How to Get Rid of Ants in the House — Rentokil Pest Control

How to get rid of ants in the house

How can you get rid of ants in the house? Like many pests, ants swarm indoors once they find a good food source. They usually move inside looking for better conditions, moisture, food, shelter, favourable temperatures and shelter. Word spreads quickly around the ant colony, and soon you could have a tiny army following the scent trail into your home. However, because the kitchen is a food-preparation area, you’re likely to be reluctant to use pesticides or sprays to get rid of ants, for fear of contaminating your food. By taking practical steps to eliminate the ants and then ensuring you prevent a re-infestation, you can soon take control of the problem.

Ant Observation

First, make sure you know the ant species you’re dealing with. Most likely, they’ll be pavement ants, but carefully observe them and note their characteristics. A quick online search should help you to correctly identify them.

Ants don’t emerge out of thin air. They must be getting in somewhere. So your next step is to find their entry point. By simply observing their movements, you’ll be able to identify where they’re entering your house. They might be coming in through an open door, a window or even small cracks and holes in the building structure. They are usually located somewhere in inner house walls, window frames, indoor or in hidden places. Once you find the entry point, take action to seal it and clean it

As well as finding the entry point, you should try to find the source. Where’s the ant nest? Again, following their movements should lead you to the colony next. The ants leave a scent trail from the nest to the food source, so they’ll follow the same trail back and forth from the colony to your kitchen.

Once you’ve found the source, you can take steps to effectively eliminate the problem.

5 Steps to Get Rid Of Ants Naturally

The next question is how to get rid of ants quickly and effectively. Because ants travel back to the colony, you can use their movement to deploy a poison to kill the ants in the colony.

  1. First, set up some pre-bait to attract large numbers of ants. Remember, the more ants you have carrying the poison back to the nest, the more ants you can eliminate. So don’t be alarmed if you notice a sudden spike in the number of ants in your kitchen. They are being attracted to the pre-bait and this is all part of your strategy.
  2. Pre-bait can be a plate of sweet, sticky food (such as honey or syrup) or fried food (such as chips or fried meat). Experiment to see which pre-bait attracts the most ants. Remember that different baits are more effective at different times of year.
  3. Once you have found an effective pre-bait, you can set up your poison bait. This can be solid or liquid bait. Again, observe and experiment in order to find the solution that works best for you. Also, make sure that the ants are taking only the bait. Don’t leave other food sources easily accessible to them.
  4. It can take a few days, or even a couple of weeks, for the bait to fully eliminate the nest, including the cocoons, larvae and eggs. If you find that ants are still swarming in after a few weeks, however, it’s time to consider using a different bait. Or call in the pest control specialists.
  5. If you’re reluctant to use toxic baits, you could create a soapy solution to kill the ants. Simply mix a capful of liquid soap (or melted soap shavings) with water in a spray bottle, and spray the solution on the swarming ants. Once the ants die, clear them away.

5 Natural Ant Killers

As well as eliminating the ants, you need to take steps to prevent any future re-infestations. Remember, ants leave scent trails when they find food. You need to erase these trails using cloths soaked in disinfectant or bleach. (Water alone will not remove the trail.)

  1. A simple mixture of water and vinegar can also effectively erase the trail. Your aim here is to destroy the trail; you aren’t actually killing any ants.
  2. You can also use some home solutions to repel ants. For example, ants don’t like citrus smells. You can create a repellent by blending lemon juice, orange peels or cucumber rinds with warm water. Then dip a cloth into the solution and use it to wipe down your surfaces. You can use a similar solution to mop the floor.
  3. Spices and herbs are also known to repel ants. Effective options include garlic, mint, basil, cayenne or chilli pepper, cloves or black pepper.
  4. Diatomaceous earth is another effective preventative measure. You can use it to seal up cracks and small holes, or apply it to edges where there has been ant activity. You can also spray wet diatomaceous earth on walls.
  5. Caulk can also be used to seal up entry points. Use it to seal cracks around doors and windows.

