Ants can become very annoying when seen in your home. They are not typically found running amok in a home. Instead, you will usually notice the trail they create as they head towards their mission of picking up something to eat that could be an apple core or an opened can of soda. Something sweet will oftentimes entice ants into your home. If ants smell an attractive odor, they will head towards where that odor is originating from. They can get through the smallest crack, between door and frame, and through a slight opening in your window frame. There are ant repellents that can be used to avoid ever having an issue with ants. You can use natural remedies and ant repellents that will distract them or outright prevent them from coming into your home. Repellents and deterrents are typically easy to employ as long as you can accurately identify the ants’ entryway into your house.
Vinegar For Ants
Mix white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with water. You can use it straight, but it may be a bit strong for you. Get a spray bottle half way filled with water and mix in either type of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is usually used for cooking, so many homeowners already have it in their home. The idea of using vinegar is to send an awful scent to the ants to avoid using their usual trail. Wipe down all areas that you have seen the ants going and include doorways, windowsills, cabinets, and countertops. Vinegar is one of the healthiest ways of removing ants from your home. The fungicidal properties of the vinegar will help prevent the ants and other insects from entering.
Essential Oils For Insect Control
Again, use a spray bottle and add in the essential oil of choice such as tea tree oil or witch hazel extract. Tea tree oil should be mixed in a ratio of two cups of water to one-fourth teaspoon of the oil. If you use peppermint oil, then put 15 drops of the peppermint mixed with 1.5 ounces of water and alcohol. You can either use only water mixed with the oil, but the alcohol will help dispense the oils easier. Make sure to shake well before spraying in all areas that you have seen ants.
Eucalyptus helps ward off ants with its strong smell. Spray or wipe down cupboards and countertops with a fourth of hot water mixed with a cup of the oil. Witch hazel extract is another great essential oil to choose to keep ants away. Mix four tablespoons with water in a spray bottle. Witch hazel is great for multiple purposes for everyone including treating dry skin, treating chicken pox and healing bruises as they come in cream and liquid formats.
Dish Soap – A Safe Non-Toxic Ant Repellent
Other ways to help repel ants from your home is by using liquid dish soap mixed with water. Fill a spray bottle with water and add one tablespoon of dish soap. There are other natural ant repellents that you can use including cucumber peels and red chili powder. Here are some others to consider.
Spices For Keeping Ants Away
Cinnamon sticks can be placed on your countertops and near windows and doors as the scent will deter ants from entering your home through the crevices and cracks you place the sticks. Ground black pepper can be sprinkled where the ants enter along with areas you have seen the ants as they will run from the odor of pepper. Whole cloves, bay leaves, salt, and used coffee grounds all send off an odor to ants that make them avoid the areas they are placed.
Mint plants are great to have near entryways and in the front and back yards as ants are hesitant to enter through the areas these plants are placed.
These natural ant repellents will not harm cats and dogs. If they decide to chew on a plant such as mint plants they could get an upset stomach, natural sprays and cleaning areas where ants enter your home will not harm your pets. Vinegar has a very strong odor, and it is highly unlikely that your dog will lick the areas you put vinegar. In fact, they may also try to stay away from those areas with its highly potent smell.
Any variety of ant repellent that uses chemicals can harm your pet. Using a natural mix that involves sugar and borax keep away from your pets as well. It can make them sick. A homemade ant spray can be made with a mixture of water, a tablespoon of borax and a cup of sugar. Boil the combination for about three minutes to make an ant repellent. Let it sit for a while until it completely cools down and thickens. You will need to clean the areas where you plan to lay down the homemade repellent. It’s used as bait as the ants will take pieces of the homemade mix and take it back to the queen of the nest. This will kill off the ants within a week or two, depending on the size of the ant community that is making their way through your home. First, use the natural ant repellents and only use this homemade method if you find the ants are still entering your home. Natural remedies are better when you have kids and pets in your home, whereas some of the homemade methods are not as friendly and can harm them. So please keep that in mind when figuring out your plan of attack.
Additional Ant Control Resources:
- What to do About House Hold Ants? – University of Minnesota
- Effectively Trapping Ants
- What to do When Black Ants Invade Your Home
- Ant Recommendation from Berkley University’s Parent Network