Home Remedies for Ants

ant home remedies

With between 10,000 to 20,000 different kinds of ants in the world, the type of insect you most likely come in contact with on a hot summer day does not possess a deadly sting or the lethal injection of the tocandira ants of the Amazon. Ants possess an average life expectancy of 45 to 60 days, which within that short period of time – is able to accomplish a great deal of work for their colony. Usually, an ant infestation of the home is by accident, but nonetheless – knowing effective home remedies for ants is an important piece of information to possess.

What are Ants?

When it comes to ants, these very social insects are considered “eusocial,” meaning the community is comprised of both productive and sterile members of the community, which contribute to the protection and cultivation of reproductive residents [1]. Throughout their existence, the ant has been regarded for its strength and high level of organization within the colonies and nests.

Out of sometimes millions of ants, each and every member of the community abides by their given duties until they are replaced by up-and-coming units. With this keen sense of purpose and function, ants are able to thrive in many different places, coming in a wide-range of sizes and species with distinct characteristics. A typical ant colony consists of female ants (“workers”), fertile males (“drones”), and fertile females (“queens”).

The typical structure of the ant body is composed of six legs – each with three joints. The outside of their body is quite hard, possessing an armor known as the exoskeleton. Antennae aid the ants in finding their way around, but also serve as their sense of smell. The head of an ant consists of two large, strong jaws, which open and close sideways in the same manner as a pair of scissors. Usually, ants are found in shades of black, brown, and red [2].
ants-home-remedies
In regards to reproduction, the queens and the males possess wings while the worker ants do not. When mating, male and female ants fly into the air where the male deposits a significant amount of sperm cells into the female. After completion, the females remove their wings and begin to lay eggs. Soon after mating, the males quickly expire.

When finding food, the adult ant is unable to chew and swallow solid food, and instead, swallows the juice that is extracted and tosses the dry part to the side. The food travelers to the abdomen of the ant – composes of two stomachs. The first holds food for itself, while the second stomach is for food shared with other ants.

Across the globe, ants are found in almost every locale, especially in tropical destinations, where some of the most intriguing species are known to thrive. While almost all seven continents contain their own indigenous species of ant, no known native species of ant live in Iceland, Antarctica, Greenland, and the Hawaiian Islands. This doesn’t mean that there are no ants living in these locations, as the Hawaiian Islands have more than 40 species since established in Hawaii [3].

Different Types of Ants

As you scan the home remedies to solve your household ant problem, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of ants you may encounter. One of the most common house ant is called the pavement ant, which typically builds nests about the outside of the home – within pavement cracks, along the edges of curbs, under stones, and in the crevices of woodwork.

Throughout the year, a pavement ant can forage – feeding on live and dead insects, meat, grease, honeydew, plant roots, and seeds. While the workers are sluggish, these light to dark brown to blackish pests sometimes create nest within a home located close to a heat source. To get a clear picture on some of the ant species that may or may not become a nuisance within your home, a few specimens include:

a) Pharaoh Ant:

These yellow, honey-colored, or orange ants are about 1/16-inch long, displaying a 12-segmented antennae and uneven thorax construction. Pharaoh ants may feed on both living and dead insects, but on the home front, the ants crave sweets, fats, and proteins. Trails of these ants typically visit cabinets, floors, baseboards, carpets, and countertops. They usually prefer places with moisture, and have been known to use plumbing pipes as a mode of transport from room to room. The colonies are quite mobile and may consist of up to 300,000 workers with many different queens.

b) Fire Ant:

Sometimes referred to as “killer ants,” these insects use multiple queens in the nest to encourage an extremely fast rate in reproduction. The ants possess reddish bodies with shiny dark brown characteristics with a stinger. They have large eyes with three teeth positioned in the front of their head. In a household, the extremely aggressive fire ant searches for sweet foods, fats, and proteins. While they are known as a menace inside the home, these ants actually help sugarcane and cotton farmers with their crops.

c) Driver Ants and Army Ant:

In Africa and South America, the driver and army ant species are masters at teamwork, as each ¼ inch-long colony members contributes to a powerhouse comprised of between 170,000 and 700,000 workers. In the wee hours of the morning, the ants pile out to search for food and when met with adversity – simply swarm their prey – cutting their bodies into small pieces using fiercely sharp jaws. Army ants are so well respected in Africa, residents are known to temporarily abandon their residence, as army ants pass over the huts, gathering any insects they may feast upon. When the army ants move on, the residents return to huts ridded of insects, roaches, and other pests.