Remember that food is what attracts ants into your kitchen. The less food there is lying around, the less likely you are to see ants. Keep your kitchen clean and tidy at all times. Carefully wash all crockery and cutlery, ensuring there’s no food residue left on them. Pay particular attention to your floor too, making sure there are no crumbs and scraps hiding in the corners or edges of the kitchen. If ants have already travelled across your floor, remember to remove the scent trail. If you have mats or carpet on the floor, vacuum them to remove any tiny particles of food.

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Pay attention to your rubbish bins too. Empty them regularly, and wash out the bins to remove any leftover liquids that might attract ants. You could also add some baking soda to the rubbish to repel the ants.

If your house has an ant infestation in your house, you should contact pest control expert as soon as possible to avoid a larger infestation. Pest control experts will be able to provide you with further advice on how to prevent and get rid of ants quickly and effectively.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom – Effective Approaches

Most people usually scratch their heads, trying to figure out how to eliminate ants in shower rooms. Some try different methods such as manually killing ants whenever they spot them or even through common insecticides, but they keep coming back. As such, many people give up in despair.

However, you don’t need to endure the discomfort of having tiny ants in the bathroom. Over the years, I have been studying various methods of home pest control.

Therefore, I have gathered vast information on the common types of insects that are notorious for invading bathrooms and various methods of eradicating different species of ants. I believe that by sharing this information, you will be able to have an ant-free bathroom without having to undergo much stress. Therefore, in this article, I will enlighten you on why ants normally invade bathrooms, the ant species notorious for this menace, and how to eradicate these insects.

Why Are There Ants in My Bathroom Walls and Drains?

Many types of ants usually find their way into our homes, including the washroom. They invade our dwelling places in search of shelter, water, and food using avenues such as crevices and cracks around windows or in the foundation walls. Another entry route is via air conditioning or heating ducts. What’s more, they can gain access to our homes through the vent openings within attics, or where shrubs, utility lines, or tree branches make contact with the house.

What are ants attracted to in the bathroom? The scents and odors emanating from sanitary drains usually attract many ant species. Typically, sanitary drains that have stayed for long periods without use will gather some motionless water that possibly contains rotting human hair.

Is there any other thing that can attract these insects to bathrooms? Yes. The shower room environment provides a conducive breeding environment and also offers food. Fermented hair offers nutrition to various ant species.

Ants That Invade Bathrooms

Even though there are hundreds of ant species that can be encountered in the washroom, the typical ones include sugar ants, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, the Argentine ants, and fire ants. The key attractions are normally moisture and food. Nonetheless, not all of them might enter and nest or establish a colony.

All the same, you need to be highly concerned whenever you spot the moisture ants. They are characterized by yellowish workers approximately 4 to 4.5 mm long. This species derives its name from the fact that it prefers to nest in a variety of highly moist areas. Therefore, an infestation could be an indication that your wooden foundation or floor has some moisture damage. Bath traps are notorious for this occurrence.

As such, whenever you spot moisture ants in your washroom, it could be an indication of plumbing leaks in the drainage system or crawlspaces. In this case, you need to take prompt action before the problem spirals out of hand.

How to Eradicate an Ant Infestation in Bathroom

The majority of homeowners normally believe that ant infestations are common during summer. Though, it could signify something even worse. Warm, moist wood is always a big attraction, and the most likely place to find such an environment is in the washrooms. Water that finds its way to the wood might come from the sink or areas around the bathtub. As such, you should seal off any cracks in the washroom, not forgetting those in the middle of tiles and nearby the tub rim.

The shower should be kept dry to avoid the accumulation of moisture. Also, during the application of caulk, make certain that you give it enough duration to cure. As such, do not use the washroom for a day or two. Frequently clean the shower with a brush and a cleanser, and do not forget to remove any hair that has accumulated in the stopper.

