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  • Writer's pictureJon Stoddard

How to Kill and Repel Ants Without Harm


Where one ant is spotted, there are probably thousands more around. This information may not concern you much when you enjoy a family picnic in extraordinary outdoor locations. Still, if you have an ant infestation in your home, you will want to address the issue immediately.


Are ants dangerous to humans?

According to an Imperial Pest Prevention spokesperson, there are about 12,000 kinds of ants around the globe. The great majority of these ants pose little threat to human health.


However, ants can carry bacteria, making them disease or illness carriers. A small animal study conducted in 2022 revealed, for instance, that Monomorium ants can have infectious germs, which can be harmful to humans. The pharaoh ant, a kind of Monomorium ant, may be a cause of bronchial asthma and lung allergies, according to a 2005 study of a reliable source.


Twenty natural methods to eradicate and repel ants

There are numerous methods for eliminating ants and their nests from home. In some instances, professional exterminators may be required, but natural methods can eliminate the problem without adding harmful chemicals or poisons to the environment.


Here are some of the most effective ways to kill and repel ants using typical household and store-bought items.


The mineral diatomaceous earth (silicon dioxide) as a pesticide

Diatomaceous earth is also known as a natural form of silica composed of fossilized remains of diatoms, which are tiny aquatic creatures.


Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and organic. It eliminates ants, cockroaches, and other insects by absorbing the oils in their exoskeletons and drying them out. Avoid breathing in diatomaceous earth and getting it on your skin, as it irritates.


You may purchase diatomaceous earth of food-grade quality readily online. Follow the diatomaceous earth packaging instructions or sprinkle the powder anywhere you notice ants to kill them.


Glass cleaner and liquid detergent to control ants

Ants leave a pheromone scent trail as they go, which serves as a map. This technique can eliminate the fragrance and discourage ants from returning to your property.


Here are the steps:


Combine liquid detergent (dish soap) with glass cleaning spray in a clean, unused spray bottle.


Spray the finished solution in areas where ants appear to enter or congregate.


After spraying the area, wipe it down, leaving a little residue.


Repeat the preceding procedures as necessary.


Note: If you don't have access to glass cleaner, any soapy water (e.g., hand soap, dish detergent) will likely eliminate ant pheromones.

Black or red ground pepper to kill insects


Black pepper or red cayenne pepper is a natural ant repellent, as the odor irritates insects.


Sprinkle pepper around baseboards and under appliances to employ this strategy. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that this is a safe method for warding off ants.

Peppermint oil as an insecticide

Peppermint oil is a natural insect bug repellent that may successfully prevent ants and other insects, such as mosquitoes, around your house.


Follow these comprehensive instructions to utilize peppermint essential oil as an insect and ant repellent:


In a clean, unused plastic spray bottle, combine 10 to 20 drops of peppermint oil with two glasses of water.


Spray the mixture along your home's baseboards and windows.


Allow the mixture to dry, then reapply as necessary.


As with most essential oils, peppermint oil should be kept out of the reach of pets, especially cats, which can become gravely ill if exposed.


Local supermarket chains and health food stores may carry peppermint essential oil.


Oil of Tea Tree to control ants

Tea tree oil, like peppermint oil, can be an efficient ant repellent. To use this approach, perform the following procedures:

In a clean plastic spray bottle, combine 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil with two glasses of water.


Spray the mixture about the house in areas where ants are commonly seen. Alternatively, you may soak cotton balls in the solution and distribute them throughout your home.


Note: If the fragrance is too strong, try combining tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and water.


As with other essential oils, keep tea tree oil away from pets.


Tea tree oil is available in grocery stores, health food stores, and online.


Lemon eucalyptus oil as an insecticide

Another natural insect repellant is oil produced from the lemon eucalyptus tree. It contains citronella, used to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects in candles. According to anecdotal evidence, it may also be effective at repelling ants.


Complete the following steps to use:


Saturate cotton balls with the undiluted essential oil of lemon eucalyptus.


Place the lemon eucalyptus saturated cotton balls in areas where ants are commonly found.