Signs of an Ant Infestation

When you spot a few ants gathering at your baseboards, there is no need to jump into a definite panic – ants are great travelers and will go to great lengths to bring back food for the nest. Sometimes, a few transient workers get lost or aimlessly wander into a home by accident. Familiarizing yourself with the following signs of an ant infestation helps to confirm or discredit your fears, as well as find the best course of action:

a) Sighting of Large, Winged Ants:

When large ants with wings emerge from the ceilings, walls, and crawl spaces of your home, you are amidst a serious ant problem.

b) Frass:

This is the name given to the material that often piles up outside of nest openings, which gather in spider webs and decorate windowsills. It is made up of wood shavings, soil, dead ants, and part of other insects.

c) “Swarmers”:

The winged reproductives of the ant colony often take to the air during the spring season and often become trapped in spider webs, appear on window ledges, and become caught in light fixtures. Sighting a large gathering of these ants is a sign that an infestation is near.

d) Faint, Rustling Noises:

Within the walls and woodwork, a faint sound is heard when an active ant infestation is present in your home. Sometimes, the carpenter ant releases a clicking sound, when alarmed. If you tap against the wood using a screwdriver where you believe a potential nest is hidden, you can use a stethoscope to detect activity.

e) Damaged Wood:

Some ants are known to cause wood damage, which is a direct effect caused by burrowing tunnels linked to colonies.

Home Remedies for Ants

Before setting out the ant traps and buying the chemical sprays – at the first sight of ants – try considering the plenty of home remedies that use common ingredients found right in the household that prove quite effective in eliminating the problem. A few methods to consider include: ants-home-remedies2

a) Plants:

Since ants are not too fond of spearmint, pennyroyal, and tansy, you may want to plant these selections close to the home in an effort to ward off ants. To keep red ants out of the way, the planting of sweet fern is recommended.

b) Boric Acid [4]:

To combat ants, a homemade bait may contain 3 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 4 teaspoons of boric acid. Another recipe involves 2 tablespoons of boric acid and 1 cup of corn syrup.

c) Vinegar and Water:

The next time you wash down your counters, mix equal parts of vinegar and water to detract ants.

d) Kerosene:

When ants make it a habit of hovering about a pet food dish, you may wipe the floor and around the dishes with a cloth dipped in kerosene. Some pet owners then set the food dish within a larger dish that contains water.

e) Avoid Picnic Disaster:

To keep crawling ants away from a picnic table, place each leg in a small pan of water.

f) Mint Apple Jelly:

Combine two tablespoons of boric acid powder for every 10 ounces of mint apple jelly to create an effective ant control remedy.

g) Confectioners Sugar:

To eliminate ants, mix equal parts of borax with confectioner sugar. The ants bring the mixture back to the nest, which aids in killing the rest of the colony [5].

h) Tea Bags:

Using a tea bag filled with mint tea can control ants in their most active spots. Sometimes, the use of dry, crushed mint leaves or cloves will help combat your ant problem.

i) Soapy Water:

A small spray bottle containing soapy water can be used to spray and ward off ants.

j) Peanut Butter:

Combine six parts of peanut butter with one part brown sugar, adding ½ teaspoon salt with one part boric acid to control ants. A boric acid, peanut butter and jelly blend is also known to control a large number of common household ants with the exception of Argentine ants, carpenter ants, big-headed ants, and field ants. This remedy effectively treats infestations of odorous house ants, acrobat ants, little black ants, pharaoh ants and pavement ants. To make the mixture, combine 2 tablespoons each of peanut butter and jelly with 1 tablespoon of boric acid. The bait is then placed on a sheet of paper in the location where ants are foraging. It is important to keep children and pets out of the way.

k) Vinegar:

Spraying vinegar around the doors and window frames, under appliances, and close to known ant trails will help kill ants.

l) Cinnamon:

Placing a cinnamon stick in the pathway of ants sometimes keeps ants from coming through doors and windows. In many cases, they do not dare cross it.

m) Alcohol:

A mixture comprised of 40% water, 40% alcohol, and 20% dish soap is known to treat most species of ant. Some insects die upon contact. The combination also helps to eliminate the chemical trail left behind by ants so others are unable to follow the same path into your home.

