Ants are pretty common for many of us – especially at this time of the year. They become annoying when they try to invade your home looking for food and even shelter… and I think most people reach for chemicals to get rid of them (or, perhaps even Pest Control!)
Thankfully.. you have things in the cabinet that work JUST as well if not better than commercial items. There really isn’t any need to trek into the store for anything, just open your cabinets and use what’s already there.
Instead of killing them altogether, redirect them to a new area with some of these methods. Once redirected then you can hopefully take the time to clean up your affected areas a little better to seal them off.
#1 – Vinegar
Vinegar does WONDERS around the house for cleaning. It’s great for floors.. it’s perfect for your dishwasher, and it’s even better in the rinse cycle of your laundry.
If you are looking to get rid of your ants, it’s one of the best items to have on hand at home. Ants communicate through sound, touch and chemical signals – they perceive smells with their antennae. That antennae helps determine their direction.
By using vinegar you are eliminating their sense of smell and disrupting their plans of creeping back in.
You’ll need: 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water ~ spray where they may be getting in and also on counters or sources where they are crawling for food.
#2 – Honey
You are probably thinking to yourself.. “why honey? Won’t it make the problem worse?”
If you are trying to get rid of ants, and things aren’t working out, try diverting their plans with honey. Once they find the honey, the ants will be diverted to that instead of where they really wanted to go.
You’ll need: a paper plate or bowl with a few tablespoons of honey. OR you can use an inexpensive spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water and spray a trail.
Once the ants are attracted to the items you set out, then move them little by little farther away. Eventually you’ll lead them away from their desired area to a new area (and in the meantime, you’ll have a chance to clean up the original area so they don’t come back!)
#3 – Peppermint Essential Oil
Ants hate peppermint – it interrupts their scent trails. Peppermint Essential Oil is great for digestion and fresh breath, but it works double duty as an entrance blocker for ants.
You will need: In a glass spray bottle (use an old Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle that has a plastic topper), add 15-20 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil along with distilled water to the top. Spray around the affected areas and repeat again as needed.
#4 – Sidewalk Chalk
Your kids probably have this at home – it’s relatively easy to use. Ants and chalk don’t mix – their body gets covered in the stuff and it makes it hard for them to move.
You’ll need: A stick of sidewalk chalk – draw a line where they are coming in.
#5 – Cotton Balls
Cotton Balls can be placed with solution in or around the areas where the ants are lingering. Just like vinegar and regular peppermint essential oil spray, it will ruin their scent trails and make it hard for them to function.
To use: pick up some inexpensive cotton balls from the store, and saturate them in vinegar – they will work perfectly stuffed into the areas that ants are congregating. OR, drop a few drops of Peppermint Essential Oil on each one and put in inconspicuous places. Just be careful if you have children or pets.
#6 – Cinnamon Essential Oil
Just like peppermint, ants hate smells – and cinnamon is NO exception! It will ruin their sense of smell and they will stay clear.
You will need: In a glass spray bottle add 10-15 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil along with distilled water to the top. Spray around the affected areas and repeat again as needed.
#7 – Lemon Juice
Just like Vinegar, Lemon Juice (which is acidic) can destroy their ability to smell and interrupt their sense of direction. As a result, they will slowly break away from their “desired” trail and find another area to infiltrate — hopefully farther from their original!
To use: Use lemon juice in an inexpensive spray bottle and spray around affected areas as needed.
Have you tried any of these remedies for ants? Which one do you prefer?