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How To Keep Ants Out Of Your House – Naturally!

Looking for a safe and effective way to keep ants out of your kitchen and house naturally – and keep them out for good?

Ants are one of the most problematic pests of all for homeowners. And they are everywhere! In fact, there is hardly a geographical area or climate in the world that doesn’t share its space with them. Making matters worse, once they find a way inside, until stopped, they will just keep coming.

Ants are incredibly adept at locating food sources. Not only are they relentless and tireless in their pursuit of a meal, they are also amazing navigators. As they travel, they leave behind what is known as a pheromone trail. This trail then allows them and other ants to find their way back, again and again.

stopping ants naturally
Not only are ants excellent at finding a food source, they leave a scented trail for others to follow that allows even more to join the party.

Unfortunately, that means once they have found a food source and a way in, they can be hard to eliminate. Although there are chemical sprays and solutions that can work, they are not only expensive, they can also be unsettling to use around pets, children and even adults.

But there is some good news in the fight against ants. By simply following a few tried and true preventative measures, and mixing up a few simple common household ingredients, you can win the battle. Not just in the short term – but forever!

How To Keep Ants Out Of Your House – For Good!

It All Starts With Prevention

Like most pests entering the home, ants are looking for food. In addition, they also need water to survive. If you can eliminate their access to both, you are already way ahead of the game.

Although it isn’t overly difficult, eliminating can take a bit of time and effort to do effectively. Not only do you have to seal off access to food, you also need to be able to eliminate the scent of foods that can attract ants as well.

The best way to do that? Seal everything tight! And even more, seal food sources in plastic that keeps any scent from finding its way to the ants. Whether you store food in a pantry, on open shelves or in cupboards – it is vital to keep every morsel of food sealed.

These crackers in a slightly open package are an easy find for ants. To keep them out, every food source needs to be sealed off tightly. If not, they will find their way into it!

The biggest culprits are packaged foods that have been opened, but not properly re-sealed. Crackers, cereal, bags of sugar – and the list goes on and on – are all prime targets. When a product gets open, don’t just roll the plastic back up – seal it off in a plastic container or bag to eliminate the scent from travelling.

Keeping Things Neat & Tidy – How To Keep Ants Out Of Your House

In addition, clean and clear countertops, tables and sinks as soon as food is prepared. The tiniest of crumbs can quickly be picked up on by ants, and before you know it – they are everywhere. Keep trash bins closed, and empty their contents often.

Finally, sweep, vacuum and mop your floors often. Floors are the number one enemy because they are collecting points for crumbs. Even worse, they are the easiest of all locations to reach for ants.

Killing Off Existing Ants – How To Keep Ants Out Of Your House

So what is the best way to kill off the existing ants without harsh chemicals or sprays? Believe it or not, you can make an effective spray with basic dish soap and water. How effective? It will kill the ants pretty much on contact! There is simply no need for harsh and smelly sprays.

ant trails
Ants follow pheromone trails to find entry points and food. If the scent is not removed, they will continue to come back again and again.

To make, mix up 1 tablespoon of dish soap with one cup of water. Next, put the mixture into a plastic spray bottle and spray the ants. Not only will it help to kill the ants, the dish soap helps eliminate their scent trails too. But to do that entirely, as you will see below, you need to turn to another common household item.

Stopping Entry Into The Home – Eliminating Pheromone Trails

Step three is to eliminate any of the ant scent trails (pheromones) that might be present in your home. Remember, these signal the exact route in and out. By eliminating the pheromone trails, ant colonies have no existing routes inside.

Unfortunately, this is where most ant sprays fail to end the issue. And why ants continue to come back again and again. The sprays might kill the existing ants, but the scent trails remain in place. And as long as they do, more ants will keep coming back into your house.

Ants actually leave two different pheromone trails. One right where the food source is, and one for the longer trail inside. The food source scent only lasts minutes, since specific food sources can disappear quickly. But the entry trail scent can last for up to three to five days.

vinegar and water
A simple 50/50 solution of water and vinegar will work to disrupt the food trail that ants leave behind.

The good news is that eliminating the pheromone trails is both simple and inexpensive to do. In fact, it only requires two simple and common ingredients found in almost every household – water and vinegar.

Making The Mix

To create the mix, simply combine 1 cup of regular household vinegar with one cup of water. Next, fill a plastic spray bottle with the mix and spray the surfaces of where the ants have been. As always, test the spray on a small portion of any surface first to make sure it does not harm it.

This includes countertops, cupboards, shelves, and along the entry points to the house. Also spray door thresholds, windows, and wherever else you think the ants might be entering. Not only will it keep other ants from coming in, it will also keep any remaining ants inside clueless as to where to find food.

Seal Your Home’s Entry Points – How To Keep Ants Out

Last but not least, take a little time to walk around your home and seal windows, doors and jambs with a fresh bead of caulking. Tiny cracks around windows and doors are easy entry points for ants and other pests.

Ants also like to use cover to find a path. Keep trees and bushes trimmed and away from foundations. In addition, clear leaves and brush away from the house as well. The fewer places they have to hide, the better! For more solutions for pest control, be sure to check out our dealing with pests page on the website. Here is to keeping ants out of your kitchen and house!

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This Is My Garden is a garden website created by gardeners, for gardeners. Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books and speaking for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. They publish three articles every week, 52 weeks a year. Sign up today to follow via email, or follow along!