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  • sunil

    To avoid ants -put a peeled upper layer of cucumber on various places.ants do avoid that place.

  • katie

    Grits do not work!!!

  • Tammi

    You can sprinkle baby powder around window sills, door frames, etc (also works great in vehicles), for some reason the ants stay away from it.

  • Steven

    Try cinnamon, chili powder and pet fresh carpet powder. Sprinkle all over floor in an even coat. Vacume up the next day.

  • bruin

    try putting fabric softeners (ie bounce) in a place w ants. it repels them and they go away.

  • Kim

    Salt does not work, tried it

  • Karen

    Also tired salt. Doesn’t work. Tried vinager/water does not work just stinks. Bought Borax and learned I need Boric! Ugggg!

  • Julie

    Borax and grape jelly – maybe 5 tblspoons jelly to 2 tsp borax – you want enough borax to kill but not enough to kill the taste of the jelly – ants love it and the borax kills them – it worked for me!

  • melissa

    none of these are home remedies. who has this kind of stuff just layin around the house?.

  • DEBERRY

    THE BOUNCE FABRIC SOFTNER WORKS

  • Isis

    I used the water/alcohol/dish soap in a spray bottle, and it worked like a charm! I was able to spray it in our food pantry, without worrying about poisoning my family 🙂

  • Meenu

    Spill lots of sweetened fruit juices (gallons of) all over the floor. Ants will get attracted to it, and die in the flood.

  • buffy

    tried gritts didnt work now trying cornmeal

  • josephine

    Tried cheap hairspray. Seems to be doing the trick. When I find a little group of them I spray them and the baseboards and they aren’t coming back probably because of the alcohol in the hairspray.

  • Kidzrlife2

    Home remedy that most people always have on hand. Before the beginning of spring take a few bottles of soap (Joy) etc and trace around the foundation of your house with the soap in one line. Do your best not to break the circle as its just an opening that they find to get in. I actually used this on my parents home after they already had ants & it also worked. I found it took longer to get rid of them with them in the house already in the wood. (As why I am on the website) I did not take my own advice and make a cirle around my house before the spring came and now have ants only in living room and they havent been attracted to food or sweets. Hard to find the source.

  • pedro

    Yes I have just tried the baby powder… seems ok and it seems to be detering the ants to come any further. Peace.

  • Dorothy Morris

    Take a thick piece of white chalk, the kind that kids write on the sidewalks) and mark the entrance (inside) of all your doors and windows to the house, garage etc. This works!! Keep a check and repeat if the chalk gets washed away or starts to disappear.
    for outside… mix baby oil, dish soap in a large spray bottle and
    spray around the whole house at the foundation. Do the complete house-foundation ending up where you started. This is also good for japanese beetles that attack Asiatic lilies. It works! Good luck..

  • destanie

    I have been trying bleach and water; seems okay

  • raina

    These flying ants are all over in my bathroom,I don’t know why there is no food in there.HELP!

  • Aohkii

    Also used 40/40/20 mixture (had all ingredients handy) ANTS DO NOT LIKE IT! It eventually kills them, allbeit slowly and you have to saturate area. I didn’t have spray bottle so don’t know if that will effect the potencey of mixture.

  • Nora

    I had ants around the trash can and sprayed the area with some Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner and it worked. The downside is that it only worked for the time that the bag was in the trash can.

  • Becky

    I have flying ants all over my bathroom too!!! HELP! I sprayed ant killer in there and now they are coming up the vents into my upstairs bathroom! AHHH!!!!