Keeping the Home Clean

Ants usually migrate in search of nutriment and water. Hence you must always maintain cleanliness in the washroom and other parts of your home. Food, dirt, and decaying hair that builds up in sinks are a rich source of food for these insects. Ensure that you properly dispose of the garbage bins and regularly clean them. Any residue left is a potential attraction to these insects.

Pour half a cup of vinegar with an equal amount of soda in the sink to assist you in clearing the pipes of grease and food deposits. Let it stay inside the drain for around 10 minutes. After that, flush it down using hot water.

This simple remedy, in addition to regular cleansing, can assist in warding off ants from the home sanitation pipes for some time. Nevertheless, it is usually difficult to know of any leaks behind the walls and in foundations of your house in a timely manner.

Steps to Eradicate both Big and Tiny Black Ants in Bathroom Surfaces

Sometimes, you have to handle the ant infestation. In this case, prevention measures do not apply. Therefore, you should follow several steps to eradicate the menace effectively. The steps have been listed below:

Identify the Key Attractions

Ants, like any other insects, migrate from one place to another, seeking nourishment and water. As a result, the washroom and kitchen are typical problem areas. The initial step in eradicating ants from the shower is cutting off their water source by stopping any leaks and drips. Ensure that there is no motionless water, and sinks are frequently wiped to eliminate condensed water.

Follow the Trails

Ants are renowned for their organization. They usually follow certain patterns, thus leaving trails. You can track such trails to discover the pathways used to access the washroom and where they come from.

Seal Cracks

It is very likely that they use cracks within walls and tiles to invade your bathroom. Ensure that all these are properly sealed and replace the old caulk. Likewise, outside your house should not provide pathways via which the ants can access the house and, subsequently, the bathroom.

Removing the Colony of both Tiny and Big Black Ants in Bathroom

Ants usually search for nourishment and water. Anything they get is always taken to the colony. Therefore, when you destroy the colony, you will lastingly do away with the ants from your washroom. The usage of borax and essential oils can be effective, but if you want to see the result fast, you better use specialized insecticides.

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Insecticides have always been recognized as the best and easiest approach for eliminating ants. The manufacturers have researched and perfected on how to make effective chemicals of removing ants. Currently, there exist several insecticides that work effectively when used with both the manufacturers and professional advice. A major advantage of using insecticides over natural methods is that they provide almost instant results. Also, they offer a long-lasting remedy compared to natural approaches.


This is a highly effective natural solution. However, before using it, it is imperative to take note that this chemical can be unsafe for both bets and humans. Formulate protein bait consisting of 25 percent borax and 75 percent peanut butter. One more variant of the bait is a cup containing a blend of honey and borax. Apply the baits along the trails. This aids in killing these bugs in various phases of growth. This technique is highly effective, especially for eradicating sugar ants in bathroom surfaces.

Essential Oils

This is another effective method of eradicating ants from the washroom. Ants are hypersensitive to nearly all kinds of essential oils. Among the most potent in eradicating ants is a blend of peppermint and tea tree. Better yet, it is a cost-effective and 100 percent natural ant repellent that is easy to apply.

The application approach is to spray it on the ants, instantly killing them. Also, you can spray it on the outdoor areas around the house. Repeat the same procedure after several weeks for it to work effectively. This is the most commonly used method, especially for carpenter ants in bathroom surfaces.

Create a mixture consisting of 15 drops of tea tree oil and an equal amount of peppermint oil. After that, add 6 to 8 ounces of water and half teaspoon of cayenne powder.

Mix thoroughly until the cayenne powder dissolves. Lastly, place it at the source of the trail to effectively repel.

Vinegar Solution

Eliminating ants in the washroom does not need to be costly. The everyday supplies already found at home can get the job done. One of them is using vinegar. After identifying the main entry points of ants, spray those areas with a vinegar solution. Ants rely on scent for directions. Hence vinegar’s scent helps to block their form of communication.