Replace the cotton balls weekly with cotton balls that have been newly moistened.


Avoid ingesting lemon eucalyptus oil. Please keep the solution away from children and animals.


Local health food stores are likely to carry lemon eucalyptus oil. Also accessible online.


Lemon eucalyptus oil (OLE) for ant control

Despite their similar names, lemon eucalyptus (OLE) oil and lemon eucalyptus essential oil (LEEO) are distinct substances. OLE is derived from the gum of a eucalyptus tree, an Australian native. It contains an insect repellent ingredient known as p- Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD).


The ( EPA)Environmental Protection Agency classifies PMD as a biopesticide and considers it safe for use.


You may purchase OLE at your neighborhood hardware and gardening store or online.


White vinegar for insect control


White vinegar, available in all supermarkets, is an inexpensive and effective method for killing and repelling ants. Additionally, it is a natural cleaning agent.

Use a 50/50 mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to clean hard surfaces, such as floors and countertops, where ants are likely to travel. If you find ants, spray the mixture on them or use a paper towel to remove them.


After the vinegar has dried, it can be smelled by ants, but the odor does not linger for most people.


Boiling water to kill ants

If you find ant holes near your home, fill them with hot water. This procedure will promptly and successfully destroy a significant number of ants inside. Anthills may have a little appearance, but the ant colonies beneath them are huge.


The boiling water will not be sufficient to eradicate the entire colony. For this reason, you must treat every ant hole you find near your residence.


Cornstarch to control bugs

Available at food shops, cornstarch can be used to suffocate several ants simultaneously effectively.


There are two methods for using cornstarch to kill ants:


The first way is to liberally apply cornstarch and water to the entire colony of ants. The outcome will be numerous dead ants encapsulated in cornstarch, which may then be removed.


The second solution is to dust the ants directly with cornstarch and vacuum them up, taking care to discard the vacuum bag outside promptly.


Essential oil from the cinnamon leaf as an insect repellent

One study from 2021 found that components in the essential oil of cinnamon leaf, especially trans-cinnamaldehyde, could be efficient at killing and repelling ants, including biting red ants.


Soak cotton balls in the undiluted essential oil of cinnamon leaf.


Place the cotton balls in areas where ants are often found.


Replace the cotton balls weekly with cotton balls that have been newly moistened.


Typically, health food stores have cinnamon leaf essential oil. It is also available online.


Neem oil for insect control

Neem oil is one of the naturally occurring organic pesticides extracted from the Indian neem tree.


Gardeners recommend using neem oil around shrubs and plants, mainly if ants and aphids are on the plants. Ants are responsible for raising aphids (tiny sap-sucking insects); therefore, killing the aphids with neem oil will eliminate both types of pests.


According to reports, diluted neem and products containing neem extract are not nearly as effective as full-strength neem oil.


You may purchase neem oil at various health food stores and online.


Ground Coffee beans as an ant repellent

Used coffee grounds after brewing to repel ants. Try scattering freshly brewed coffee grounds on disposable surfaces (such as index cards) and leaving them in pet bowls and other areas where ants cluster.


Additionally, the grounds can be placed on window sills. Dry grounds may lose their efficacy, so be sure to replace them frequently.


Boric acid as an insecticide

Boric acid is a form of insecticide that, according to 2003 animal research, can kill certain species of worker ants and their queen within three weeks of exposure. It accomplishes this by degrading the ants' exoskeletons and inerts.


Keeping pets and children away from boric acid is crucial, as it can be hazardous.


Follow the steps below to employ boric acid:


Put on protective gloves.


Combine 1/2 teaspoon of boric acid, eight teaspoons of sugar, and 1 cup of warm water to create a solution.


Stir the sugar and boric acid until they are dissolved.


Saturate cotton balls and place them where ants are commonly seen in your home.


After use, containers must be washed thoroughly or discarded.


Note: Boric acid can also be used as an ingredient in homemade ant traps. Mix the powder with something sweet, such as maple or corn syrup that will attract ants. Spread on a flat, disposable surface, such as cardboard, and apply to ant-infested regions.