  • Jim

    My lawn up north is full of ant hills. I’m afraid they will start coming in the house. Also have a large camp out planed. Have an empty weed killer spray bottle that hooks to the hose. Going to fill it 50% dish soap and 50% bleach. I know the soap will help and not kill the lawn, kind of wonder about the bleach. I refuse to use poisons or other chemicals. Have about a half acre to spray. Anyone got any ideas what else I might add. If not, I’ll let you know what happens. Wish me luck. JIM

  • Jim

    RAINA
    I know from experience that ants are attracked to WET WOOD. You probably have a leak in your shower, tub,toilet, some place in the wall. I’m betting its near your shower/tub because thats what you use all the time. Water runs down hill, any of the drywall soft near the floor or is the base molding wet? Have a basement, look up directly below where the plumbingsat.If you have a leak, the water will cause the wood to turn black (mold). Is that wood below wet or soft. This kind of problem usually happens over a long period of time. Here’s what to look for in the shower area…..loose pipe that holds shower head, leak in mixing valve that supplies water to shower head or tub, loose over flow (what keeps tub from over filling) loose trap behind tub, or if you have a stall shower, check floor drain, next check everything connected to the bathroom sink. Start from the floor, it will save you time and possibly show you where and what is leaking. Good luck to you.

  • Lorie

    409 kills on contact and its safe.

  • Tara

    I tried the 40/40/20 mixture, did work to kill a lot of the ants but did not keep more from coming back. Baby powder seems to be working very well to keep them from coming back.

  • Jason

    Vinegar worked…sprayed the ants and the baseboards and did the trick.

  • John

    Cornmeal didn’t work for me.

  • Mata

    Plunger coffee…Instead of chucking it out the leftovers chuck some of this in your gardens around doors windows etc. and try putting a little in a pottle in the ants trail, it seems to work great. vinegar also works make sure its white! they hate it!!

  • JesusETreviño

    I just got out of prison. We use baby powder to get rid of the ants. It works and smells good however it doesnt work for long if your not carefull youll have your entire cell with baby powder on the floor. They get used to it after a while. I seen them just walking around the cell like the baby powder was just the floor. Ima try bleach and water sounds like it might work.

  • amanda

    I always use baby powder..and believe me I go crazy with it..just got done lol…but it works and I believe the reason is because it suffocates them they cant breathe…and ummm meenu is it? yea what are you talking about spill gallons of sweet fruit juice all over??really..thats just going to attract them over n over again..so hopefully non one trys that..just common sense we are trying to get rid of them not attract more.but yes BABY POWDER..=)

  • Breanna

    Flying ants are probably termites.

  • janet

    alcohol hand sanitizer gel is the bomb on ant mounds. Destroyed two fire ant hills with it and working on more now.

    the borax and jelly method does work. useing it in the kitchen to get rid of those tiny ants my mom calls piss ants. little guys are taking the poisoned food home to momma.. isnt that sweet of them.

  • Katie

    I have recently had a problem with ants (possibly Fire or ‘piss’ ants) in my home, especially in my carpet and in my child’s crib! I have to vaccume atleast 5+ times a day b/c of my son anyway but they keep coming back. And I have washed my son’s sheets and even gave him water in his bottle instead of formula and they still get in his crib and have bitten him. I’m going to try several of these remedies to see if it will help.. if anyone has had this problem before and found a good remedy, please write back, thanks! -Katie

  • erika

    I used straight vinegar in a spray bottle all around my kitchen baseboards, it hasn’t gotten rid of all the ants, but I can see maybe 3 as apposed to fifty that were there twenty minutes after I swept and mopped and wiped down the counters. So it does seem to help, and I happened to have it in the cupboard. You might try to find an almost empty spray bottle of cleanser and just pour vinegar into to spray around the baseboards.

  • MommyOfTheHouse

    I have ants in my house but they don’t seem to be sugar ants. I think this because they don’t seem to be attracted to the food. They are just little black ants crawling on my walls and baseboards in my room, bathroom and every other room in my house. Its grossing me out! What do i do? I have put out “torro” or whatever its called but it doesn’t seem to slow the army down. They just keep coming. HELP PLEASE!!!