The Bottom Line

Eliminating black and red ants in bathroom surfaces, or any other type of ants is not an easy task. However, if you do not take any action, they can result in major issues, predominantly in the home sanitation system. Ants usually search for water and food in sanitation areas. Therefore, whenever you experience any issue with your plumbing, you can try out the remedies mentioned above.

The methods mentioned above are non-toxic and easily available. For instance, using borax is a highly safe technique for eliminating ants. Apart from being a pest eradicator, many people have used it to clean outdoor furniture and can also be used as a dishwasher cleaner. So, it doesn’t cause harm to humans. The best method, however, is using insecticides. The chemicals provide instant and long-lasting results as compared to natural methods.

Have you ever encountered ants in the washroom? Which approach did you use to eliminate them? Was it effective? Share your experiences by leaving a comment.

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How to Get Rid of Sugar Ants Fast Naturally

Sugar ants are tiny black or brown ants that love to feed on sugar and sweet food. There is a species of ant called the banded sugar ant (Camponotus consobrinus); however, many people refer to Pharaoh ants, Pavement ants, and Little black ants as sugar ants. These small insects love to invade homes where they search out sweet foods, bread, and other fatty items. Sugar ants usually get into homes through window openings, cracks under doors, and seams between baseboards. They live in dark and damp places, especially under kitchen cabinets and sink units.

There are many effective natural ways to prevent sugar ants from infesting your home. And you may already have in your kitchen cabinet ingredients like vinegar, coffee grounds and lemon juice that can effectively control and, only if necessary, exterminate sugar ants. Some of these ants can bite or sting you and even spread disease. 2 Therefore, some people choose to exterminate ants that are in their home.

I would like to mention that many of the natural remedies for eliminating regular ants and flying ants can also help you to get rid of sugar ants. Usually, you need to use a combination of natural repellents and traps to completely get rid of sugar ants.

The benefit of using natural methods to get rid of sugar ants from your home is that although they are toxic to ants, most of them aren’t harmful to you, your family, or pets.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Sugar ants are of course attracted to all sweet things. Therefore, many of the natural ant baits and traps include ingredients like sugar and honey to lure the ants. Ingredients toxic to ants are used in the mixture to get rid of them fast.

There are also ingredients that can be used as natural ant repellents to prevent them entering your home and food cupboards in your kitchen.

Here are some of the best natural methods to get rid of sugar ants for good.

Boric Acid and Honey

Boric acid is a natural insecticide which can be mixed with honey to effectively kill ants and their colony when they ingest it. Mixing boric acid and honey creates a bait to attract the ants which they then take back to their colony. The ants in the colony start feeding on the mixture and the boric acid poisons the ants.

You should treat boric with respect because it is toxic. It is a pesticide/insecticide and can cause harm if it is ingested so keep it away from children and pets.

To eliminate sugar ants, make a paste with 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of boric acid in a small bowl. Place this on a piece of cardboard and leave it where you see the ants. Replace the trap every few days. The boric acid and honey should help to destroy the colony of ants that are infesting your home. Keep putting down the bait until the sugar ants have disappeared completely.

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Borax and Sugar

Borax is toxic to ants and you can mix it with sugar to make a bait and trap to eliminate ant colonies. This works similar to the boric acid and honey method because the sugar attracts the ants and the borax kills the sugar ants when they ingest it.

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral but you should not ingest it as there is an inconclusive evidence about its safety to humans.

Mix together ½ cup of sugar, 1½ tablespoon of Borax, and around 1½ cup of warm water to make a solution to eliminate sugar ants. Dip some cotton balls in the mixture and leave these on jar lids where the ants travel. The sugar ants will be attracted to the bait and they will carry this back to the colony which will eventually exterminate all the ants.

The leftover solution can be kept in a jar, but remember to clearly label the jar and keep it out of reach of children.