You may find boric acid at your local hardware store or online.


Borax (sodium tetraborate) as an insecticide


Despite their similar-sounding names, borax and boric acid are distinct chemical compounds. Both may be equally effective for ant control in the home.


Keeping dogs and children away from borax is vital, as it may be dangerous.


To utilize borax, perform the following steps:


Put on protective gloves.


Combine 1/2 teaspoon of borax, eight tablespoons of sugar, and 1 cup of warm water to create a solution.


Stir the sugar and borax until they are dissolved.


Saturate cotton balls and place them in places of your home where ants are prevalent.


After use, containers must be washed thoroughly or discarded.


You may find borax at your local hardware shop or online.


Lemons to repel ants

Spraying or wiping lemon juice repels ants by eliminating pheromone trails and disguising the fragrance of food.


In addition, placing lemon rinds in your cabinet may discourage ants from settling in your kitchen.


Examine your indoor plants

Check your houseplants for ant swarms, which could suggest underground nests. Throw away any plants that appear contaminated.


To prevent ants from nesting in your plants, encircle the soil with the peels of lemons or oranges.


Keep the outside of your property tidy.


Keep your yard free of litter. Remove any plants or vines that contact or lean against your home's external walls and windows since these can make it easier for ants to enter.


Eliminate sources of food to reduce ant populations

Sweet and starchy foods, such as sugar, honey, and cornmeal, attract ants. Therefore, cornmeal is one of the most effective strategies to repel ants is to remove all easily available food sources.


Keep food in containers or plastic bags that are tightly sealed. The plates and cooking equipment must be washed immediately after use.


Every day, remove crumbs from your home with a broom or vacuum. Places where crumbs may gather include:


under and around your kitchen's standing appliances


within sofa cushions


in garbage pails


The places of your home where you and your family eat or prepare food


Ants are also attracted to pet food. As soon as you find your pet has finished eating food, remove the dishes. Urgently clean the bowls to eradicate the odor of the food.


Eliminate ant entrances

Determining how ants are entering your property might assist you in eradicating an infestation and preventing future infestations.


Examine your residence for wall cracks and holes around flooring and radiators. Cracks can be sealed or treated with an ant repellant. Inspect window screens for tears that require repair.


How to eliminate kitchen ants

Due to its proximity to a plentiful food supply, the kitchen is frequently where ants and other pests are most prevalent. To prevent ants from entering the kitchen:


Daily cleaning of kitchen surfaces and flooring.


The dishes must be cleaned soon after use.


Rinse food bowls after your dog or cat has finished eating.


Use natural repellents to repel ants and remove their pheromone odor (see samples above).


Seal food correctly in airtight containers or zippered bags. If nothing succeeds

You can use insecticides and professionally manufactured goods if natural choices are insufficient to eradicate ants.


Bait traps as insecticides

Some individuals may prefer bait traps that contain pesticides in an enclosed form over sprays. For bait traps to be effective, ants must be attracted to them. Ants will consume the bait and return some of it to their colonies, resulting in killing other ants.


Some baited traps contain borax or boric acid. Others include hydramethylnon, a chemical molecule harmful to children, animals, and food crops such as tomato plants.


You may locate ant traps in various hardware and gardening stores and online. Before making a purchase, verifying the product's ingredients is a good idea if you are avoiding toxins.


Commercial repellents

There are also commercial repellent sprays that are harmless and effective against ants.


Pest Control Company Near Me offers pesticide sprays that are highly efficient against ants. It is long-lasting and contains two chemical substances that should not be inhaled or ingested: imiprothrin and cypermethrin.


Professional Pest Control Company

When all else fails, hiring an exterminator is a viable option. Find a local pest control company that is dedicated to using the least hazardous materials possible. Inform them if you have children, pets, or other problems such as respiratory illness.


Some exterminators' names include the terms green, organic, or eco-friendly. Before engaging an exterminator, if you are concerned about chemicals, inquire about what substances are generally used in ant treatments.




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