How to get rid of ants in your home and garden – 15 top tips

Dave Campbell

If you are looking for solutions on how to get rid of ants in your home and garden then it means these little guys paid you a visit just recently, right? Well, with them creeping just about anywhere, it can sometimes prove to be a really difficult task to keep them out of your kitchen countertops and most importantly away from your most sensitive stuff. Spring sure is wonderful but coming along with many ants, it can make your life a living hell for that whole season if not well looked out for.

And you may want to take necessary precautions soon if you don’t want to sing an even sadder song sooner or later.

Currently, there are over 12,000 species of ants each with its own area of operation and target “market” to devour. This means you are going to want to do a thorough research on the exact kind of species that has launched an attack on your home or garden before you even start looking for ways to eliminate them. Doing this helps to go down to a specific solution that works best for that category and is going to last for a long period to come.

Using chemicals to do this is often the temptation keeping in mind what these destructive ants have been and are still doing, but then these chemicals that are used do get rid of ants fast but cause even more threatening health risks to your family members, pets and other essential organisms you would like hanging around. So, you will want to organically carry out this elimination task without killing plants, affecting the garden beds and garden soil.

And to help you do that effectively, here is a number of amazing proven-to-work ways which will help you kill as many ants as possible in a little while.

1. Bringing Down the Nest
The best way to eliminate any of the species fast is to cut the existence of ants from the nest. And you will have to follow the trail they make in order to identify where the nest is. Although you should note that, depending on the species you are fighting against, the nest may be in different areas. The odorous house ants for example, like to have the nests built in woodpiles, under hide rocks and such habitats. By following the slow line they form, you should be able to spot their stronghold in a few.

Once you’ve gotten it, you should heat up water in a kettle until it boils with a rolling sound. After you’ve had it boiling hot, take the kettle upto the nest and pour it all over the nest. Having a good measure of it going through the hole of the entrance, this should kill thousands of them soon after they come into contact with the water. From there, you should give the nest a few days and go back to check if there are some ants are still going out because not all of them may have been affected.

Just in case there are, you can shovel them and then give them a good drown in vinegar. Also, you should consider covering the nest’s entrance hole with a few stones so that it’s hard for them to creep out.

kill ants

2. Use Cornmeal
Ants really love eating cornmeal. So if you pour it along their tracks, they will have an opportunity to feast on it. The good thing about cornmeal is that it’s cheap and can’t be easily digested by ants, so when they take it, it causes indigestion and then cause their bellies to swell up. More of this will cause them to burst and die a rather saddening death. Although its popularity has not yet been established, this is a great method on how to get rid of ants in most homes and gardens.

3. Vinegar
Get a mixture of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and then spray the anthills as well as the trails they use in your house. Ants hate the smell of vinegar. And with it killing some of them, others will feel prompted to move away to look for a sweeter smelling area. You can also use it to clean the counters, mob the floor and drip some of it where the ants revolve around. This will hasten the evacuation. It can do well on camps and picnics to do away with them easily.

4. Cinnamon
You can use ground cinnamon or cinnamon oil together with some complementaries like cloves and sprinkle around the floor, the window, the door and anywhere else you know they get access to the house through. Basically cinnamon produces a smell that ants can’t stand. They won’t pass a line drawn using vinegar or any place that emits the smell of it. A good thing about vinegar is that it’s easy to clean up after you are done with the ridding.

5. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds work the same as cinnamon as they give the ants a smell that is very irritating and make them move away for good without having to die. Having some of it in the entrance of the anthills and cracks, will make them relocate a short distance away from their current location.

6. Chalk
Surprisingly enough, ants can never cross any chalk lines. The calcium carbonate in blackboard chalk which comes from the compression of many animals of the marine is responsible for this. Slugs and ants will hardly go past such a line. So draw many of them as boundaries where you don’t want these creatures going past.

7. Lemon
You can use lemon in a favourable amount of water to wash the floors with it. Also a squirt of lemon juice on windowsills help much with sending clear signals of unwanted guests. You can also leave lemon peels on the floor, on their tracks and in cracks too. A spray of pure lemon juice also will give off the acid that takes the tracking sense away from the ants.

