Finally the warm weather is here and with it I’ve noticed an constant stream of ants marching through our kitchen. These aren’t red ants or ants with wings. They’re black common house ants that look like this:
We’ve been trying to determine where they’re entering our house, but haven’t found the source. In the meantime we’ve been wiping all kitchen surfaces down, vacuuming and making sure that all food is stored properly.
Unless the situation is out of control, I’m not willing to use pesticides. I don’t want them near my kids or pets. Conventional pesticides contain toxic ingredients that can, according to the EPA, affect the nervous system, cause skin and eye irritation, affect hormones, the endocrine system, and cause cancer.
But before I share the natural ant remedies that do work, there are a few that I’ve tried that really haven’t worked.
- I’ve tried sprinkling cinnamon around the kitchen and it didn’t work very well. The ants tried to avoid the cinnamon, but ended up taking a different route. It’s also pretty messy.
- Lemon Juice mixed with water in a spray bottle and a vinegar spray won’t work in my kitchen. Ants don’t like them, but neither do my granite counter tops. Frequent use of vinegar or lemon juice will dull and weaken the sealant on the granite over time.
Here are a few non-toxic remedies to keep the ants away
- Clean up all surfaces. Vacuum floors, wipe down counter and stove tops.
- Make sure food is stored properly.
- Keep garbage sealed.
- Use soapy water in a spray bottle to kill individual ants. This will also clear away the chemical trail that is left behind for other ants to follow. I like using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint for this.
- Find where the ants are coming in and plug the hole with a water/sugar/borax mixture on a towel. According to this article the trick is plenty of sugar and a tiny bit of Borax. More ants will appear initially, but in a few weeks they disappear.
- Another variation on the borax mixture above is to add a tiny bit of peanut butter to the borax/sugar solution and strategically place these homemade ant traps around the house.
- HERE are a few more interesting natural ant remedies that I might try if these don’t work.
How do you keep ants out of your home?