  • kittylover105

    Vinegar kills the ants on contact!!! Perfect quick extermination for any area or surface without damaging any paint or floors!! And non-toxic!!! Awesome!! thanks

  • Vespamama

    I carried my in by accident. A friend gave me a bag of pears from her garden. I let them set for over a week, very green. YUCK! They must have hatched while in the plastic bag. I used the 40/40/20 method….it worked. If my house was infested, oh, I would buy those really bad chemical bombs, set them off everywhere, and go to Nonna’s house or vacation for a couple of days. We keep boric acid powder in the basement around the the foundation to keep critters out. EXCELLENT! I can’t stand ants or roaches!
    Good Luck and don’t let them damn P. Ants win.

  • HQ14

    I have tryed the Borax and grape jello, and they really went after it for a while, but then they just stopped going after it and started going after my counters and trash can, uhhh i hate small small black ants, they are terrible. i havent tryed the 40/40/20 mix but thats my next thing to try, then the chalk out side, they are all over outside, i live in 3 apt complex and i dont know if im the only one to have this problem, my maintance man said try the borax and jello but it just hasnt worked for us, they are still here and i had the borax and jello out for a month now. and i made two differant dishes, jello and sugar. guess i will keep any one updated on the 40/40/20 mix 🙂
    thanks for the advice!
    -HQ14-

  • bluediamonds

    I tried the dryer sheet and it worked well.

  • Antkiller

    I used hand sanitizer on the ants. Its only been 15 minutes but it seems that its working. I just found where they were coming from and squirted the hand sanitizer all over that spot, then all along the trail of ants. I tried using chili powder and cinnamon but neither seemed to work. The ants appear to die immediately upon contact with the hand sanitizer though.

  • bullet

    My wife uses Pine-Sol sometimes to clean house. She found out by accident that her strong diluted mixture would kill ants. They die relatively quick when sprayed. The others start to run like crazy. Dilute in spray bottle with water a little stronger than recommended on bottle. Tried this outside on foundation, so far working there too.

  • kaliman

    Spray just a tiny mist of raid from where they are coming from,,unscented.dont go crazy just enough on the birth trail,,and wipe the remaining live ones with vinegar to kill the chemical trail.and flying ants are termites, you need to call an exterminator!!

  • Tony Sales

    I have read several tips and many work,Borax with several additives ,the Borax seams to be the basic ingredients that forms the base. I have learned that (synthetic ) sugar ( Ie, Splenda ,Sweet and Low,etc)
    Sprinkle enough around the entrance to the ant opening,base boards, doors.
    It may take a few applications. You will see some results in a few says.
    The ants will carry the graduals down in to the nest where will feed on .
    It will kill the young ants in the nest.

  • Stephenie

    My mother always told me that finding taking a cheese grater to an orange peel and then generously sprinkling it on the ant pile works. I’m about to go see if it helps out my compost pile though.

  • Hector el Grande

    I did not have borax so I tried the 40/40/20 using amonia. Wow it is very effective. Wet wood in my bathroom. I hope I can get them gone for good.

  • Frank

    OK so lets look at flying ants they have bent antennas, termites have straight antennas. So find one dead and look at it.
    \_ <<< ant
    __ <<< Termite

    Here is a site with photos of ants and termites
    http://www.google.com/images?q=flying+ants&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=ToI6TfWCHouisAPa0f2uAw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CDMQsAQwAA&biw=1006&bih=635

    Don't let the termite guys talk you into Termite control when the problem is ants.

  • michelle

    Well…I’ve had ants and found that sprinkling sage along your window hills will work if you have a moderate ant problem..they don’t like alcohol or vinegar..so I spray that with a mixture of dish soap in all cracks..also clean counters with it..seems to work..ants are difficult to get rid of if you have moisture in your home..from a leak or something

  • Crystal

    We had found out that we had ants in our house at the end of Oct. I had put out a bounty dryer sheet along the front door after also spraying and didn’t have anymore problems…but 2 weeks later we found out that our family room had ants in it. There was tons of them. So I had to call orkin..they sprayed. we found out that the ants were coming up in the firepalce floor and sealed it up. Then i called for them to come out again to spray and finally we got some peace up until now. I only found 2 ants alive crawling around in my family room, but this was a few says later when orkin came out to spray there routine spraying. I’m glad it’s only 2 ants and not 500 or more, but I don’t know if they are the ones from oct or scout ants or even if these are new ants coming in from somewhere’s else. I sure would like to know and badly…but as for the record BOUNTY SHEETS DO WORK!!!

