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How to Keep Ants Away


Ants can be a big nuisance in your house. The existence of pesky ants marching around the home is not only frustrating but also damaging. For example, ants inside the house can pollute food by transferring pathogenic bacteria. So, it is essential to get rid of an ant problem.

In this article, you will learn about the different species of ants, what attracts them, how to keep them away with natural deterrents, and how to get rid of ants that have already caused ant infestations in the house.

Let’s get started!

Common Species of Ants

According to studies, there are almost 12,000 different species of ants worldwide. However, there are a few breeds that commonly exist indoors. Here is a list of some of the most common ants:

  1. Carpenter Ants: This type is not harmful to humans. However, they can be very destructive for building materials such as wood. Contrary to termites, they only eat vulnerable wood such as water-damaged timber. So, keep your eyes on the weather-exposed or damp area.

  2. Pharaoh Ants: This breed is prolific and is difficult to eradicate once they invade a building. They are especially dangerous in hospitals due to their tiny size and because they carry bacteria into otherwise sterile areas. The Pharaoh ant has been linked with asthma and respiratory allergies.

  3. Crazy Ants: This family has gained this name due to its erratic movement. They have multiple queens and live in large colonies.

  4. Odorous House Ant: These ants are tiny and have black or dark brown color. You can distinguish them by their smell. They have a rotten odor when crushed.

  5. Fire Ants: These ants are tiny but have a painful sting. They often exist outdoors but invade homes in search of food and water.

Ants’ bites are usually not harmful. However, bites from ant varieties like Fire and Harvesters can be very painful. So be careful!

The carpenter ant is the most common type in your home. Whether the weather is too cold or too hot, you can still find these ants running around. You can reduce ant infestations using different methods.

Before we learn how to keep ants away, let’s learn what attracts ants.

What does attract ants?

Two things compel these living creatures to come to your home. The first one is food, and the other one is shelter. Once they get it, they pay attention to reproduction. 

  • Water and Food: Due to insufficient water and food in hot and dry weather, ants move to your buildings. They forage for water and food. Ants eat almost all edible things, such as fats, starches, meats, and sugar.

  • Shelter: It is difficult to stop ants from entering your home. They can enter through cracks and crevices such as laundry vents, water pipes, chimneys, and windowsills.


A Carpenter ant most often makes its nests under the ground. However, during rainy days, the soil becomes soaked. To avoid drowning, they look for a higher or safe place. What could be a more ideal place than your home?

Your home gives them food, water, and shelter as well. So, they make their nest in the basement, attic, or walls. The ants find their food all around the home. For example, dropped ketchup, cheese, and breadcrumbs by your children are their food!

Top 5 useful tips to kill ants

Ant infestation is a story for every house. No one can tolerate them. There are different ways to get rid of ants. However, you may have to use more than one way to eradicate them completely.

Let’s discuss them all one by one:

1. Exclusion

You can use different ways to physically prevent ants from entering your home, known as exclusion. Remember, why do ants come to your home? Food and water! All you need to prevent them from entering your home is to stop providing these attractive things.

To get rid of ants in your kitchen and preventing ants requires the kitchen and dining room to be clean. Clean floors regularly and wipe surfaces to clean away possible food source crumbs.

Store food sources in airtight containers, especially sugar and maple syrup. You can place extra food in the refrigerator. Do not leave food on surfaces for any length of time. Don’t leave any breadcrumbs or food residue after eating food.

Keeping ants out of your bathroom requires surfaces to be kept dry and leaking faucets and pipes to be fixed. Ants are attracted to mold in the bathroom, so keep the bathrooms clean.

In addition, you should also keep your trash cans clean. In short, keep your home as clean as possible. Seal all their entry points and seal cracks and exposed crevices.

Ants are attracted to pet food; it is worth it to regularly clean pet bowls; any uneaten pet food should be removed.

Ants can enter your home using tree limbs, shrubs, and bushes, so cut away any that touch your house. It is an effective way to prevent an ant invasion.

2. Insecticides

If you find large colonies of ants in your home, insecticides are the most effective way to eradicate ants. Caution! You must use it carefully. Otherwise, it can be hazardous for kids and pets. Insecticide comes in different types:

Insecticide Dust: This type is very effective and safe for eliminating ants outside. You can use it to kill ants entering your house. All you need to do is spread granular insecticides on the ant hole. It will kill off ants reasonably quickly. In addition, you can apply this all-around your house so that it will protect your home from these pests.

Insecticide Sprays: This is another excellent option to prevent your home from ant infestation. Spray insecticide at the entrance point of the ants.

3. Ant Bait

For indoor ants, this is the most effective way to get rid of them. Ant bait is made pleasant tasting for ants with sugar to attract the ants and a toxin like Fipronil, Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate, or Borax (which contains Boric acid), for example. Foraging worker ants eat it, then they return to their nest and regurgitate the digested food, giving it to the larvae, queen, and the other ants.

Place the bait stations along scent trails of ant activity or where ants congregate. This form of ant control kills ants over some time. You can use bait to kill any ant species, such as black ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, etc.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade Diatomaceous earth is naturally occurring. It contains fossilized marine plankton. The crystals of Diatomaceous earth are sharp and can pierce the exoskeleton of insects, leading to dehydration and death. It kills ants naturally, along with other pests.

How to get rid of ants with home remedies

You can get rid of ants using store cupboard items. Below are a few ideas to try:

Essential oils

Different oils can be used for pest control. Various companies produce essential oil, the most common ones being Lemon, orange, peppermint, Tea tree, Cinnamon oil, and lavender are the most common types of essential oils.

Take a spray bottle and pour oils into it or add a few drops onto cotton balls and place them around the home. Use this method to keep ants away from your home.

Lemon juice and white vinegar

Line entry points with natural deterrents to get rid of ants, Lemon juice, and vinegar are excellent natural pest control options. You can also wipe surfaces with lemon juice and vinegar.

Orange peels placed on countertops in the kitchen make a great scent repellent to get rid of ants, and replace the orange peels are often to ensure the scent is strong.

Coffee grounds and chalk

Ants will not cross a line of coffee grounds or chalk. The calcium carbonate in chalk repels ants and sprinkle powdered chalk around the backyard. Coffee grounds will interrupt an ant’s scent trail; place the coffee grounds in areas you have seen ants.

Cayenne pepper

Ants do not like Cayenne pepper or black pepper. They work great as a natural repellent. To get rid of ants, sprinkle pepper or use a spray bottle of pepper solution and water where you see ants entering and along pheromone trails.

Table salt acts as a natural pest control method, and it is cheap. Spread table salt in cracks and crevices, and entry points. To make a spray, mix a large quantity of salt in a spray bottle with water.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint essential oil is a natural insect repellent and great for ant control; ants do not like the smell of it. Try planting mint outside in the soil and indoors in pots to get rid of ants. Place a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and leave them in areas you have seen the ants.

Cinnamon powder

Due to cinnamon powder having a strong odor, it repels ants place around the house and near entry points.

Killing ants with boiling water

If you have found the ant nest pour boiling water over the ant hill or ant hole. This will kill the ants in the nest; however, you may have missed a few ants that were away from the nest out foraging.

And finally,

There are different ways to get rid of ants and repel ants. If killing ants completely is your aim, you might need to use more than one method. However, the most important method is to keep them away from your home in the first place. You can do this by not providing them with food and water.

You can destroy their nests using insecticide or ant traps. Moreover, you can use various types of ant repellent that ants hate. You can also use different natural methods to repel ants, such as powdered chalk, lemon juice, and peppermint essential oil. Keep your home clean and make your home ant-proof!

Good Luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

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