Ants in the House: Simple, Natural Ways to Get Rid of Them

When you see ants in your house, discovering the ant colony’s nest is key to preventing future infestations. Unfortunately, an ant colony can have thousands of ants thriving in just one colony, and ants venture out further to find water and food to sustain it. While your kitchen can be the most hospitable place for them in terms of having both food and water available, overlooked places for them include bathrooms and bedrooms. Leaky sinks, showers, and toilets are a great source of water for them, and food eaten in the bedroom can leave behind crumbs and small scraps for them to find later.

So when it comes to thoroughly pest-proofing your house to prevent more ants from invading, using household repair products (like silicone caulk) to seal cracks near your walls, windows, and doors will create an impenetrable physical barrier. And when you step outside your home to seal cracks on the exterior, know that ants dislike the calcium carbonate that make up most chalk sticks and powders — so making a line around your house is a chemical-free repellant. Chalk can also be replaced with flour when you need an indoor repellant in a bathroom cabinet or on the kitchen counter. And if you see the ant hill in your backyard, a chemically-free way to kill them would be to pour either vinegar or boiling hot water down the hole.

But if you’re stretched on time and household repairs items, common kitchen goods can be used to deter ants from entering the house in these cracks as well. When you find a crack in your wall, you can either: rub a lemon wedge or spray lemon juice on it, rub peppermint oil around it; or spray a diluted mixture of equal amounts of soap and water on it to deter ants from coming through it.

While buying an ant killer spray from the supermarket is an option, they are still considered toxic when consumed by children and pets, and they may harm any plants/grass that get sprayed in your backyard as well. Likewise, when you see ants in your house, reaching for an ant killer spray from the store often works — but there are common household solutions that get rid of ants naturally as well. Spraying them with an equal mixture of soap and water, or white/apple cider vinegar with water, will stop them in their tracks. Cleaning up the mess is safer, and you won’t inhale chemicals from an ant killer spray.

The last option to get rid of ants includes ant bait stations. These use insecticides that the ant carries back to their colony so the poison is spreads to more ants. Ant bait stations are generally safe around pets and children, but they should be kept out of reach because they are toxic when ingested. But ant bait stations can be placed in problems areas and hidden behind: toilets, trashcans, and refrigerators, or placed under your dishwasher, so your ants are killed but they are still out of reach to pets and children.

When it comes to killing ants in your house, there are many common household products in your kitchen that can do the job. Making diluted mixtures with water combined with acidic lemon/orange juice, vinegar, and soaps, will naturally kill ants without any harsh chemicals. Preventing future ant invasions is as simple as spreading chalk around the house, and sealing any cracks for ants to crawl through. Strategically placing ant bait stations will ensure all ants in the colony are killed, and future infestations will be prevented by cleaning up food spills and fixing water leaks.