How to Get Rid of Ants: 6 Natural Remedies

How to Get Rid of Ants: 6 Natural Remedies

You know the drill: stop those first few ants from marching into your home or apartment and you might just keep them all out for good. Let the first couple ants go, though, and they’re likely to report back to their friends and show them the way inside. So, how do you get rid of ants before they take over? Just like getting rid of mice , getting rid of ants isn’t fun, but it’s completely doable. Here are a few natural remedies to cure your apartment of ants.

1. Keep Things Clean

The best way to get ahead of those pesky ants is to keep everything clean and tidy. Consider getting air-tight, sealable storage containers for gains, cereals, and other dry foods. This way, when you aren’t using them, they’re sealed up and out of sight (and reach) from ants.

Clean up spills quickly so nothing will attract ants to your floors or countertops. Sticky things like honey, syrup, jam, and sugar-based foods are especially attractive to ants, so make sure you’re cleaning up your mess after every spill or cooking session.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

This naturally-occurring sedimentary rock is best used outdoors. Place a line of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) on a horizontal surface, like a cement sidewalk or patio flooring. As an ant tries to cross the DE line, the powder will attach to them and kill them (we’ll spare you the details on how it’s done, though). Just rest assured that the DE line will stop the ants in their tracks and inhibit them from marching into your home.

3. Talcum Powder

In a similar way, talcum, or baby powder, can also be used to get rid of ants. Find the entry points the ants have been using to get into your house, sprinkle a line of talcum powder down to create a firewall, and watch it do its work. Since ants breathe through something called spiracles on the sides of their bodies, the attached baby powder will clog their airways, killing them quickly.

4. Water and White Vinegar

If you’re a little more patient or don’t mind trying a few times to get rid of the ants, try filling a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% white vinegar. Spray the ants as you see them, and try to find the ant hill, too. The combination generally takes a few times to kill the ants, but it works. Just be patient; you might have to do a few rounds of spraying before seeing results.

5. Terro Ant Bait

Terro is made with Borax, an ingredient commonly-found in many household products like soap and laundry detergents. Terro liquid ant baits come in a variety of 6 and 12-packs, and the liquid is sold in a 1 oz. bottle. Customers are loyal and swear by this product, so you’re in good hands if go the Terro route.

6. Homemade Bait

We know now that Borax will kill ants, and that sugar-based foods will attract them. Why not put the two together and make a homemade ant trap? Mix 1 part borax with 3 parts sugar or powdered sugar (try ¾ cup sugar and ¼ cup borax) and lay down the trap in a place where ants are likely to go. The sugar will attract them to the trap and the borax will eliminate them.

Know any other great ways to get rid of ants? Let us know! We’re always looking for quick tips and tricks that will help make your apartment feel like home.

Why your house has an infestation of ants, and what you can do to get rid of them

Ants are ubiquitous all over the world, including in your home. Here’s what you can do about an infestation of ants at your place.

Are fire ants taking over Australia?

Thongs, barbecues and trips to the park could be a thing of the past if the fire ant invasion continues in Australia. Authorities have already spent over $330 million on eradication efforts, and its up to all of us to report it if we see these critters.

Ants in your house can be annoying but it’s worth considering how annoying before deciding to take action. Source:News Limited

It’s nigh on impossible to calculate with accuracy how many ants are on Earth, but estimates put the number at about ten billion billion. And sometimes, it can feel like a good proportion of those ants are marching through our homes.

Ants usually come indoors in search of food or nesting habitat. Even small amounts of food, like pet food crumbs, can attract hordes of industrious ants.

Ants are one of Earth’s most successful animals, and comprise more than 13,000 species. They live almost everywhere except Antarctica, the high Arctic and a small number of islands.

Despite ants’ ubiquity, people can still be surprised, or even horrified, to see a line of ants crawling along their kitchen bench. So should you get out the insecticide, or learn to live with them?

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Ants in your house can be annoying but it’s worth considering how annoying before deciding to take action. Source:News Limited


Ants are part of nature’s cleaning crew: They efficiently find and remove food left around the house. The problem is, sometimes humans don’t want their help.

You’ve probably noticed ants more commonly come indoors in summer – that’s largely because most insects are more active in the warmer months.

Ants occasionally come inside in search of water, particularly during dry periods. In this case you may see them in bathrooms or other humid parts of the house.

Heavy rains can also cause ant nests to flood and force them to relocate to nearby buildings, such as your house.


