Easy and cheap, doable DIY remedies for getting rid of ants in your home or even in your garden.
There are over 14 thousand ant types in the world and over 2 000 of them reside in Africa. These pests can effortlessly get into our homes and cause trouble that is why the question how to get rid of ants is a pressing one for many people in Nigeria.
7 reasons to get rid of ants:
- They crawl in your house and occupy your territory
- They get into your food
- They leave trails on your floor and counter tops
- They bite
- They make holes and ruin your house
- Their bites can evoke allergies (some cases could be lethal)
- They make your house messy
Amazing ant facts:
- Ants can live up to 30 years (messing your house up)!
- One ant queen can lay millions of eggs
- Some ant species are poisonous
- Ant venom can cause human death
- Ants farm other insects, which ruin your fruit trees
- Some ants are asexual and can reproduce by cloning
- 10% of working ants are food providers (these are the ones you find in your kitchen)
Now you know why you want to rid of them. Let’s learn how to do it.
7 home DIY remedies to get rid of ants
1. Washing away the ant trail
It certainly is not a nice thing to find a horde of ants in a bowl of jelly or in your cake or a jam jar. No one likes to see them crawling and searching for food and water in a sink. An easy and safe way to deal with ants is connected to how they operate.
Ant colonies have their food suppliers. Those amount to over 10 percent of the entire population of the colony.
They go out looking for food. Just imagine them finding a suitable kitchen with food and water sources welcoming them to the feast! Once an ant finds some food, it goes and leads the whole crowd of them to share it.
But how do ants communicate? They leave a scented trail for their pals to follow. At times you can even see it with your eyes, but in most cases such trails are invisible to humans. Still, if you see those ants, you can figure out where the trails are. They all follow the same path going back and forth with the food. What you can do is to wipe away that trail and make it much harder for ants to get around your house or tables.
Just take a wet cloth and wipe all the tables and surfaces well. And, of course, do not leave any food ajar welcoming more ants in. Pay particular attention to the dog or cat food. It can also appeal to the insects and make them invade your house. This is how you make your house less attractive for them without using any chemicals. It is important, chiefly if you have small kids around the house.
2. Spices and plants
Many spices and plants naturally repel ants. Cinnamon is one of them. You may also use bay leaves or grounded black pepper.
You may resort to red chili pepper or cucumber peels to repel the ants. Just spread the powder (pepper or cinnamon) on the surfaces or add it into the water and wash the table or floor.
This way your house would smell nicely for people, but not for ants. You may also leave cucumber peels or cinnamon sticks around the house to make the ants go away. Place them in the most popular ant spots.
3. DIY baits and traps
You can buy the readymade ant traps or make your own. The simplest way of doing it is setting a jar or a bottle with sweet liquid. If you have an vacant jam jar with just a little bit of jam in it, pour some water in and set it on the ant trail. They’ll find it, crawl in and many of them will get drowned.
However, such traps are effective for catching and killing only the food getters. The real trouble is the ant queen. How do you catch her or them (one colony may have over 100 queens!)? This type of ant does not leave the colony, so what you need is to make some food delivery that would kill it. You can find out more about this scheme in the Borax section.
Another simple DIY trap for ants can be made of the duct tape. The stickiest one is the best. Just cut a piece of duct tape and sort of clip the edges on two sides. Then apply some honey, sugar or anything sweet on the mid of the tape piece and set the trap on the ant trail. Ants would go for the food and get stuck to the tape. It’s a safe and very cheap ant trap you can make yourself.
4. Baby powder
It turns out ants hate baby powder. So, if you know where their colony is located, you can just powder it over and around it. You can also spread it on the ant trails or on the tables for the night to make the little intruders go away.
5. Hot water and vinegar
Vinegar works well for washing the tops. You may just add few table spoons to your floor washing water or dip your cloth into water + vinegar solution and wipe the tables and countertops. The smell and vinegar and its acid repels ants. Plus you can pour it directly into their colony. You can also pour some hot water down there to kill the queen and the entire pest population. You can do it in the garden, where ant homes are easier to spot.
Here is the promised borax ant queen killing remedy. You can make your ant bait with it. Use some plastic wide cap or plate as the foundation for it. Pour in some borax and spread it evenly leaving the empty spot in the middle. Then pour a bit of honey or sugar on that empty place. You may take a toothpick and mix just a little bit of borax into the honey or jam.
