Let’s find out how to eliminate ants in the house and garden with effective natural remedies. Tanticonsigli to remove these annoying insects in a natural way, using only non-chemical substances and remedies, because sometimes these very useful insects may not be appreciated.
The beginning of the spring season often also marks the return of insects, and ants in particular, which can also return to the home of those who live in the city. Therefore, we will try to take shelter and organize ourselves, obviously avoiding toxic substances and pesticides and adopting only natural remedies against ants, at almost zero cost and without danger, especially if there are children and animals around the house.
What are the most common ants
There are several species of ants in Italy, the most common that you can find both at home and outdoors are:
- Black ants (Ochetellus) and black garden ants (Lasius niger), the main species that invade the house and garden.
- Wood ants or carpenter ants (Camponotus), live on the wood of houses and can be black or red, they are larger than ordinary ants. They should not be confused with termites.
- Red ants (Formica rufa Linnaeus), live outdoors in forests and gardens, love to nest in the ground, but do not disdain the house, and bite. They are smaller than black ants.
In total, ants exist more than 15,000 species worldwide. Some will invade your home!
Why do ants invade your home
They are not dangerous insects for man, but they are annoying. Usually they live in ants created in trunks, in the ground, in the cracks of the walls or in the cracks of the wood and even if they have a period of poor metabolism in winter, they do not go into hibernation. This means that at the first heat, they ‘wake up’ and can even go into houses in search of food to feed the entire colony.
Leftovers and sweets are the most coveted foods, and it is not uncommon to see them lying around in rubbish bins, in the kitchen or in the pantry.
They can seep through windows and door frames, through cracks in the walls of the house or through water pipes.
Plants also carry ants, which could already be there when you bought them or brought them from outside.
When one of them locates a food source, it will return to the nest to warn the sisters. Along the way, it releases a substance, the smell of which serves as a GPS for the other ants, who will have no difficulty in finding the food discovered by the first ants. And the more they go back and forth, the more the smell becomes and the easier the ants get to the target.
A good repellent must break this ‘smelly’ trail. This is why fragrant natural substances are indicated.
How to get rid of ants in the house
Although not dangerous and generally vital for the environment, ants have a tendency to explore and colonize and risk literally invading the home environment if not kept under control.
In general, the presence of these insects testifies to the fact that they have found residues of food to feed on, so it is essential to pay particular attention to the care of domestic hygiene.
In order to avoid the invasion of these and other insects, first of all, good prevention is important. Here are a few simple tips:
Keep food in containers that are sealed tightly or that are not ‘attackable’ by ants.
Clean the kitchen, the house and even the terrace regularly with a vacuum cleaner to remove all the small crumbs and rubbish that might attract them.
Clean with a steam cleaner once a month.
Check the windows and doors and any holes or cracks in the walls of the house, filling any empty spaces that may become an ant entry point into your home.
Check the chimney, exhaust and supply pipes and other ducts.
Water generously or leave the ant-infested plant dry depending on the type. Or take it out of the house.
Keep the gutters clean – the ideal place for ants to find materials to build their nests.
Keep firewood away from the house and remove as soon as possible any march that might be present in your house.
To avoid using chemical sprays that are harmful to health and the environment, you can try to use simple natural methods.
How to remove ants in the home using natural methods
And now, here are all the useful substances to try to reduce the invasion of ants in the house in a natural way.
Lemon juice. Fill a spray container with lemon juice and spray it near openings such as thresholds, windowsills and cracks in the walls. You will disable the ants’ ability to orient. It is very effective and harmless, perfect for the kitchen.
Cinnamon. Whether in the form of essential oil or powder, cinnamon keeps them away because its smell is not tolerated by these insects.
Mint. Mint is also a useful natural remedy in these cases: you need to put a few leaves of this plant on the windowsills and around the doors, or 10 drops of meta-pepperita essential oil mixed in 1 glass of water, and spray them at possible openings in the house. You will also have the advantage of having a good smell in the house.
Cayenne pepper. It has a repulsive action. Sprinkle some ground powder on it where you can see the colonies.
Garlic. Garlic. Garlic and plant smells unpleasant to ants. The garlic plant, also the ornamental variety, is ideal to grow in the garden.
Laurel. Laurel leaves crumbled into gauze bags keep ants away in the pantry and leave a good smell.
Cloves. They are an extremely effective repellent against ants and can be used in many areas of the house. Leave whole cloves where you have seen rows of insects, e.g. on the kitchen counter, near the skirting board.
Coffee grounds. They don’t kill ants, but they keep them away. Coffee grounds (which can find a good opportunity to recycle in this way) are therefore an excellent repellent for these insects.
Vinegar. Very effective if distributed with a spray container in the most crucial points, near the nest, on window sills, in the kitchen, in short, wherever they have a passage. The vinegar dries quickly, the smell becomes, for us, imperceptible in a short time, but not for ants, for them it works as a repellent.
Honey. A natural and low cost alternative method is the use of honey that attracts ants, which acts as bait. Place containers with a little bit of honey in the vicinity of their passages, the ants, attracted, will enter the container and will inevitably remain trapped there.
Also, ants cannot tolerate the finest dust, so spread it everywhere:
Calcium carbonate, an excellent deterrent to dust along the windowsills, doors and corners and even along the walls and perimeter of a room that is already invaded.
Chalk. You can draw lines along the threshold of the house, they will stay away from you, a sort of real ant frontier.
Talcum powder against ants
Talcum powder is another fine substance that ants do not appreciate. First of all, when you see the actual invasion of ants in the house.
It is necessary to identify the main access point, usually located in the corners near the doors or windows, by sprinkling talcum powder on that point.