Ants are social animals and live in colonies with hundreds, or even millions, of others. They have tiny brains – in many cases smaller than a grain of sand. So how are they so clever at getting into our homes and finding our food? Because they are masters of co-operation.

Consider the way some ants march in a line towards that drop of honey on your kitchen bench. When worker ants of some species find a tasty piece of food, they respond by placing a tiny droplet of pheromone on the ground. They continue to leave a trail of pheromones all the way back to the nest.

Only one ant needs to find the food and lay a trail. Once that happens, hundreds of others can follow the trail to the food source.


The first step to dealing with ants in your house is ensuring they don’t have access to food. Seal all food in airtight containers, clean behind the fridge and in the toaster, do not leave pet food out longer than necessary, ensure your bins are tightly sealed, and generally make sure there is no food around to entice ants. (I know, easier said than done.)

If you’ve seen ants marching in a line, try wiping down the surface with vinegar or bleach to disrupt the chemical trail.

Prevent ants from entering your home in the first place by sealing up cracks and holes in walls. This will also prevent them from nesting inside wall cavities.

If all else fails, insecticidal baits can be used to control ant numbers. But before you take that route, ask yourself whether the ants are actually a problem (more on that later).


If your ant problem has got out of hand, contact a pest control professional rather than attempting to deploy a bug bomb or similar insect spray yourself.

DIY methods rarely work because ants mostly live in protected spaces (such as underground or in walls). You might kill a few worker ants, but probably won’t harm the colony.

If you (or a professional) do use insecticides, avoid using them outdoors and look for ones specifically designed for ants. Most insecticides are broad-spectrum chemicals that can kill other types of insects. This includes insects beneficial in your home and garden, such as ladybirds, mantises and parasitoid wasps.

It may take a while for the ant colony to die, especially if it is large. Some species distribute themselves among several nests which makes them much harder to eradicate.

Be careful with insecticides, they can hurt other animals and insects too. Picture: Tim Marsden Source:News Limited


In most ant species, the queen is the only individual who can produce new workers. So to destroy the colony, you need to kill the queen.

But some species, such as the rock ant (Temnothorax albipennis), have evolved an ingenious way to protect the queen and her larvae from poisoned food.

Some worker ants stay in the colony and receive new food from forager ants – storing the food in their abdomen and regurgitating it when their nestmates are hungry. Since these “storage ants” collect and mix food from many workers, they help ensure that incoming poisons are diluted before they reach the queen. They also act as poison testers: If the food is toxic, they die before they can pass it on to the queen.

Remember that ants can be beneficial predators – I’ve seen ants attack and kill cockroach nymphs. Ants also play an important role in spreading the seeds of native plants, and of removing waste from our environment.

Ants are a normal and important part of our urban ecosystems. So if we want to protect our precious biodiversity, this may mean tolerating our tiny neighbours – even when they seem intent on taking over our kitchen or ruining our picnic.

No one wants ants ruining their food. But if you have a small number of ants wandering around the house, is that really a big deal?

Tanya Latty is an associate professor at the University of Sydney.

This article originally appeared on The Conversation and was reproduced with permission

Ants: How to get rid of ants using a £1 household item – it’s easier than you think

How to get rid of ants: A £1 liquid found in virtually every household is a failsafe method to get rid of ants in the house and kitchen. Using a white vinegar solution to kill ants is a cheap, easy process.

Ants in the home can be an annoying and unhygienic issue, particularly when the pesky insects enter your kitchen.

During warm weather or periods of rain, they are more likely to come into your house.

They can cause damage to property and plants, as well as rendering food inedible.

However, there is one brilliant household solution to get rid of them: white vinegar.

A solution containing white vinegar is said to keep the pests at bay in your home.

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You can get rid of ants using a white vinegar solution

According to Top 10 Home Remedies, you can get rid of ants using regular sprays of the white vinegar.

The site explains that the smell of the vinegar will drive ants away.

“White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell.

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“In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.”

The website recommends a step by step guide to getting rid of ants using white vinegar.

Ants: A household item can help you remove them from the house and kitchen (Image: GETTY)

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Swarms of flying ants have appeared in parts of the UK and even at Wimbledon 2017!

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Ants: A £1 white vinegar solution may be your answer (Image: Getty)

It says to mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and fill a spray bottle with the solution.