  • Holly

    Melissa,

    Who DOESN’T have vinegar and baking soda around the house?? Or borax? These three ingredients can be used for nearly EVERYTHING.. cleaning, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, laundry booster, etc..

    Not to mention “home remedy” doesn’t necessarily mean things you automatically have on hand but things that average Joe can get his hands on..

  • Natalie

    1 word BLEACH! used it on all the cracks and works a treat.

  • LuLu

    Hey Ya’ll,
    Don’t ever mix bleach with dish soap !! It causes toxic fumes. Be sure and read all the labels on these remedies.(Such as: can you mix these ingredients safely or not) Also just the fumes from bleach can give ya a nasty headache. Chalk and baby powder work really well. Baby powder smells good too. If ya wanna see something funny, catch a few ants ,say crawling on the wall or floor(wood, or laminate) and draw a circle around them with the chalk(any kind will do)making sure to connect the ends to make an unbroken circle. Then watch the little boogars freak when they can’t cross the line !!! When you do it on the wall they eventually will fall off rather then cross the line !!

    Windex works well, but doesn’t deter them for as long a period as the baby powder or chalk.If you wanna save the hassle of mixin the boric acid and sweetener(corn syrup, honey, whatever) just buy some Terro ant killer. It’s good stuff and even if ya make your own instead of Terro, this choice is the best, because they take the poison back to their nest and eliminates the problem. Be sure and leave it in the trail, so they will for sure find it. They’ll gather around the little drop like cows at a waterin trough. Oh, it will seem you get even more at first cause they come runnin to get their share but within say 12-24 hours the difference is amazing !

    LuLu

  • Nikki

    Going to try some of these remedies will keep you posted on what works and what doesnt. Also going to look on other websites to see what they suggest..

  • melissa

    i have seen the little black ants and the big black ants lately in the house and tonight in my bedroom so its got me on an ant hunt i was looking earlier on my phone and saw salt and cinnamon so i attacked the three windows in my bedroom with it im really hoping that maybe this will atleast let me sleep with out fear of them crawling all over me!

  • nicole

    vinegar & water does NOT work! They just come back bleach didnt work for me either!!

  • KAREN

    My mother swore by the cucumber skins. I did it before we had dogs, and it worked. Dogs love to eat the skins..so can’t do that. Today I took white vinegar and pored it onto the baseboards and wiped it around on the floor. Wiped down the counter tops and cleaned the breadbox, and then wiped it too. Sure hope this works.

  • vicky

    I had an infestation of ants 3 weeks ago, they were in the kitchen (cupboards, on the cooker, floor sink etc..) and the living room. I had an whole army.
    My steps are;
    1- Find the nest
    2- pour over hot water on to it… took 3 kettles full!
    3- empty all the cupboards
    4- throw any opened food away
    5- place all packaged food into airtight containers
    6- sauces and jars into the fridge
    7- completely scrub your kitchen
    8- talc your carpets, leave for a hour then hoover
    9- bleach and disinfect kitchen floor.
    10- sprinkle talc around the edge of your kitchen and exterior walls

    I HAVE NOW BEEN ANT FREE FOR 3 WEEKS 😀
    IT REALLY WORKS, NOT SURE WHICH BIT STOPPED IT BUT I TRYED PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING BEFORE… Vinegar and water and bleach do not work alone or all together.

  • gaenter

    we had ants in our restaurant , so I went out side and dug a small ditch around the building and ground up galic buds fine and spred it around the building in the ditch covered it over, i also went up in the atic and spred some around in less than two days we never had ants again. they never came back and we where there or along time. have no idea why it worked but it did, we had companies in and spaying but all it did after a week brought more ants. and the cost was high. hope it works for you as well as it did for us.