How to remove ants from the kitchen
The presence of food in this environment requires the use of safe substances, even if inadvertently ingested.
The lemon juice, sprayed where you have noticed the passage of these insects is as effective as it is harmless to health and in addition it disorients the ant, which never finds its way back to the nest.
Vinegar is also effective, but it is not a problem if ingested. Spray it pure in the places most ‘frequented’ by insects, even inside the cupboards and the pantry, and it will drive away the ants, who can’t stand its acrid smell, in a couple of days.
How to get rid of ants in the bathroom
A mixture of soapy water (in a full spray bottle a big drop is enough) can be useful to kill the ants that have already invaded our bathroom.
On the entrance of their colony you can also pour boiling water, but it seems to us honestly a cruel remedy.
How to kill ants with wings in the house
To eliminate the annoying ants with wings you can also prepare a mix of borax, water and sugar, to be placed in various places in your home.
Make a paste by mixing these ingredients and spread it on cards to be placed where these insects arrive.
They will take a few pieces to their colony and be killed by poisoning. Remember that the pasta should be renewed every 2 days because it dries and loses effectiveness.
In a couple of weeks you will get rid of the annoying ants.
Little ants in the house
Small black or red ants can enter your house through many openings, so check for cracks and crevices around windows, door frames, fixtures and other possible entrances.
If you see ants in your house, follow them to find their point of entry. Once you find out where they come in, you have to close the gates. Seal cracks and crevices with silicone and putty, perhaps by inserting a repellent product such as borax, cinnamon or coffee grounds before closing the hole. Latex and silicone acrylic sealants are not effective because they can be dug out.
Then sprinkle coffee grounds on the outside perimeter of the house, along the wall or garden and in places where you have noticed ants.
How to get rid of ants in the walls
First of all you have to follow the line that these insects form to find the hole or crack that houses their anthill.
Then it must be grouted and closed properly. A good splash of pure vinegar on the wall will help to get rid of the colony that has already invaded the wall and your home because it eliminates the olfactory pathways traced by the ants to address their ‘friends’.
Natural remedies against ants: Bicarbonate
Here is an easy and super effective recipe to naturally eliminate these little pets from your home. It is a baking soda and icing sugar trap.
In a cap of the large ones, such as those of the sauce bottle for example, put 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of icing sugar.
Mix well and place 2 or 3 full lids of this mixture in the strategic areas of the house. After a few days, the number of ants will decrease dramatically.
How to remove ants from plants
You can water the infested plant abundantly or leave it without water for a few weeks, depending on the variety and its tolerance to lack or abundance of watering.
How to get ants out of the garden
In the garden it is important to know how to eliminate ants directly by planting plants that have an unpleasant smell to these insects, such as mint, peperoncin, garlic and laurel.
Diatomaceous earth or kieselguhr is a natural insecticide for pest control and treatment of various kinds of infestations. It breaks the exoskeleton of ants and causes them to die of dehydration. It is not toxic to humans, but it is good not to breathe particles of this fine dust. You can also create barriers between the flowerbeds with this diatomaceous earth.
Once you have detected the anthill, you can spray water with liquid detergent all around the anthill.
How to remove ants from the garden
We now move on to a specific remedy for the garden. Let us remember, however, that these anuimalets have an important ecological function, because they eat aphids and cochineals, clean the soil around the plants, nourishing of dead insects and also of rubbish, and, of course, they love also the small plants cultivated, especially the sweetest ones, such as the strawberries. They also help to aerate the soil naturally, digging tunnels.
The first thing to do is to identify the characteristic holes in the ground leading to the anthill. Pour boiling water over them. Then plant carnation and garlic plants and aromatic herbs such as mint. These plants have flowers whose smell is repellent and will keep them away from the plants you grow. This combination of flowers and fragrant plants will keep them away or at least reduce their damage. You can also lure them to another place in the garden with sweet bait.
Powdered sugar and bicarbonate
If the ants have especially invaded the garden or vegetable garden, you can defeat them by spreading a mixture of baking soda, icing sugar and brewer’s yeast powder at critical points, the latter must be 1/3 of the total volume. The mixture should be sprinkled in the most frequented points by ants, icing sugar attracts them, while baking soda and brewer’s yeast kill them.
Since ants produce an acidic substance to defend themselves, the mixture of bicarbonate of soda with icing sugar, placed in the ‘strategic’ points you will see the ants succumb after a while.
If the ant, in addition to feeding, takes it to the anthill, probably other ants, including the queen, will feed on it and have no way out. The recommendation is to make sure that the compound does not come into contact with water, otherwise it is no longer effective.
How to eliminate ants in the house with chemicals
If we cannot combat the spring invasion of ants in any way, you can use chemical insecticides, but remember that they are generally dangerous for people, animals and even the environment.
Borax to eliminate ants
Borax (sodium borate or sodium tetraborate decahydrate) is an important boron compound with a dusty, white, white consistency that dissolves easily in water and dries when left exposed to air. Used for cleaning, it poisons ants, but is not toxic to humans.
If you want to know how to eliminate ants with this product, all you need to do is prepare some bait, the dust is deposited on the insects and is taken to the anthill, poisoning the whole colony.
Then mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 of borax and spread the mixture on a cardboard or plastic support to be placed in the passage areas of the ants. The poison, transported to the anthill, will slowly eliminate all the ants. It is better to place these baits at night, as the ants go out to look for food.
If you have pets or children at home who may have access to borax, you can mix 1 cup of hot water with 1/2 cup of sugar to 3 tablespoons of borax. Soak some pieces of cotton and place them on saucers or drink caps near the entrance points.