Ants don’t care how good of a housekeeper you are. If they want to get into your house to search for food, they will usually find a way. Even worse than that, if they discover the smallest tidbit of food, they will return and bring a whole bunch of their friends with them. Once inside, you will face a real challenge when it comes to how to get rid of the ants.
I faced this dilemma not too long ago and asked for advice from anyway who cared to lend an ear. While I could have gone out and spent a lot of money on chemical treatments that may or may not work, I wanted to try some more natural ways to get rid of ants first; plus, with the nearest store more than 20 miles away, I was hoping to use something that I already had at home. I got a lot of great suggestions, and I wanted to share them.
The first thing you need to do is to find their path. Once you do that, try one or more of these suggestions:
- Cinnamon – I didn’t really think it would work, because cinnamon smells so good; but I guess the ants don’t think so. I sprinkled cinnamon all along their trail and never had another problem with ants coming in. I read where you should make an unbroken line of cinnamon and then they will not cross it; honestly though, I just randomly sprinkled it along the edge of the wall where I had seen them walking and that was all it took. I have never seen another ant inside my house (knock on wood).
- Lemon Juice – Similar to the cinnamon, spray or squeeze some pure lemon juice along the ants trail, particularly concentrating on where they seem to be entering the house. Also, like the cinnamon, a nice side effect is that your house will smell nice!
- Vinegar – Vinegar can be used for a multitude of purposes around the house, including getting rid of ants. Use a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar to spray or wipe along the ant trail. Repeat as necessary.
- Chalk – I have not tried this, but I read that you can use a stick of chalk to draw a line that the ants will not walk across. If you don’t have chalk, you can try making a line with baby powder.
- Coffee Grounds – Try sprinkling used coffee grounds along the ants trail and in the area they seem to be coming in. I have read conflicting reports about why ants do not like used coffee grounds. One source said they didn’t like the smell, another said they didn’t like the feel of it under their feet, yet another says the nitrogen in the used coffee grounds burns their legs. No matter the reason, many people swear by it so it might be worth a try.
Of course, while the problem I had with the ants was indoors, these ideas will all work outside also. Cinnamon has always done the trick for me, but any of these are great alternatives to using expensive chemicals.
If you have ever tried any of these methods, or other natural ways to get rid of ants, please share your stories with us.