  • jenny

    I need help. I live in an older trailer,which is sitting on cinder blocks(like I said it’s an old trailer).My problem is that I have little black ants in the kitchen,and on the table,countertop. As the trailer does’t have a foundation around it, just dirt, grass, how do I spray or what do I spray around it with? I just found this site,so I am going to try some of these ideas.I just have to be carefull about what I use,because I have a little dog, who stays inside.Don’t want to make her sick. I will be thankfull for any suggests.

  • Dee

    I haven’t tried all of these remedies, but I have tried baby powder, carpet cleaner, diatomaceous earth, borax mixed with peanut butter and honey, cream of wheat, bait traps, cinnamon, ground cayenne pepper, mint, bay leaves, and cooking spray. Powders in general, scratch an insect’s exoskeleton causing it to dehydrate. The powders I have used (baby powder, flea killing carpet cleaner, and diatomaceous earth) work well, but they are messy and potentially dangerous to pets and children. Diatomaceous earth is awesome at killing all sorts of insects, but you must get the edible kind if you want to leave it out around pets and children. The borax did not work alone, and I think the mixture just fed them. They didn’t even bother with the Cream of Wheat. They weren’t fazed by bait traps, cinnamon, ground cayenne pepper, mint, or bay leaves. The best and least toxic remedy I have tried so far is soy based cooking spray. I think any cooking oil would work, it coats them so that they suffocate. However, it does leave an oily (yellow) mess where ever you spray. To actually kill the colony you have to kill the queen. Unfortunately, I can only get to the ants I can see.

  • Amber

    what is a kid friendly way to get rid of ants that is also safe around animals…. we have those stupid itty bitty black ants

  • nina

    trying the dryer sheets now so far its bringing more ants out so will see

  • Stephanie Dunn

    I tried the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich and it works like a charm! They did begin coming in a different place but I set some out in their trail there and they are eatin it up as we speak so maybe they will be gone soon! I didnt use a recipe for the mixture I just mixed in as much Boric Acid as I could but not so much that it didnt smell like PB&J. I tried vinegar before hand with no luck =(

  • Stephanie Dunn

    REMEMBER: YOU NEED BORIC ACID —- Not Borax!! Huge difference in the two.

  • Dawn

    Ive use Pine Sol spraying it on the counter tops, wiping down counters and it works. We have the red ants and I dont dilute it

  • Donna

    No tip just an ant problem in the bathroom what can I use around the plugs to get rid of them

  • Micah d

    Essential oil of peppermint. Mix water, essential oil of peppermint, dash of salt. Cut up rag into strips. Soak strips of cloth in mixture. Cover places where ants are coming in the house. Repeat, as needed. This is safe for dogs, cats and children!!!

  • Sowmya

    When I have one….I will send 🙂

  • FallenAngel

    Ok, I am really tired of these piss ants (tiny little black ones). I have been battling them now for about 3 weeks with bleach water (more than reccommended of the bleach). They just keep coming back. Just read all these tips and I am going to try them, unfortunately we do not have that boric acid stuff. We are not rich, so we can not afford a pest company to spray, AND, we have 4 children in the house, all under the age of 10. (we don’t like harsh chemicals)
    If anyone comes up with anything else that is not posted here, please help……
    BLEACH is not doing the trick……they just keep coming back.

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  • b ken

    neem powdwer works

  • Sharron

    I just mixed up the 40/40/20 mixture of water, vinegar and dish liquid soap. (I also added a tablespoon of hand sanitizer to the mix.) It worked really well to kill on contact all of the visible ants. I wiped away all of the dead bodies with paper towels and also scrubbed the cabinet top with more of the solution. After moving the cabinet out so that I could see the source of the ants, I sprayed the baseboard and allowed that to dry. Now I am applying a layer of baby powder and carpet cleaning powder. It has been about half an hour and no sign of returning ants. These were the tiny black ones and there were a gazillion of them. This solutions appears to work well but I wanted to warn everyone with pets to be careful using either Pine Sol or Lysol solutions for insects. It does work on some insects but cats can die from the chemicals in these two especially if they are exposed to strong concentrations of either cleaner.

  • Nicole

    How much was Orkin to call? We have been trying lots of things, and can’t get rid of these sugar ants. We bought this house after it had been a rental house that was vacant for 8 months before we bought it. It’s had ants since before we moved it. I am going crazy here!!

