If spring and summer mean warm breezes, outdoor activities and ants in your kitchen, there are some easy ways to rid yourself of the nasty little creepers. There are also some simple steps you can take to prevent them from visiting in the first place!
Know Your Enemy
Ants come in many shapes and sizes, including black ants and carpenter ants. Most of the ants you find inside your house are looking for food.
While the nesting process of carpenter ants may be worrisome, they do not eat wood as termites do; however, carpenter ants will consume enough wood to make a nest, and large infestations can cause damage over time.
The process of getting rid of ants requires you to determine the following:
- What are ants attracted to?
- How can I use that to my advantage?
Ants need water and food. They’re most likely to invade your house during the evening and overnight in the warm days of early summer.
- As spring wanes, be sure to keep your sink clean and dry each evening.
- Empty your trash every day.
- Wipe down your cabinets and counters with a mild solution of vinegar and water; vinegar is a natural ant repellant.
Using a vinegar and water mixture to rinse off your kitchen floor can also repel ants.
Outside your home, consider planting mint and spreading coffee grounds around your foundations, as both of these odors repel ants.
Targeting Specific Ant Families
If you notice flying ants in your home, you’re probably dealing with a colony of carpenter ants. They may be nesting inside your home or somewhere nearby.
How To Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants
You have to find the nest or treat your entire house to rid yourself of the queen.
Commercial insect treatment systems can be toxic to people and animals. If you decide to use this method of pest control, consider boarding your animals for their safety, so they’re not at home during the treatment.
The most effective way to destroy carpenter ants is to poison the colony directly.
Using the Borax poison method below is a great way to determine where the ants are coming from so you can kill them at the source. This may involve drilling into your walls to apply the poison.
How To Get Rid Of Flying Ants
As previously stated, carpenter ants fly. Moisture ants can also fly. Should you find yourself facing a swarm of flying ants, hit them with a squirt of Simple Green.
This non-toxic de-greasing chemical will take them down quickly. If possible, locate their entry point and spritz the area with peppermint spray.
How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants
The name “sugar ants” is a misnomer, because they’ll eat anything. A better query is “how to get rid of black ants.” The borax trap method below is effective in getting rid of nearly all forms of ant pest.
Another trap design from PestKill.org involves a small box, boric acid, maple syrup, and a cracker.
Mix the boric acid with a sticky sweet (corn syrup would work as well) and spread it on the cracker. Punch several small holes in the box so the ants can get to the poison and set the trap out in the evening.
Because some ants are attracted to grease and oils more than sugar, consider adding butter, peanut butter, or a dab of shortening to the sticky mixture. You will have created an equal opportunity poison.
If killing anything makes you uncomfortable, consider mixing up your own ant repellent.
Does cinnamon kill ants? No, but it makes them very unhappy.
Some other non-toxic products you can use to repel ants include black pepper, baby powder, peppermint spray, whole cloves, mint chewing gum and bay leaves.
It should be noted that ingesting bay leaves can make humans very sick, so don’t leave these where a child or pet can eat them.
Whether or not you prefer to repel or kill ants, it’s important to keep them out of your house. Ants feed off carrion and rotting vegetation, and whatever they eat, they’ve generally walked on. Some can bite, and some can nest in the structure of your home.
What If They Sneak Indoors Anyway?
If you find ants in your house and are worried about the effect of toxic poisons on the people and pets of your household, consider setting some safe traps focused on poisoning just the ants.
We recommend a mixture of Borax, water, and sugar.
Does Borax kill ants? Yes, and cockroaches too.
To target ants, soak cotton balls in this mixture and set them in shallow containers like jar lids along known ant trails. If you’re not sure where the ants are coming from, just set the cotton balls where you’ve seen the ants. By this direct application. you’re efficiently killing the ants with a pet-safe ant killer.
You may see an upswing in the number of ants in your kitchen as they feast on the sugar and Borax mixture. This is good news! Every ant that visits your trap is taking the Borax back to their nest.
How does Borax kill ants? By damaging their digestive system, it poisons them very slowly. During this time, they can track the sugar and Borax mixture back to the nest where other ants will feast on the poison as well.
If you do notice increased traffic to your ant poison baits, see if you can determine how they’re getting in.
The best way to avoid an ant infestation is not to have to deal with them in the first place. If you can seal the entryway, do so. For those of us with dog or cat doors, ants can be hard to stop.
There’s no way to live safely with ants. By putting the time into removing factors that will invite ants in, you can limit your exposure to these creatures. Poisons and repellents will keep you and your family safe from the contaminants that ants carry.