You can also make a dry solution of borax and sugar to get rid of ants that are invading your property. In an old container, mix together 3 parts sugar and one part borax. Place this mixture where the ants travel. They will pick up the borax and sugar mixture and take it back to the colony where it will exterminate the ants when they ingest it.


If you notice sugar ants in your kitchen you can use white vinegar as a natural pesticide to kill and repel ants. The acid in the vinegar kills the ants and the strong smell deters them from coming back into your home.

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar directly onto the ants and soon they will disappear.

To use the vinegar to prevent more sugar ants infesting your home, spray the solution at entry points and on ant trails. The vinegar destroys the pheromone trail and will stop ants from coming into your home and into your kitchen. Pheromones are a chemical secreted by ants which they use to create trails.

You can also spray the vinegar mixture directly onto worktops and tables in your kitchen to deter ants and disinfect those areas.

Vinegar is also an effective and natural way to get rid of flying ants in your home. Just spray the vinegar solution on the ants to kill them.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another natural home remedy to get rid of sugar ants for good. Similar to vinegar, the acid in the lemon juice eliminates the pheromone trail and prevents ants from coming into your house.

Fill a spray bottle with water and the juice of 2 lemons. Spray this directly on the sugar ants to quickly exterminate them and then wipe the area with a clean paper towel. Spray the lemon solution on entry areas to prevent lots of ants coming into your home.

Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural compound you can use to control sugar ants outside your property or inside your home. Diatomaceous earth has plenty of other uses and it can also help you get rid of roaches and fleas. DE is an effective non-toxic ant control substance because it causes the ants to dehydrate and die when they come into contact with the powder.

To stop ants being a pest in your home, sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your property. However you need to be aware that DE is only effective at killing ants and other insects if it is dry. So, if it has been raining or if there has been dew, you will have to sprinkle more powder again when it’s dry.

You can use food grade diatomaceous earth safely inside the home to eliminate ants because it is completely non-toxic to humans and pets. So, sprinkle DE around the windows in your home, under kitchen cabinets, or anywhere else where you have noticed ants. You can also sprinkle DE around pet food bowls to prevent sugar ants from feeding on pet food.

You should notice that after a few days the ants will be gone from your home.

Coffee Grounds as a Repellent

Rather than throw out used coffee grounds, you can use them as a natural ant repellent. Some say that the strong smell of coffee repels sugar ants, others say that the nitrogen in coffee grounds burns the ants’ legs. Whatever the case, coffee is an excellent way to control ants naturally in your home and or outside without toxic chemicals.

Spread the used coffee grounds in areas where you have noticed ant trails in your home or where you think they come into your property.

Whole Cloves

Whole cloves are a natural insect repellent which also effectively repels sugar ants as they don’t like its smell.

Place the cloves where you notice pheromone trails around windows, baseboards, and other entry points to prevent them from getting into your home.

Essential Oils to Repel Ants

Many essential oils are excellent non-toxic natural insecticides that can kill off and repel sugar ants. Some of the best essential oils for controlling ants are: 1

Make a natural ant insecticide by mixing 8 oz. water in a spray bottle with ½ teaspoon natural soap and a few drops of essential oil. Shake well before use and spray the essential oil mixture in areas of your home where you see the ants. Repeat every few days until the ants are completely gone.

How to Prevent Sugar Ants Invading your Home

Once you have got rid of sugar ants completely from your home, you should take measures to prevent another invasion of ants.

Here are some ideas on how prevent ants from invading your home:

  • Seal off cracks and holes where ants are entering your home.
  • Clean kitchen worktops and surfaces from leftover food.
  • Wipe up spilled sodas and other sweet drinks.
  • Keep pet food in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Use a natural ant repellent around your property to stop ants infesting your home.

If you just want to get rid of flying ants, please read my article on how to get rid of flying ants quickly and naturally.

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