How Do You Get Rid of Ants Inside the House?

Medically Reviewed on 12/23/2020

Home Remedy to Get Rid of Ants
What is the best home remedy to get rid of ants?

Ants have their nests outside around the home. Ants tend to enter the home by following a chemical trail to the food that is found by their nestmate.

The first step for getting rid of ants is by eliminating things that attract them. Avoiding attractants over pesticides may have long-term control; pesticides may give only short-term control. Other preventive measures include:

  1. Sealing all the cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and pipes.
  2. Discarding all sources of food particles.
  3. Wiping up ants’ chemical trail using soapy water or vinegar-water solution.
  4. Vacuuming the ants trapped in the house and discarding the bag in the end.
  5. Keeping vegetation and mulch at least 12 inches away from the base of the house to forbid the nesting of the ants.
  6. Making sure that the tree branches and shrubbery do not touch the house because ants may use this as runways to enter the house.
  7. Always clearing the gutter of decaying leaves and other matters. Ants like to nest there.
  8. Repairing leaky sinks and pipes.
  9. Removing the trash from the kitchen at the end of each day.
  10. Storing food, such as snacks, sugar, syrup, honey, and pet food, in well-sealed containers.
  11. Wiping spills and cleaning counters, tables, and floors with a microfiber cloth or paper towel.
  12. Regular cleaning of floors and kitchen appliances to eliminate grease and crumbs.
  13. Looking for small piles of sawdust and moisture-damaged wood inside the walls or attic, basement, windows, skylight, and other areas of the house.
  14. Using citrus-based cleaners, peppermint soap, cayenne pepper, or cinnamon to remove the invisible chemical scent trail ants leave for other ants to follow.
  15. You may make a solution of boric acid and sugar and soak cotton balls in it. Place the balls in the areas where the ants are frequently seen. This will get rid of the ants. Handle boric acid wearing gloves.
  16. Using aerosol sprays that include naturally occurring substances, such as limonene, phenylethyl propionate, thyme oil, hot pepper extract, cinnamaldehyde, neem oil, clove oil, linalool (from mint and citrus plants), and allyl isothiocyanate (a garlic extract), can be sprayed on the ant nest. However, the use of aerosol sprays is generally not recommended because it may cause more harm than benefit to the people.
  17. Keeping your pet’s food and water bowl outside the home. Make sure that the pet’s bowl remains clean and always clean up spilled food or water promptly.
  18. Cleaning the clutter because the clutter provides places for ants to breed and hide. Get rid of things like stacks of newspapers, magazines, or cardboard.
  19. Checking for ants in packages or boxes before taking them into your home.
  20. Applying pesticides that are safe for domestic use. Always read the instructions before handling the pesticides.
Chart of the home remedies to kill ants and their effect on the environment.
Home remediesEffect on antEffect on the environment
Instant gritsNoneNone
Orange peelsSome repellent actionNone
GasolineKills a few antsPotential movement into groundwater
BleachKills a few antsPotential movement into groundwater
Diatomaceous earthKills a few antsNone
AmmoniaKills a few antsPotential movement into groundwater
Hot waterKills a few antsPotential personal injury

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Medically Reviewed on 12/23/2020
References
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Do's and Don'ts of Pest Control. https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/dos-and-donts-pest-control

PennState Extension. Got Ants? Eliminate Them With IPM. https://extension.psu.edu/got-ants-eliminate-them-with-ipm

Pesticide Research Institute. Indoor Ant Control. https://www.pesticideresearch.com/site/pri-resource-centers/pest-mgmt/pest-mgmt-bulletins/ant-control/