8. Diatomaceous earth
[adsenseyu1] Wear a dusting mask when applying this. Diatomaceous earth is a strong substance that will help chase any creeping creatures out of your home. Just apply it in areas dense with ants and anthills also. This should suck life out of them in days. But be sure to use the food grade DE not the swimming pool as the former works only in swimming pools and the latter in homes. Also remember not to use it while soaked in any liquid as it won’t work, just use it while dry.

What usually happens is that diatomaceous earth manages to go through the spiracles as well as the exoskeleton and sucks breath off the ant and leads to death. It also dries its body moisture. And keep in mind that it’s home friendly, meaning it doesn’t pose any threat people around when application is being done.

9. Salt
Other than adding flavor to food, salt can make a good way to stop ants from extending the reach of their destruction to sensitive areas of your home. Sprinkling dry salt along their paths can do well but getting a well concentrated salt solution poured in the anthills, cracks and holes they use is a much more better option. This will keep them off your property for a good deal of time due to that fear of getting stuck in what irritates them the most.

10. Borax, Sugar and Water
A mixture of borax and sugar only does not really work that well. But by adding water and forming a thick ‘boraxy’ syrup, the effect is sure to be felt. You can also add a bit of butter too if you would like. Just be sure to make this mixture on a cupboard to be slightly thin and then put it where it faces the entrance of their headquarters. The ants that will crawl out will eat and them carry it to the Queen and the rest of the colony which then will be swept off.

This paste goes dry real quick, meaning you’ll have to make some of it after a while. Though they’ll have gone by the time you want to make the third one. It is safe and can be stored at home as it only affects people or pet when eaten.

11. Boracic Acid
This is a pure white crystal-like substance that is extensively used in pharmaceuticals. It is lethal in that it kills shortly after it is taken in the body of ants and damages the skin by going through the exoskeleton just as diatomaceous earth does. So it’s effect is felt two ways.

If mixed with honey, on a small thin board to make a sticky substance, it can attract ants out of an anthill much faster. And after they take the sticky mixture, they carry it off to their colony, as usual, and then live a few minutes more before they are tormented both on the inside and the out.

12. Powdered sugar and Baking soda
This mixture helps to neutralize the acidity that ants carry along and cause something like an explosive reaction that takes them down. After the acidity is melted down, the neutralization leaves them weak and unable to digest the residue which makes them die of indigestion together with a number of wounds.

baking soda for ants

13. Dish soapy water
A soap solution has beeen widely used an efficient way to deal with ants. By adding slightly more water into soap dish, you can make a soap solution that will suffocate the ants once sprayed on them. All you have to do is to get the solution ready and then spray it on an anthill or a crack or a track when ants start coming out. This brings them to a stop and death follows.

You can also get a little bit creative by filling a number of dishes with the soapy water and then leading the ants to the dish with a sweet substance like sugar or honey. Though you should be aware that this method won’t kill the whole colony all at once, you will have to rinse and repeat it.

14. Cornmeal Borax
Ants that have been assigned duties normally eat liquids and what will happen when you put solid cornmeal pieces mixed with borax is that they’ll carry the pieces of cornmeal to the larvae who will then eat the solid and turn it into liquid for the working ants to readily consume. This means a good population of them will come into contact with the cornmeal which will destroy them. And the boracic acid will release its powerful effect on them and finish them off.

As you prepare this mixture, remember to use a dish that is low enough to be accessed by the ants without any difficulties. Also, you can make a paste by adding some drops of water to the cornmeal and boracic acid mixture and then smear the paste where the ants are in plenty.

15. Keep the house clean
Finally, if you want to exterminate ants and have them leave you home for good, try to maintain the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene. Make sure you leave all cooking utensils clean and be sure to leave the countertops, windowsills and doors sparkling. Don’t let any smell of trash or food stay in the house. Take the trash out for collection.

[adsenseyu1]Also, make sure all sweet smelling substances like sugar, syrup and honey are well locked in the kitchen cabinets and not within any easy reach. If you spill any liquid, clean them up immediately to avoid forgetfulness which will attract them. Ideally, see to it that nothing ants love is available to lure them into getting into your house or garden.

And that’s it! Getting rid of ants doesn’t have to be that difficult. It only needs to get to know what they Like, what they are looking for and how they operate. From there, you should take necessary precautions to ensure they don’t get any close. All these ways have been tried out by lots of people and have shown rewarding results. What you have to do is to pick the one you feel suits you best and start working with it or them right away.

get rid of ants

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Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.

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