There is nothing worse than reaching into your pantry for a sugary treat only to find that an ant colony has made your favorite snack stash into its home. Now that your food is contaminated and your appetite is ruined, you are tasked with getting rid of those unwanted guests. Here is how to get ants out of your home — and keep them out.
A few common kitchen items actually double as bug repellents. If you are looking for a natural and safe way to drive away ants, pour some drops of lemon juice around any holes, cracks or gaps in your home. This will deter colonies from coming in. You could also try wiping down these entranceways with a paper towel soaked in lemon juice. This method will not kill the ants, but the strong scent and acid weakens the scent trail that the first ants to arrive have left to guide others into your home.
You can also try using a spray bottle filled with a solution of water and vinegar or highly concentrated cinnamon essential oil, which has been proven to work as a natural ant repellent. This will control ant colonies in your home for the same reason that lemon juice does — the strong smell interferes with the scent trail.
These solutions for getting rid of ants may work well in some cases, but they are not foolproof. After all, you will miss a few entranceways, and these methods will do very little to deter the ants that are already snacking in your pantry.
If these natural solutions don’t work, it’s time to try ant bait, which you can typically find for less than $10. Place the bait along each ant trail and in those dirty, hidden places in your home, like under the refrigerator and in the back of the kitchen pantry. The worker ants will carry this sweet but toxic substance back to the other ants, which will soon spread throughout the colony. This process can take a few days or several weeks, depending on the size of the colony. Secure all other foods to keep ants out, so they have no choice but to feed on the bait, and remember to replenish the bait once it is gone.
Now that you’ve experienced the headache of getting rid of ants in your home, you’re probably wondering what you can do to make sure they never come back again. There are a few golden rules to keeping away ants, which include keeping your house dry and clean, cleaning up pills quickly and putting your food in airtight containers, especially items that contain sugar.