There are a plethora of DIY methods that claim to help you get rid of ants without requiring any professional help. Some work better than others, but the common theme is that you should always use them as interim measures since they are unlikely to solve the ant problem as a whole. To get to the bottom of the ant issue, you will likely need to get professional assistance. If you catch the ants early on or just need something to work until your professional appointment, then consider these DIY methods for ant removal.
Observe Them First
Before you start to take care of the ants on your property, take some time to observe them so you have a better idea of what you are dealing with. Observation can help you identify the species of ants, the size of the colony, and how they are getting inside. All of this information can help you adjust your control methods so they target the situation.
Although not the most elegant or even appealing option, you can easily use adhesive tape of your choice to keep ants out of a specific area. Just place the tape around the area in question with the sticky side facing up. The ants will be unable to reach the food or other items you are protecting since they will get caught on the tape. Of course, this method has some severe limitations. You will have to surround every single object you want to keep ant-free in tape, which will use a reasonable amount of tape and be time-consuming. It is also unsightly, something which only worsens when the ants get stuck on the tape.
You can use chalk in a similar way to how you would use adhesive tape, by surrounding an area with a chalk line. This will not require too much chalk, since you just have to dry a nice line around the boundaries you do not want ants to cross, like the entrances to your home. It can still, however, be time-consuming. You can even adjust this method to keep ants off of your plants in the garden. Just turn the chalk into powder and scatter it. This method should help keep ants away thanks to the calcium carbonate. That calcium carbonate comes from ground-up then compressed shells from marine animals. There is the downside that some people will not like the visual of having chalk lines on their thresholds, but you can always make this prettier by opting for colorful chalk or getting creative with a design. Just remember that you will likely need to reapply it semi-regularly.
Flour is another common household substance that will repel ants. The insects simply will not want to walk over it, so they will not reach their goal. This makes flour a reasonable all-natural option for ant control in targeted spots inside the home, like shelves in your pantry.
Lemon juice is another natural substance that you can use as a repellent for ants, stopping them from crossing your windowsill or door threshold. Just grab a fresh lemon and squeeze some juice into the cracks or spots the ants enter through. Finish this method up by using smaller lemon peel pieces by the entrance.
You can also see some success by sprinkling salt across the path that you do not want the ants to follow. Either place it right in their path or along the door frame.
Other Home Remedies by Entry Points
In addition to the above home remedies that you can use to discourage ants from crossing an entryway or border, there are multiple others as well. These include talcum powder, mint, oil of cloves, powdered sulfur, borax, and cream of tartar.
Ants are one of the many insects that you can use boric acid to control or kill. To use this method, apply the boric acid carefully to the crevices or cracks where you have spotted ants. There are also some very important cautions when using boric acid, mainly that it can be toxic. If pets or young children accidentally ingest it, they are likely to need a trip to the doctor, if not the hospital. As such, it is best to use this method with extreme caution, especially if you have pets or children.
Strategically Place the Right Herbs
Ants like certain spices but dislike others. Among those that discourage ants are sage, stick cinnamon, whole cloves, and bay. Make some combination of these into sachets and place them in your cabinets to keep ants away from the ingredients that are appealing to the insects.
Target the Nest with a Flower Pot
If you can see the nest for the ant colony, you can try to use supplies you have on hand to kill them. Start by putting the flowerpot over the anthill so it is upside down. Then pour some boiling water into the drain hole to finish up the ants.
Or Orange Puree
You could also choose to just target the anthills with a puree made of orange peels and warm water. Simply pour the solution into and on top of the anthills to see some results.
Others suggest pouring some cayenne pepper right into the ant hole. This should let the ants know that you mean business and they should be on their way.
You can also target the ants’ nesting site with an equal combination of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray it on the nests as well as the surrounding areas. The ants will likely try to find a better-smelling place to make a new nest.
There are also multiple chemical-based solutions for controlling ants yourself. One example would be to set up a bait station, which you should be able to find fairly easily. These bait stations have a substance that ants think is food but also serves as poison. The worker ants will bring the food back to the colony, where it kills a large number of the population. Although you can buy bait stations yourself, you should always use caution if setting them up without professional help. They frequently contain chemicals that can pose a risk to children or pets if you are not careful. Alternatively, you can try making your own bait trap with a combination of sugar and boric acid.
Be Cautious with Chemicals
As a general rule, you should always be cautious when trying to apply ant-repelling chemicals yourself. Many of these can be harmful or dangerous for humans, particularly the young. If you want to use chemicals to take care of the ants, it is most effective and safest to hire a professional. They will know the chemicals that offer the best balance of effectiveness and safety and know the safest methods of applying them.
Seal Entry Points
It should also go without saying that once you get rid of ants, you should take steps to make sure that no other ants or similar insect pests get inside your home. This can be as simple as ensuring that every single crack is sealed. Caulk around your windows and doors if it has been a while or buy something to fit in the gaps around these entry points.
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