One of the biggest challenges homeowners face during the warm months of summer and spring is ant infestation. These tiny insects can cause all kinds of damage in your home, especially if you let them build a nest.
Some types of ants such as the Carpenter ants and termites are known to destroy building materials, while others such as the Fire and Harvester ants bite and can cause serious injuries. It’s also unhygienic to have ants in your home, as they may carry bacteria that can contaminate your food and surfaces.
Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to fend off these insects. You can easily make a natural ant killer at home using household ingredients and a few items from your local grocery store.
Consider These 10 Natural Ant Killers and Repellants
Here are 10 natural ways to get rid of ants:
1. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a natural ant killer. This garden product kills all kinds of insects without destroying the environment. It contains crystalline silica – a component used in the manufacture of insecticides.
For best results, grind the diatomaceous earth into fine powder and sprinkle it around the ant-infested areas.
White chalk is quite effective in repelling ants. For some reason, ants don’t like calcium carbonate, and chalk contains plenty of it.
If you live in an ant-prone area or it’s just ant season, you can use chalk as a preventive measure. To do this, grind the chalk into fine powder and sprinkle it around the ants’ pathways. You can also draw lines at entry points to keep off these annoying insects.
If it’s too late for preventive measures, sprinkle chalk powder all over the ant nest, keeping exit points open. They will be gone in no time.
The scent of lemon juice or peels repels ants, so you can take full advantage of this to keep ants away. Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle it around the infested areas. Alternatively, you can place some lemon peels around the entry points.
If you want to safeguard the whole house from ants, clean your floors and kitchen counters with lemon-scented water on a regular basis. This will give your home a fresh smell while preventing an ant infestation.
Just like lemons, oranges also keep ants away. However, you’ll have to use the peels for effective results. Simply make a concentrated paste using some orange peels and one cup of warm water. Apply this paste around ant entry points and let it sit for a while before wiping it off. The strong smell of citric will get rid of these unwanted guests.
You can also place the orange peels in ant-prone areas of the house such as the kitchen counter.
5. Borax and Sugar Mixture
The solution of borax and sugar may not be an all-natural ant killer, but it’s an environmentally friendly way of getting rid of these insects. Sugar is readily available at home, while borax can be bought at your local grocery or hardware store.
To make this ant-killer solution, simply mix sugar and borax with water in a bowl and stir until you get a thick paste. Apply this paste to the ants’ path and let it sit for a while. Borax contains sodium borates which kill ants. Since ants are naturally drawn to sugar, they will most likely take the bait and die.
The mixture will not only kill the ants that come into contact with it, but also the whole colony. It’s likely that the worker ants will consume and take some of the poisonous mixture to the nest, effectively killing most of the ants in the colony.
If the queen is dead, all the remaining ants will scatter out of your home in search of new colonies. The only downside to this method is that it requires some patience as the process may take some days to work.
Keep the mixture away from children and pets.
6. Powdered Sugar and Baking Soda
The baking soda-sugar mixture works in a similar manner as the borax-sugar mixture. Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate which kills ants, while sugar acts as the bait. However, the solution won’t kill ants right away, so you shouldn’t expect immediate results.
Baking soda is basic by nature. Once ants ingest it, it slowly reacts with the naturally occurring acidic substance contained in their bodies, and eventually kills them. Since worker ants often take some food back to the queen and the rest of the colony, the mixture will kill the whole ant colony.
7. Boiling Water and Soap
These common household items can be used to make a home remedy for ant mounds in the backyard. However, it can only work if you know the specific location of the ant nest.
To make this ant-killer mixture, boil some water and add dishwashing soap to it. Using an oven mitt, carry the solution outside and pour it carefully into the ant’s mound. This natural ant killer remedy will kill all the ants immediately, making it an ideal option for those looking for quick results.
Pepper is another household ingredient you can use to keep ants away from your home during summer. Cayenne and black pepper are the best types of pepper for this job as they have strongest ant-repellant capabilities.
Getting rid of ants with pepper is quite simple. All you have to do is grind it into a fine powder and sprinkle it around ant entrances in your home. However, this may not work effectively during windy days, as the powder will easily be blown away from the problem areas. To solve this issue, mix the pepper powder with a little water and sprinkle the mixture around ant-prone areas.
9. Clove Essential Oil
When a worker ant discovers a food source, it uses a pheromone trail to mark its way back to the nest. Other ants use their antennae to smell the pheromone trail and follow it to the food source. Some natural scents interfere with these trails – and the smell of clove oil is one of them. By using clove oil in ant-prone areas, ants will no longer trace their way back to your house, and this keeps them at bay.
But clove oil doesn’t just disrupt ant scent trails. It also kills them instantly on contact, making it a reliable natural ant killer. Clove oil contains Eugenol which kills a range of small pests including dust mites, wasps, cockroaches, flies, spiders, fleas and crickets.
One of the main benefits of using clove oil is the fact that it has almost zero residual effects, hence environmentally friendly. However, keep in mind that the smell of cloves may linger for a while, which can be quite uncomfortable if you don’t like it.
10. Dr. Bronner’s Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Soap is a natural ant killer that works by dissolving the waxy coating on the body of the ants. It works almost instantly, making it an excellent option if you’re looking for quick results.
To make a Dr. Bronner’s soap spray, fill a spray bottle with water and add peppermint castile soap. Shake the mixture gently, attach the nozzle and spray the mixture around ant entry points.
Benefits of Using Natural Ant Killer Remedies
When fending off an ant infestation, you can either use commercial pesticides or one of these natural homemade remedies. While a commercial pesticide may be effective, it will certainly cost you more than home remedies. Additionally, if used wrongly, commercial pesticides contain poisonous chemicals that can be hazardous to you, your family, your pets, and the environment.
With a homemade natural ant killer, you have a pocket-friendly option of getting rid of ants. Most of these options are obtained from readily available items.
Moreover, natural ant killer solutions don’t harm the environment. Home remedies have little residual effect so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemical elements lingering in your home afterward.
That said, some of the home remedies above are made with elements that can harm children and pets when ingested. Therefore, it’s best to keep them out of reach.
Stop Ants the Natural Way with Natural Ant Killers
These DIY ant killers should help you keep ants away from your home.
However, keep in mind that prevention is better when dealing with the ant infestations. So even if you don’t have ants in your home at the moment, it’s wise to take preventive measures such as using lemons or chalk before the onset of spring and summer.