There are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world, but only a small number will invade our homes looking for sweets, meat or greasy delicious food. Ants commonly found indoors include Argentine ants, Pharaoh ants, thief ants or grease ants, paving ants, and odorous house ants. If you are unlucky, you may face a carpenter ant invasion. Such ants destroy the wooden beams that support the house. In this case, please get professional assistance as soon as possible.
However, treating ants as pests alone is not balanced. Most of the behaviors of ants are beneficial to us and the environment, including eating the larvae of fleas, spiders, bed bugs, flies, silverfish and cloth moths.From this perspective, it is better to control and prevent ants from invading your food than to eliminate them completely, and natural methods are most suitable for this purpose. You can use some very simple, natural and effective methods to prevent or remove ants in the house to achieve the purpose of controlling the number of ants.
1：Watch out for detective ants. The first appearance of ants in the kitchen is a warning sign. These reconnaissance ant colonies check the kitchen to see if it is suitable for them to invade, then return to the ant nest to inform other ants whether your kitchen has a lot of potential food.Do not waste time, clean the kitchen immediately , seal all food, and remove sticky food, sweets, greasy food and meat sources from ants.
- Don’t forget the dirty dishes. Wash all used dishes, or put them in the dishwasher, and then close the door tightly. Wipe all cabinets and tabletops with vinegar, which can clean and disinfect, and leave an unpleasant smell that worries ants. Remove all sources of trash and keep the kitchen trash can tightly closed. After flushing all recyclable containers, put them away.
- Clean the kitchen area with a broom and vacuum cleaner every day.
- Rinse cans, containers or bottles that are sticky or have food residue. In particular, check jam or jelly jars, soy sauce bottles, pickles bottles, sweet wine bottles, and honey and syrup containers. Put the honey jar and other food that is extremely attractive to ants into a bowl of water to form a barrier layer.
- Put each kind of food into the container and seal it. Use containers inaccessible to ants. Keep doing this for 3 to 7 days. When the ants find that there is nothing to eat, they will go elsewhere. Ants that find food leave chemical traces for other ants to follow. If there is no food, ants will not invade the kitchen, so this step is feasible.
- You also need to seal scented items, such as detergents, deodorants, and similar products, to prevent these items from attracting the ants’ initial attention. You need to pay attention to whether ants gather around non-food sources.
2：Seal all entrances. To clean the kitchen, you also need to do some investigative work yourself. Do you know where the ants enter the house from? Follow the first ant and see where they enter and leave. Use silicone filler, putty, glue, or plaster to plug all entrance holes. You can also temporarily seal the hole with petroleum jelly or a tack with a poster. If you use temporary sealing fillers (such as poster tacks), please replace them after purchasing longer-lasting fillers, as they will degrade over time and open the gap again.
3：Fill it with soapy water. Soapy water can kill ants and destroy their chemical traces, preventing more ants from following their trails. This method is cheap and simple. Just put a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid into a spray bottle and fill it with water. When you find ants, spray them with soapy water.
- You can add peppermint oil, citrus peel or orange peel oil to increase the anti-termite effect.
- Adding soap to the water as a barrier layer is more effective than just using water.
4：Set up protective barriers. You can implement many barriers to make ants feel scared and prevent them from approaching. These natural barriers may be products that are already in the kitchen, and they only need to be deployed correctly to function. The barrier width does not need to be greater than 6.35 mm, but it must form an uninterrupted line. You should know that the barrier cannot deal with the ants already in the kitchen (actually you need to introduce them into the barrier), but it can prevent more ants from entering the kitchen. Some items that can form barriers include:
- Charcoal powder
- Turmeric powder
- Citrus oil
- Black pepper or red pepper powder (the hotter the better), or try red pepper
- Chalk line
- Vaseline (for doors and windows)
- Baby powder
- White vinegar and water
- Dry powder, such as diatomaceous earth or aerogel
5：Sprinkle the smell to repel ants. Ants don’t like various fragrances such as mint and camphor. You can use fresh plants or oils made from them to make the areas where the ants go to emit unpleasant smells. The best part of this method is that you can choose your preferred scent. While improving the overall home smell, you can still prevent ants from entering the kitchen, pantry and other areas. Here are some ideas:
- Crush mint leaves and plant mint at the entrance. Dried mint is also effective.
