Here's how to get rid of ants and keep them out of your kitchen and home for good
Have you discovered an army of ants marching in single file across your kitchen units? Remember the sugar granules you spilt as you were making your tea? Unless they were mopped up immediately, you’ve created a tempting spot for ants to gather. If you’re serious about getting rid of these small colonial insects, read our how to get rid of ants guide.
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It’s not surprising ants head straight for the kitchen with all that tempting food about. An ant scout will leave the nest to look for food, laying a trail of pheromones as it goes. If it finds food it will follow the trail back to the nest and leave more pheromones, creating a stronger trail which the other ants in the colony will follow. It won’t be long until an army of ants is parading across the kitchen worktop towards that heavenly sugar spillage or enticing pile of dirty dishes.
1. Clear away food
If you want to get rid of ants the obvious thing to do is keep food off their menu by storing yours away in airtight containers. Next wipe away any food and drink spillages immediately, not forgetting to clean the inside of cupboards and under the kitchen cabinetry.
Try not to leave that pile of dirty dishes out by the sink for too long. Ants won’t turn their noses up at leftover pet food or food waste either, so wash up your pet bowls straight after feeding time and take out your rubbish regularly, keeping bin lids tightly shut at all times.
2. Use a natural anti-ant spray
Once you’ve removed the ants’ food sources, give your kitchen surfaces and floor a final wipe down using an eco-friendly homemade anti-ant spray, made with one part vinegar to one part water, which will work wonders to deter any ants and destroy their pheromones. Homemade lemon and peppermint oil sprays will also do the trick.
If there are any rogue ants still searching for food, wipe them away starting from the beginning of their trail and all the way along to the end of it, then wash them down the plughole. This might seem cruel but stopping a few ants in their tracks like this, will in turn stop a whole army of them coming into your home.
Once the ants’ food sources are taken out of the equation, they’ll search elsewhere for food, preferably away from your home, however if they keep coming in you’ll need to take further action…
3. Block up entry points
Follow the trail of ants back to their nest to find out where they’re getting in, then fill any cracks and crevices with sealant, especially around the doors and window frames.
Related: How to get rid of moths
4. Put down ant deterrent
If you’ve tried blockading them but they still keep coming in, line the doors with natural deterrents such as salt, chalk, curry powder, pepper and cinnamon. If you chose to do this, be careful as you don’t want any getting in your pet or child’s nose, mouth or eyes.
You can also use petroleum jelly and talcum powder to line doors, however if you’ve tried absolutely every natural deterrent going, to no avail, you might find that a domestic ant killer works best.
5. Target the ants’ nest
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Ants are essential to a balanced ecosystem and help us by eating up other household and garden pests like fleas and bed bugs. For this reason, destroying an ants’ nest is the last option on our guide.
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Find the offending ants’ nest, expose the top of the nest by proding it with a trowel and a pour an entire kettle of boiling water over the nest to destroy every single ant in the colony, including the queen ant.
We hope this ‘how to get rid of ants guide’ helps to get rid of your ant infestation. Do you have other pests around the house?