This way, ants would eat it and carry some with them to the camp to treat their queen. Just do not mix in too much of borax, so that the small working ants eat it and die on their way home. Once you kill the queen, you get rid of the entire colony of these pests. Borax also works well for termites. Find termite colony and pour some of it in there. Or, make the deadly treat for them.
7. Mint and garlic
Ants seem to be repelled by mint and garlic smell. You can create mint water to sprinkle counters and table tops. Add few drops of mint oil to your water and sprinkle the ant tracks and other places. You may also place around garlic cloves or, which is more effective, grind them and rub the surfaces with ant trails on them.
These DIY pest control methods are cheap and doable. You can use your kitchen supplies to get rid of ants in your home or garden. They work well for houses with kids, if you are afraid to use any chemicals there.
7 methods to get rid of ants
Now, let’s talk of some of the more professional ways of getting rid of ants.
1. Ant traps
How do these work and how to get rid of ants using them? Well, these traps consist of small boxes with entrances so the ants can easily get it. They contain food or pheromones that attract ants. Plus, they hold the poison that does not kill ant immediately, but rather is delayed in its effects. Ants take the food and carry it home. The rest of the colony along with the queen eat it and get annihilated. That is why traps are so efficient. They do not just destroy the working ants, but the whole population of them.
If you are ready for heavy-duty pest control methods, pick a pesticide. They can go in sprays or in powder. Some of them can be used indoors, while others are for the outdoor use only. There are many sprays you can buy from the store to handle ants. Make sure to pick up some protection gear as well.
You need to wear hand gloves, plastic glasses and a mask, when spraying the house for ants. Remove all the cooking gear out of your kitchen. Do not apply the pesticide sprays on soft furniture, carpets, etc. Spray the house and leave it for the indicated amount of time for the pesticide to have effect. Clean the house well after spraying it.
If you are using pesticides outdoors, you need to make sure the grass you apply it on would not be consumed by cattle or chicken. It can cause milk, egg or meat pollution and turn it poisonous. Plus, do not use pesticides near the wells of water. They can poison the water. Read the instruction carefully to see how close to the water source those poisons can be applied. Do not smear pesticides on the kitchen garden lots, where you are preparing to harvest. It can get into the food and make it dangerous to consume. As you may see, pesticide use has to be done with great care.
3. Pest control service
That is why it is best to call in the pest control service. These folks know how to spot ant colonies, especially when it goes about the termites. It is helpful to find a service that provides free revisions after they do the ant killing. At times colonies can regenerate, so you want to make sure your company provides permanent solution for the insect trouble.
4. Sealing ways in
One of the ways to get rid of ants is to find and seal all the ways into your house. Mostly they do not use doors or windows to get in. Instead they use small cracks and fissures to roll in.
You can spot those and seal them up. So, do not hurry to wipe out all the ant trails. They can lead you to the ways in. Trace them and try to find the colony. At least spot out the cracks and use silicon or building foam to block them up.
5. Precaution measures
Often time ants get into the house, if you plant trees or bushes next to it. Make sure to plan your plantings for the future and avoid such vicinity. You may also check your yard or garden for the ant colonies. Sooner or later they may get into your house. So, it’s a good idea to dispose of them in the garden right away.
6. Diatomaceous earth
It’s a safe method to kill ants. This powder is not poisonous for pets or for humans, but it kills all the insects by destroying their exoskeletons. Here is what you do, if you want to know how to get rid of ants using You spread it over the ant house and around it. The layer has to be 1 cm thick. You may also use it indoors on their trails and colonies.
7. Termite exposure and killing stakes
This is something you can buy online or in the stores. These stakes are inserted into the ground on the level, where the main activity of termites and their colonies are. You stick them into the ground some 3 meters apart all around the house.
They have the pop up indicators of termites, so you can easily see them. If you get any signs of termites, you stick in more stakes 50 cm away and see, if any undesirable intruders are going your way. You should check them at least once a quarter and replace the whole system every year. But you get to protect and keep your house safe from termites and reduce the costs, by not having to call in the pest control or do the repairs.
As you may see, there are many answers to “how to get rid of ants” question.
Some of them are DIY and cheap, others require more financial engagement. In any case, it is better to pay attention and fix the problem timely so you would not have to deal with a more severe problem – house repairs or complete infestation of your abode with these little biting naughty insects.