Add essential oil (any) for a a stronger scent, then spray around “entry points” where ants might invade such as base boards.

You will then have to clean up the dead ants using a damp paper towel which should then be discarded in the bin.

This process can be repeated on a daily basis until the ants are gone.

Another type of ants you may find in the home is flying ants, which are said to have increased by 50 billion this year.

Ants: Use the white vinegar solution daily to get rid of them (Image: Getty)

Flying ants are fertile male and female ants, whose sole purpose is to reproduce and start a new ant colony, they do this on ‘Flying Ant Day’.

So how to get rid of flying ants? One of the most simple and effective way to stop flying ants in their tracks is using any commercial aerosol.

Spray deodorant or hairspray onto the ant mid-flight, making sure you direct the nozzle towards the pest.

Another easy method to get rid of flying ants is using dishwashing liquid. Dishwashing liquid sticks to ants’ bodies and dehydrates them to death.

A solution can be made by mixing dishwashing liquid and water and decanting into a standard spray bottle. Spraying the ants mid-flight or when resting will stop them in their tracks.

Peppermint oil will also get rid of flying ants from your home, acting as a deterrent as ants and gnats are repulsed by the strong smell.

Tactful Ways to Get Rid of Black Ants in the House

It’s quite common to see carpenter black ants in the house during spring or winter. However, the minute one spots these black insects scurrying across the house, one should quickly get on with getting rid of them as soon as possible.

It’s quite common to see carpenter black ants in the house during spring or winter. However, the minute one spots these black insects scurrying across the house, one should quickly get on with getting rid of them as soon as possible.

Ants are of various types and come in different colors such as black, brown, yellow, or red. Irrespective of the type of ants in the house, all are equally annoying and dangerous, especially the red stinging and flying ant types. Nevertheless, the appearance of a trail of black, red, or brown ants across the house can be quite irksome.

Moreover, the big, black ants found in spring or winter need to be dealt with immediately, because they can damage the house. Also called carpenter ants, these ants destroy furniture and foundational wooden boards. These ants pose no threat when they are outdoors, however, when they make their way into your house, getting rid of them is crucial.

Black Ants in the House

It’s quite common to find black ants foraging around the house for food during spring or winter. Black carpenter ants do not eat wood, instead nest in it and burrow their way deep into the wood to find a home, as a result destroying the wood. Small tin ant traps or ant poisons do not work on carpenter ants. This calls for more serious thinking.

These carpenter ants usually have their nests somewhere outside the house, in a dead tree, etc. It is important to trace their nest and destroy the problem from its root, because 90% of the ants do not leave their nests and just keep multiplying. Thus, finding the nest is extremely important, however, this is easier said than done.

To locate the nest, be prepared to go on an ant house hunt at night, because this is the time when ants are most active. Just take some honey and dilute it with water. Apply this diluted honey mixture on the non-sticky side of a masking tape and allow the ants to feed on the sugary treat. Wait and watch for their return journey. Follow them with dust insecticide as your destructive weapon. Once you reach the nest, apply the dust insecticide directly into their nest cavity. If the ants lead you to a void in the wall, throw boric acid into the opening. Drilling may be required to maximize contact with the nest.

How to Get Rid of Black Ants

Destruction of the nest is the best way to get rid of carpenter ants. Now, to ensure they do not return again, one needs to carry out a few measures.

Get Rid of Decaying Wood

Carpenter ants are lured towards moist wooden structures that are decaying. To stop the invasion from these nasty ants, get rid of any decaying wooden structures. Repair damaged wood if possible and discard the irreparable ones. Seal any holes or openings through which the ants can enter the house.

Store Firewood Properly

Often firewood houses carpenter ants, so check the wood and discard if required. Moreover, do not store firewood at ground level. Do not even store it in the garage, instead stack it in an elevated area on concrete blocks, where ants will not be attracted easily. Keep a check on your firewood on and off for signs of carpenter ants.

Clip Branches Touching the House

Often carpenter ants find their way into the house via extending branches that lead them to windows and crevices in the house. It’s important to clip off all such branches. Moreover, one should discard dead decaying wood such as logs, waste wood, etc., from the vicinity. Installing a stone strip around your house is also a good idea as this prevents scope for the ants to enter the house.

If you have not succeeded in locating the carpenter ant’s nest, seek professional help. These professionals have a lot of experience in locating nests of black ants, and will get rid of the problem for you.

