If you have an ant problem, you know that they are some of the worst pests to have. They can literally invade your home, and it seems as if nothing will get them out. But there is good news! You don’t have to move out and start over. You can get rid of ants. You just have to be persistent.
Keep your kitchen clean; this removes temptation and also destroys the pheromone trails that ants follow. Line the baseboards and table legs with ant repellents to keep them off your surfaces. Line your doorways and windowsills with ant repellents to keep them out of the kitchen. Trail the ants to see where they are originating and destroy the nest.
Ants may seem unstoppable, but they are actually easy to repel and kill. The difficulty is repelling or killing all of them. They are persistent pests, and the way to tackle them is with persistence. So, don’t give up!
Ants are attracted to food and drinks, particularly sugary foods and drinks. By keeping your kitchen clean, you can remove the temptation and discourage the ants from searching for their food there.
Be diligent about packing away food and drinks, don’t leave it out on the counter. Sealing sugary foods in airtight containers prevents the sweet smell from attracting the ants. Pet food bowls are also an attraction to ants. Once your pet has finished their meal, clean the bowl and the area around the bowl. Empty your bins regularly and wash the bin before replacing the liner.
Always clean your dishes immediately after using them; a sink full of dirty dishes is paradise to the ant invaders. Filling your sink with water to cover the dishes is still going to attract ants. If you have a dishwasher, rinse your dishes before packing them in. Keep it closed properly during the day and run it every night.
Don’t forget about your appliances. Clean your coffee machine and milk-frother daily. Empty the crumb tray of your toaster daily. Clean the inside and outside of your microwave and oven daily.
Clean your countertops and your floors every day and clean up spills and messes as they occur. In addition to removing the temptation, cleaning your kitchen removes the pheromone trails that ants leave behind for other ants to follow. Using soapy water, lemon water, and vinegar water will also repel the ants.
Ants on your kitchen floor are annoying, but ants on your tables and countertops are offensive. An effective way to prevent ants from climbing is to put ant repellent around the kitchen table legs and baseboards of the cabinets.
You can use insecticide sprays. However, this can be dangerous in homes with pets and children because you have to leave the spray on the baseboards and table legs.
An alternative is to use a mixture of water and vinegar. If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, you can also use water and peppermint or lavender essential oil. You can use spices such as cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. Sprinkle these along the baseboards and around the table legs. You can also use diatomaceous earth or tick and flea powder.
Try each of the sprays or powders to see which one works best for you. Whichever option you choose, remember that it is only effective when it is on the ground, so respray or replace the powders every two to three days.
Don’t leave phone chargers or cables hanging off your tables or counters. If the ants can’t crawl up the table legs, they will use an electrical cable or anything else that will get them onto your kitchen surfaces.
Create A Barrier
Prevent ants from entering your kitchen by placing a barrier across the threshold and along the windowsills. Powdered chalk, baby powder, or diatomaceous earth are good options for creating a barrier by windows, but it can get messy if you put it across a threshold because you can then walk it all over the house. You can also use corn flour, which is more pet and child-friendly.
Cinnamon and cloves are also a good deterrent, as are salt and pepper. The benefit of these options is that they are natural and not harmful to pets or children.
Ants seem to have an aversion to the smell of vinegar, peppermint, and lavender. So, you can mix any of these with some water and spray it on your windowsills and doorframes. People also report that brewed coffee grounds are an effective deterrent.
Fill any cracks or cervices in your walls and baseboards through which ants might enter your kitchen.
Some people have to leave their pet food out. In this case, create a barrier around the food bowl. Get a dish that is a few inches wider than your pet food bowl. Cover the bottom of this dish with a layer of diatomaceous earth or tick and flea powder. Place your pet food dish inside the bigger dish.
Follow The Trail
Keeping ants out of your kitchen is not the final solution. You need to find the nest and destroy it. You can usually follow the ant trails quite easily, but if the trail leads under a skirting board, you can’t tell if that is where the nest is or if it leads somewhere else.
You may have to remove the skirting board to get a better idea. The ants may also be coming from a nest outside, so check along the perimeter of your house for a continuation of their trail.
Destroy The Nest
Once you have found the nest, you can destroy it by pouring boiling water into it. You can also use undiluted vinegar or an insecticide.
You can also mix sugar, water, and boric acid to make a poisonous syrup. Put this syrup around the nest. The foraging ants will be attracted to the sweetness of the syrup and carry it back to the other ants, including the queen.
If you cannot find the ant nest, or if you suspect there are multiple nests, you can use toxic bait traps. You can buy or make these, and they contain a mixture of poison and a sugary substance.
The ants are attracted to the poisoned sugary substance and carry it back to the nest. To make a toxic bait trap, mix boric acid with syrup and spread it on a cracker or a piece of bread. Put the crack or bread into a cardboard box with holes punched into it.
Remember, if you are using poisoned bait traps, you need to keep them out of reach of animals (wild and domestic) and children.
Call In The Professionals
If nothing is working and you feel overwhelmed, or if the ants keep coming back after you have destroyed the nest, call in a professional pest controller. Some ants have satellite nests and the main one, with the reproducing queen, is somewhere completely different.
Professional pest controllers may find the nests more easily, and they can also tell you if they think there is a bigger problem, such as ants in your foundations. If this is the case, you may have to fumigate your house.
Controlling or eliminating an ant problem in your kitchen starts with good hygiene. Keeping countertops and floors free of crumbs and spills will make your kitchen an unreliable source of food for the ants.
Prevent ants from climbing up onto your kitchen surfaces by lining your baseboards and the feet of your kitchen tables with appropriate ant repellents. However, you need to choose a repellent that suits your home as you will need to leave it down until you have eradicated the ants.
Create barriers across your kitchen doorway and windowsills using corn flour, baby powder, or powdered chalk. You can also spay your windowsills and door frames with mixtures of water and vinegar, lavender oil, or peppermint oil.
The most effective way to get rid of ants in your kitchen, however, is to find the nest and destroy it. You can kill them using boiling water, boric acid, or borax. If you can’t find the nest, or there seems to be more than one nest, you can call in the professionals.