  • Alexis

    KATIE:
    I would use baby powder. Just dump it all over floor, even if its carpet. leave it for a day, then vacuum it all up. Also wipe down baseboards and any area where walls and/or celing meets with 50/50 vinigar and water. Or use some other liquid that is safe for babies, and wipe the room down with that. I hope this helps. Good Luck!

  • Janice

    Borax is like 98 percent boracic acid. A big box of this soap costs about $5. I tried commercial products (like ant traps and poison ‘goo’). None worked and they were very costly. Borax works really well. It is important to have the right concentration….you don’t want to kill the ant on the spot …you want it to take the poison back to the nest so that the queen is killed off (ants eat for themselves and they also have the job of feeding the nest). So some of the hints given would not really be effective….the nest can be fed by as few as 10 percent of the ants and you want to kill off the other 90 percent.

    Regardless…..solutions are only temporary fixes as sooner or later you will have ants again. You have to make permanent changes in your housekeeping, namely, no food left out, all food messes cleaned up PDQ, counters and cupboards clean, no food outside of kitchen (no snacks in bed, etc.). Remember, these tiny little boogers can feast on a speck of food you can’t even see. P.S. I’m in the midst of my spring infestation . Soon they will go outside for the summer. They come back in the fall, try to fatten up and then hibernate until spring. Meanwhile, I’ll be doing my best towards ant genocide!

  • Jolleen

    I mixed water, dish detergent & alcohol.. So far all the red ants died.. None seem to be coming back! Try it out 🙂

  • Leigh

    Corn Starch works great on Argentenian ants, they carry it back home where it is eaten and expands in their bellies thus bursting them.

  • akasha merkabah

    The most cost efficent and guaranreed way to get rid of ant hills, if it doesn’t damage anything surrounding the hill, is boiling water poured on them. Cheap and it DOES work!!

  • Tiyuong

    Use liquid tylenol to rid off red ants in the yard. Take a stick and polk a hole in the middle of the ant bed, stand back cause ant will be coming out, and pour the liquid tylenol in the mound. (soak it).

  • Sarah

    I hard a march of ants crawling up my bathroom wall. It wasn’t fun waking up and seeing that. So I had to find a spray so I could get them. And the 40% alcohol and water with dish soap worked really well! They died instantly.

  • Brenda

    GRITS WORK
    I put some on a mountain of ants, they carried them to the whole and they all lefor blew up and died, now when i see them in the kitchen i put a little container of grits around and they eat hem and blow up. These were the little small black ants, Good Luck

  • Marx

    Used the mixture of alcohol, water, and dish soap…THAT WORKED!

  • beta

    Black pepper works

  • Michael

    I have read many of these and wonder why rice is not posted as a fix. I have used it many times outside the house and inside the house. The ants take it back to the queen which eats it and swells and explodes…if no one has tried it..grind the rice up if your dealing with small ants..or use bigger pieces if bigger ants..if outside sprinkle around the ant bed and along their trails so they pick it up and take it back to queen..if inside I would say grind fine and sprinkle where they coming in and long trail for a little way and let them take it back to queen..it might take a few days even up to a week…but it does work…

  • LINDA

    I have the little brown sweet/sugar ants. They came out in the kitchen on the counters in full force. I used bait traps and wiped them down with vinegar, did get rid of some but still had them. I did a solid line of cinnamon around the counter tops and they will not cross the line but will just crawl all over the wall etc to get by it. This morning I wiped down the counter tops, cabinets, refrigerator, stove etc with the Clorox wipes orange scented sheets and it has now been almost 2 hours and no sign of them returning so far.

  • dale

    the best thing I found that works is a bottle of awesome cleaner at the dollar store kills on contact I also spray down the sinks and around the base boards its inexpensive about a buck twenty five its non toxic use it full strength on the counters and sinks dilute if your going to mop the floors cause it is a bit slippery allow to dry it kills most any insect in your home…its worked for me and my family..

  • Carmen

    Vaseline works really well. These little black smelly get stuck in the Vaseline.