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How to Get Rid of Ants in Walls

The idea of ants in the walls can be quite unsettling. While it’s unpleasant, it’s not uncommon for insects to infiltrate your walls. In fact, there are many species that will readily make use of cozy interior wall spaces if they can get to them. If you suspect ants are living in your walls, there are several things that you can do to address the problem and take back your home.

Why do Ants Nest in the Walls?

Image via Flickr by photochem_PA

Ants can set up residence anywhere they find a welcoming environment. Ants in walls are often a problem because it means there is an access point that is allowing them to get inside. If you have holes or cracks that allow ants and other pests to get inside your home, they are likely to make use of these. Areas that are moist and warm are particularly desirable for ants, as are spaces with previous damage from termites or other ants which have left pathways for new intruders to follow.

Identifying entry points is an important part of a professional pest control visit. Professionals can help you find the critical spots where ants are likely entering your home.

How to Know if Ants are in the Walls

The first step in dealing with any ant problem is identification. Look for these signs that you have ants nesting in your walls:

  • Piles of dust and scraps of wood that they’ve excavated to make their homes
  • Visible ant trails going into the walls
  • A hollow sound when you tap on wood surfaces
  • Ants streaming from the walls when you knock on them
  • Ants coming out of electrical sockets
  • Sounds of insect activity coming from the walls

If you’ve only seen ant trails inside the house, the nest could be anywhere. However, the other indicators listed above are key signs that the ants are living in your walls. If you’ve had termites or previous ant infestations in your walls, you’re at a higher risk of getting ants within your walls.

What Ants Will Nest in the Walls?

Below is a list of common ants that may nest in walls with some tips on how to identify them.

  • Acrobat ants: These ants are about 1/8-inch long and range from pale brown to black in color.
  • Argentine ants: Light brown, these ants are between 1/12 and 1/8-inch long. They prefer warm regions.
  • Carpenter ants: These ants actively excavate wood. They are brown or black, and about half an inch long.
  • Crazy ants: These ants are reddish brown and about 1/8-inch long and run erratically.
  • Little black ants: These small black ants are 1/8-inch long, and usually found scurrying in neat trails to food sources.
  • Odorous ants: Brown or black and about 1/8-inch long, odorous ants look unassuming. However, they have a rotten coconut odor when crushed which makes them easy to identify.
  • Pharaoh ants: These tiny ants are just 1/16 to 1/8-inch long. They range from light red to yellow-brown in color.

Understanding the species that you’re dealing with will help you understand what your ants are after. Some prefer fats while others seek out sweets. Knowing the preferred bait for ants is a key part of exterminating them.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Walls Naturally

The best thing you can do to naturally eliminate ants in the walls is to get rid of their entry points. Replacing rotted wood on the outside of the home, filling in damage from previous infestations, and carefully sealing all gaps and cracks will help keep ants out of the home.

Unfortunately, these actions are more effective as preventative measures than as a solution for an existing ant infestation. If you have a thriving ant nest in the walls, you must eliminate it first. You can begin by erasing ants’ trails using a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water or a blend of one part lemon juice and three parts water. This confuses the ants foraging outside of the next.

Some natural remedies that are believed to repel ants include:

  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Bay leaves

Placing these strategically in areas where you’ve found ants, such as your kitchen or outside of vulnerabilities they may be using to enter and exit the nest, may discourage them from staying in your home. To kill the ants naturally, you may try placing diatomaceous earth around the wall where you suspect the ants are nesting. This earth has tiny, sharp edges that can damage ants’ exoskeletons and cause their bodies to dry out.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Walls Professionally

The best remedy for an ant infestation in the walls is a professional one, beginning with a home assessment. Calling an exterminator to examine your ant problem will help you get an accurate idea of what’s going on. Carpenter ants are commonly known for nesting within walls and often assumed to be the culprit in these situations, but an experienced professional can identify for certain the type of ant that is invading as well as pinpoint where their nest is.

A professional ant treatment typically involves baiting the ants so they pick up poison and take it back to the nest. Over time, this will kill off the colony so you no longer have an ant infestation in your walls. At this point, you can take the preventive measures mentioned above and properly seal your home to keep ants and other insects from returning in the future.

If you’re dealing with ants in your walls, don’t ignore the issue. Contact a professional as soon as possible to identify your ants and help you come up with a treatment solution. Left untreated, this type of infestation can cause costly damage to your home with potentially long-term effects.

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