- Lavender oil, and plant lavender at the entrance.
- Clove oil or crush the cloves and sprinkle them on the ground to form a barrier.
- Use bay leaves to keep ants away from certain foods. Ants are particularly attracted to sugar, chili powder and flour. Put the bay leaves into the sugar bowl, flour bowl and chili powder bowl. Their effects will surprise you!
6：Homemade ant bait. You can buy ant bait, but these products on the market are all chemically prepared and are not suitable for natural methods of controlling ants in the house. You can simply and directly make your own ant bait, the bait using boric acid is particularly effective. Boric acid is a natural derivative of boron minerals, used to make borax and some salt solutions. Boric acid is a stomach poison. Ants step on the boric acid, and then swallow the borax into the abdomen while cleaning the feet or tentacles. It should be remembered that if you eliminate too many ants, the harm will far exceed the benefits of ants for you to control pests, so please be careful to control the degree of ant control. The following is how to make boric acid bait:
- Buy boric acid at a local pharmacy.
- Pour a tablespoon of pure maple syrup (or whatever the ants like) into a shallow dish or dish.
- Sprinkle boric acid around the syrup. To get the syrup, the ants must walk through the boric acid. You can use a cotton swab to ensure that the boric acid powder is evenly distributed around the syrup.
- Put the dish in a place where ants often invade. Make sure that children or pets cannot reach the borax. Be patient, this method may take a week to be effective.
7：Use food against ants. There are several ways you can make ants unable to digest food or die due to swelling, thereby eliminating them. As with all methods, you need to place the bait food where the ants appear:
- Use corn flour. If you have pets or children, this method is particularly good, because corn meal itself is non-toxic. The ants took the corn meal home and tried to swallow it in the abdomen, but couldn’t digest it normally. Make sure you put the corn flour in a place where ants often appear.
- Use wheat flour (Farina). Don’t cook it, just use it raw. Ants eat wheat flour, it expands in the stomach, thereby killing the ants. Leave the wheat flour in a place where ants are infested and ignore it.
- Ants are very sensitive to caffeine. Put the coffee grounds (used and effective) in a place where the ants are infested, and they will take the coffee grounds home to eat. This method takes several weeks to be effective.
8：Try to use natural methods to deal with carpenter ants. Carpenter ant invasion is a serious problem because they can destroy the structure of a house. Watch out for their invasion, piles of broken wings are one of the signs, and carpenter ants are also longer than most ants.You can also see their dung pellets (looks like sawdust), and sometimes you can hear them moving in the walls, making a rustling sound. Ways to deal with carpenter ants include:
- Use bait. They like sugar, so you can use sugar against them, using the boric acid method described earlier.
- If possible, use a vacuum cleaner to remove their nests in the walls.
- Let pest control personnel drill holes in the wall and blow in diatomaceous earth, aerogel or boric acid. Professional pest control personnel who specialize in the use of natural insecticides can also use pyrethrin sprays or their own boric acid bait to kill ants.
9Let professional pest control personnel who use natural insecticides deal with fire ants. Fire ants rarely invade the house, but if you find them in the house, please ask for help immediately, because they are very aggressive, painful after being bitten, and can cause allergic reactions in susceptible people. If you need to spray insecticides, stick to baits that contain insect growth regulators (such as abamectin).As for outdoor areas, as long as you are fully covered by clothes from head to toe and put on boots to protect yourself, you can kill ants yourself. When the weather is cold (ants and queens will come out to keep warm), sneak into the nest and pour several liters of boiling water into the nest. You can also add vinegar, insecticidal soap, citrus oil, pyrethrin insecticide or ammonia to the water.Repeat this process every day until the ants abandon your home and move out.
- Apply a layer of sticky to the boots to prevent the ants from climbing on your feet while you are doing this step.