Top 12 Natural Ways to Deal with Ant Infestations

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Cooler temperatures and changing leaves announce that fall is here. This means the holidays are right around the corner, with parties, get-togethers, and plenty of home-cooked meals.

It also means that ants are on the move, too, hoping to find a warm place with plenty of food for the winter. Your house seems to work well for them! If you don’t like the idea of all those uninvited guests coming over for Christmas dinner, but you also don’t want to use toxic, harmful chemicals in your home, there are plenty of other ways to deal with them.

Below are the top 12 ways you can kill or deter ants naturally. Let them go find their own homemade pumpkin pie!


1. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

DE is made from the fossilized remains of plankton. It’s a white-ish looking powder similar to talc that kills all bugs with an exoskeleton, but it completely safe for mammals to eat, which means you can eat it, and your dog can eat it, but when ants eat it, DE cuts their insides to shreds. DE is ineffective when wet, so if you place some outside, replace it after a rain. This method doesn’t kill them instantly, but you should see results after about one week and great results after about 3 weeks. Find out 8 things you never knew about diatomaceous earth.


2. Lemon Juice

Although lemon juice is great for many things, ants don’t seem to appreciate that. They really dislike the acidic, sour taste. You can put lemon juice, diluted with just a touch of water, in a spray bottle and use around openings, such as doors, to discourage them from coming inside.


3. Cream of Wheat

An old fashioned remedy that works well is using cream of wheat cereal. Leave small containers of cream of wheat every place where you find ants. They eat it, and sometimes take some back to the nest. The cream of wheat swells up in their stomachs and explodes. This is another method that isn’t instantaneous, but will give you results within a few weeks.

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Photo credit: bigstock

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon makes our houses smell great but ants sure dislike it. You can spread some ground cinnamon in areas where you find ants, or mix a bit of cinnamon essential oil, along with a few drops of clove oil, with some water in a spray bottle and spray around doorways and windowsills to try to convince ants to stay outside.


5. Vinegar

In a spray bottle, mix up equal parts of water and vinegar. You can clean your entire kitchen with this mixture and then spray where ever you have seen ants. Mix up a slightly bigger batch and pour it down ant hills you find outside will kill the colony. You can also spray this mixture around doors, windows, walkways, and any place where you don’t want ants but they just don’t seem to be getting the picture.


6. Peppermint

Like cinnamon, this is another scent that ants don’t like. Mix up equal parts water and peppermint essential oil and spray directly at ants and the paths they like to travel.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

7. Dish soap and boiling water

Mix a bottle with a couple squirts of dish washing soap and hot water. Believe it or not, this kills ants fairly well. Perhaps one of the best ways to kill ants is to boil a large pot of water, add a few squirts of dishwashing soap, then pour the contents down the ant hill and around the pathways ants have made leaving the nest. This not only kills ants instantly, but any ants that should escape are not able to use the paths left behind and must form new paths, hopefully away from your house.


SEE ALSO: DIY Insect Traps: No Chemicals, No More Bugs, No Diseases!

8. Coffee grounds

Although we might like coffee, ants don’t. Take those used coffee grounds and place them around the bottom of doorways or cracks where ants might enter your house. Hopefully they will decide to go to a juice bar, and not your “coffee shop”.


9. Powdered sugar and baking soda

Mix up equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar (not granulated sugar) and place this mixture in small containers, such as jar lids, to help kill ants. Ants eat baking soda, along with the sugar, and later die as the baking soda bubbles inside them.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

10. Chalk

Many people have found that, for some reason, ants will not cross a chalk line. Buy some chalk sticks at home improvement stores and draw lines around doors, windows, and across sidewalks to stop ants from coming near your house.


11. Garlic cloves

Garlic is some strong smelling stuff but if you don’t mind the smell, it works wonders at keeping ants at bay. Peel and slice up a few cloves and place them in areas where you have noticed ants. You will need to replace the cloves every 3 or 4 days but believe it or not, usually by the second application, ants just don’t come back.


12. Black pepper

Yes, that same stuff you have on your kitchen table, ants really hate it. If you see ants, sprinkle pepper on them and they will immediately scatter. Take a minute and watch where the ants are headed. Chances are excellent that they will be heading outside and you can then sprinkle pepper at the areas where they are getting inside your home. Read more about benefits of this one spice.