Many homeowners ignore one or two ants when they see them inside. Big mistake. These ants are often scouts for a colony that will eventually infest the home. Learn how to get rid of ants with three steps using natural, non-toxic methods.
Keep Your Home Clean
Food and water attract ants, so keep your home free of crumbs, excess moisture and the like. Start by scrubbing your fridge, stove and dishwasher. Get into all crevices to remove splatters and spills. Pull the appliances away from the wall to sweep and mop underneath, wiping any debris from baseboards and walls. Also wipe down any countertop appliances such as blenders and toasters. Don’t forget to regularly sweep and mop any areas where your family dines, and wipe up after every meal to keep the rooms free of anything that will attract ants. For more information about insect-proofing your home, check out this helpful post, Eliminate Bugs and Pests: Keep Your Home Clean and Insect-Free. It suggests using a dehumidifier in the home, as well, to keep air from becoming too moist and attracting ants.
Practice Organic Insect Control With Non-Toxic Sprays and Insecticides
There are more than a few organic products that promise to keep ants away, including home remedies. One commercial product that works for many homeowners is Orange Guard. The water-based insecticide and repellent uses d-Limonene, aka orange peel extract.
It works on most insects, including ants, roaches, fleas, silverfish, aphids, spider mites, leaf hoppers and scale insects, making it an excellent product for use around the home. And because it contains only edible plant extracts and water, you can use it safely around children and pets. You can even use it on countertops and other areas around food.
In terms of home remedies, options include chalk and baking soda, used alone or in a paste, to eliminate ant scent trails and prevent the colony from infesting. Boiling water, vinegar, cinnamon and chili powder also can erase the smell of a trail. These home remedies work for some but not for others, making their use a trial and error method of getting rid of ants.
Destroying Ant Nests
If despite using the above methods you regularly get visited by ants, figure out what kind they are so you can destroy the nest. The University of Minnesota Extension website offers an excellent guide to the many different types of ants homeowners encounter in the United States along with methods for their management.
For example, the university describes carpenter ants for the purposes of identification and recommends applying an insecticide directly to the nest. Boric acid makes an excellent non-toxic treatment for ants. Simply follow the trail of ants to their nest.
If you cannot find the nest, combine 1 tbsp. of boric acid, 1 tsp. sugar and 4 oz. of water. Soak cotton balls in the solution and leave out where you have seen ants in your home. The sugar will attract the ants, and the boric acid will attack their bodies and ants that come into contact with it, as well as the ants they come into contact with at the nest.
No matter how many times you destroy an ant nest, the key to long-term management of these pests involves keeping your home clean and free of attractants. Molly Maid can help with both deep cleaning and regular upkeep of the areas in your home that prove the most vulnerable to ant infestation.
This post is part of our Bug Prevention Guide, which includes many tips on getting rid of insects.
For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call(800) 654-9647 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.