Unless you collect bugs as a pastime, you probably think that ants and other tiny pests are the worst. Especially when they’re in your house, crawling around like they own the place. Every time you think you’ve secured every possible opening, another mini-infestation manages to sneak past your defenses. There has to be a way to keep your kitchen safe from these pests!
In fact, there are several ways to get rid of the seemingly indestructible pests that constantly find ways into your home. Whether you want natural repellents or something with a little more kick, we’ve got you covered. Now all you have to do is decide which to try first.
Chalk lines aren’t just for crime scenes anymore. There’s speculation as to why ants avoid chalk, but most believe it’s due to the calcium carbonate in chalk. Whatever the reason, ants will rarely cross a chalk line, so just draw some lines around doorways and windows to keep the ants from getting into your house.
2. Peppermint spray
Unlike humans, ants hate the smell of peppermint. Now, you could unwrap a bunch of peppermint candies and strategically place them all over your house to repel ants. Or, you could make your own peppermint spray using distilled water, 2 tablespoons of witch hazel and 12 drops of peppermint essential oil. Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, shake it up and spray it wherever the ants seem to be coming in. It’s a natural remedy that will leave your house smelling great.
3. Dish detergent
Due to their reliance on their sense of smell, cutting off the ants’ scent trail is one of the most effective ways to keep them out of your house. To do this, fill a spray bottle with water and add 1/4 a cup of dish detergent. Find the places the ants are using to access your home and spray these areas with your mixture. This will kill most of the ants that try to come into your house and those that survive will lose their original scent trail, leaving them unable to lead other ants back to your home.
If you don’t mind the smell of garlic, you can use it as a natural ant repellent. Just cut up a few cloves of garlic to leave around the areas you’ve noticed the ants and your house will soon be pest-free. If you don’t want your house to smell like garlic, though, this tip might not be your best option.
5. Petroleum jelly
If you keep your pets’ food bowls in the kitchen, you’ve likely dealt with ants finding their way into any food that isn’t eaten immediately. You definitely shouldn’t use a store-bought repellent around your cat or dog’s food, so you need a pet-friendly remedy. Put a thin layer of petroleum jelly near the base of the food bowl. This will be too slippery for ants to crawl over, keeping them out of the food meant for the animals who are actually welcome in the house.
While people usually enjoy cucumbers as a refreshing summertime snack, the peel can be harmful to ants and other insects. To keep bugs out of your house, you can use cucumbers in two ways. You can slice a cucumber into thin discs and place those by entryways or you can peel the cucumber and lay the peelings around your doors and windows. Either way, the cucumber will either repel the ants or will attract and kill them.
7. Coffee grounds
One of the best-smelling options for getting rid of ants is coffee grounds. If you can locate the anthill from which the pests originate, you can dump your used coffee grounds directly on top. If you can’t find the hill or just want to keep the ants out of your house, sprinkle used coffee grounds along any entrances the ants could utilize.
It’s unclear if it’s the smell or something else that causes ants to avoid cinnamon, but nevertheless people have had success with this simple method. To repel ants, put cinnamon sticks by doors and windows and on the floor in the corners of your kitchen.
9. Lemon juice
You have two options for using lemon juice against ants. If you know where the ants are entering the house, put some lemon juice into a spray bottle and spray the entry points. If you’re unsure how they’re getting in, place small dishes of lemon juice near entrances to your house. The ants are repelled by both the smell and the acidity of the lemon juice and will avoid coming into contact with it. Make sure there’s no sugar in the juice, though, as that would attract the ants.
If you thought vinegar was just for cleaning, then you know nothing about vinegar. While most of the tips on this list are to prevent an ant infestation, this one is to help you out if the ants have already established dominance in your house. Make a half-and-half combination of vinegar and water, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on the ants. To get rid of the dead ants, just wipe them up with a damp paper towel.
No matter how clean you keep your kitchen, there’s always a chance you’re going to get ants and other pests. But now you know how to arm yourself against them. And you can share these tips with your friends on Facebook to help them prepare for their next pest-related battle.