 2017
- Brian Kelly Of East End Tick & Mosquito Control: Nothing Bugs This Entrepreneur For Long - Hamptons.com - May 15th, 2017
- 15 astounding facts about trees - Mother Nature Network (blog) - April 28th, 2017
- Increasing presence of ticks requires change in behavior | TribLIVE - Tribune-Review - April 16th, 2017
- Noises In the Wall - Colonial Pest Control - February 11th, 2017
- Viking Termite and Pest Control NJ, NY PA, MD & DE - February 10th, 2017
- Ultracide Flea Spray Aerosol | Do-It-Yourself Pest Control - January 31st, 2017
- Contrac Blox | Contrac Rodent Bait - Pest Control Store - December 22nd, 2016
- Bed Bug Control - New Jersey Bed Bug Pest Control - November 30th, 2016
- New York Pest Control & Exterminator in NYC | Standard Pest - November 22nd, 2016
- squirrel repellent for roof - Pest Control Supplies ... - November 22nd, 2016
- The Pest Advice: What is the Scratching I Hear in My Roof? - November 14th, 2016
- Squirrel Removal Services | Ehrlich Pest Control - October 14th, 2016
- New Jersey Bed Bug Pest Control - Action Bed Bug ... - August 10th, 2016
- New Jersey Bed Bug Control - Action Pest Control - August 10th, 2016
- Deer Mice vs. House Mice - PCT - Pest Control Technology - July 27th, 2016
- T1 Mouse Disposable Bait Station | Do-It-Yourself Pest Control - July 13th, 2016
- Pest Control NJ - Pest Control NYC - July 10th, 2016
- Bed Bugs NYC Exterminator | Bed Bug Treatment in New York - June 7th, 2016
- Rat Infestation| What causes rat ... - Beyond Pest Control - June 7th, 2016
- Bed Bug Exterminator Services in The Bronx, NY, NYC - June 7th, 2016
- Exterminators :: The Bronx :: NYC :: Squirrels Gallery - June 7th, 2016
- Squirrel Exterminator Pest Control By Bed Bugs Brooklyn ... - June 7th, 2016
- pest control business.how to start a pest control business ... - October 22nd, 2015
- Milkshake Squirrel Steals Shake Shack from NYC Garbage ... - October 21st, 2015
- Bed Bugs Exterminator Brooklyn NYC: Brooklyn Pest Control - October 21st, 2015
- World, Bed Bug Registry Map Bed Bug Infestation Reports ... - September 27th, 2015
- New York City Bed Bug Registry Maps & Database NYC Bed ... - September 25th, 2015
- Exterminator NYC | Pest Control Services in New York City - September 23rd, 2015
- JP McHale Pest Management, Inc - September 17th, 2015
- Affordable Pest Control Service In NYC, New Jersey ... - September 17th, 2015
- Exterminator NYC-Bed Bug Treatment-Pest Control New York - September 17th, 2015
- NJ Pest Control | Wildlife Removal | 24 Hour Exterminator - August 12th, 2015
- Squirrel Removal Squirrel Pest Control NYC Squirrel ... - August 2nd, 2015
- Hiram ME Pest Control, Bat Removal, Squirrel Control, Ant ... - July 6th, 2015
- Squirrels at Wikipedia Pest Control in New York City - June 8th, 2015
- Don't allow people to kill fox squirrels for pest control! - April 22nd, 2015
- Squirrel gallery, Staten Island Pest Control, Pest Control ... - April 4th, 2015
- New York Pest Control Products and Supplies ... - March 22nd, 2015
- JoeBlue Pest Control Exterminators - March 15th, 2015
- What Are the Different Types of Squirrels? :: pest-control ... - February 27th, 2015
- Brooklyn NY Exterminator & Pest Control Services | Pro ... - February 11th, 2015
- NYC Pest Control | Postive Pest | Exterminator NYC ... - January 30th, 2015
- New York Pest Control & Exterminator in NYC | Standard ... - January 30th, 2015
- Pest control - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - January 6th, 2015
- NY Pest Control -Nassau County Animal Control and Pest Control - October 27th, 2014
- Map Of Queens :: New York City :: Bed Bugs Pest Control ... - October 27th, 2014
- Bed Bug Exterminator Services in New York City, NYC - May 7th, 2014
- NYC bed bug exterminator | NJ bed bug control | bed bug ... - May 7th, 2014
- Nassau County Animal Control - Long Island Pest Control ... - May 7th, 2014
- Bed Bugs Alabama - World Pest Control Exterminator Maps ... - May 7th, 2014
- Bed Bug,Exterminator,Rat,Mice,Bedbug,Exterminating,Pest ... - April 17th, 2014
- Squirrel Exterminator Pest Control By Bed Bugs New York ... - April 14th, 2014
- New York City, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens ... - April 10th, 2014
- Marauding army of fuzzy grey squirrels storming across B.C. - March 27th, 2014
- Home invasion of the critter kind - March 24th, 2014
- Squirrel Pest Control Effective Methods Of Prevention - March 21st, 2014
- Berkeley squirrels and the mystery of the vanishing e-mails - March 14th, 2014
- Berkeley to kill squirrels, gophers at Cesar Chavez Park - February 18th, 2014