How to Get Rid of AntsEveryone has, at some point, dealt with house ants. These uninvited, unwelcome guests will invade even the cleanest, healthiest homes. They get in through spaces in windows, doorways and floors in search of provisions to replenish their colony’s food and water supply.

Each ant you spot leaves behind a trail of chemicals called pheromones that attract other ants in the vicinity. This means if you see one ant, you can bet there are plenty more nearby.

If left unaddressed, you could end up with multiple trails of ants invading your kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas. But you don’t need to call the exterminator right away. There are plenty of tricks you can utilize to keep these pests out.

From home remedies to get rid of ants to maintenance for limiting access, read on for the best ways to get rid of ants in your home.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

When you spot ants in your kitchen, try to see where they’re coming from. There’s an entryway nearby, whether it’s through gaps in baseboards or a small hole under the sink. When you’ve found it, use some caulk to close that revolving ant door.

Once you’ve limited their access, it’s time to do some maintenance to prevent further infestation. Check your kitchen for any more cracks, holes or voids. Then seal them off.

Blocking the ants’ access is the first step. Keeping your kitchen clean is the second. Remove any crumbs from the floors and counters by sweeping and wiping daily. Keep your sink wiped dry when you’re not using it. Repair any leaks at the faucet or beneath the cabinet. Take out the trash daily and keep the trash can dry and clean.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bedroom

Getting a good night’s sleep can be tough enough without a trail of ants trekking across your headboard. If you do find a trail in the bedroom, it may be your fault; snacking in bed or keeping water on your nightstand sends an invitation to any ants that might be scouting nearby.

The first step to keeping ants out is to keep your bedroom clean and dry. Sweep or vacuum crumbs immediately after snacking. Take empty plates and bowls and silverware back to the kitchen. Wipe up any spills immediately. If you must keep water by your bed, use a bottle with a secure lid. Keep in mind that moisture alone will attract ants, even if the rest of the bedroom is squeaky clean. If you still have ants after removing food and water, search for their entryway. Find any openings and seal them up, just like you did in the kitchen.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Bathroom

Your bathroom is the perfect environment for most types of house ants, and it’s hard to get rid of them once they move in. Start by wiping your sink, tub and shower dry after use. Fix any leaks at the faucets or in the bathroom cabinet. Check around your bathroom for cracks, gaps or holes and seal them with caulk.

Cutting off access to your bathroom and minimizing moisture will help prevent future infestations. Cleaning and disinfecting your bathroom frequently will also deter ants. Toilets will always have some moisture outside the bowl from condensation on the tank or tiny droplets on the floor, so keep your bathroom floor clean and dry. You should also frequently disinfect the outside of the toilet.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

From boiling water to boric acid, there are plenty of ways to get rid of ants naturally. Essential oils can be an easy and natural way to kill ants in your home. Peppermint, citrus oils and tea tree oil will repel ants and send them packing. Just mix 15 drops of each oil with ¼ cup water in a spray bottle and you’re armed and ready.

You can also get rid of ants naturally by disrupting the ants’ pheromone trails. If you make it difficult enough to find food and water, they will head for greener pastures. Frequently wiping down ant trail areas with hand soap and water will remove the pheromones and break the cycle. Make an all-purpose, natural ant spray by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water. This spray can kill and repel ants and erase their pheromone trails.

How to Get Rid of Ants Once and For All

Unless you wipe out the ant colony where the egg-laying queen lives, the colony will continue sending worker ants into your home…unless you stay on top of your ant prevention maintenance. Tracking the ants’ movements after they exit your home will sometimes lead you directly to the nest. It may be outdoors in a tree or on the ground. It could also be in a wall or cabinet void.

If you find the nest outdoors, destroy it with a non-repellent insecticide. Plain repellents deter ants and often lead the colony to disband and set up housekeeping somewhere else — possibly closer to your home. When ants come into contact with non-repellent spray, they are unaware that they’ve been poisoned and thus will not try to relocate. For a natural way to get rid of ants, you can pour a half-gallon of boiling water over the nest to collapse it and kill the colony.

If you find the nest in a wall or cabinet void, apply a small amount of boric acid powder directly over the nest to kill the ants inside. Boric acid is fatal to ants but has a low toxicity for humans. Even so, you should store any remaining powder out of reach of children and pets. Use a vacuum to remove the nest and discard the contents outdoors immediately. Reapply boric acid to the emptied space and repair any damage to the wall or cracks with joint compound or caulk.

If all else fails, hiring a reputable exterminator can help. Look for companies that have a good track record and are committed to using the least toxic products possible. Let them know if you have children, pets or a respiratory health condition.

Some professional exterminators use words like green, organic or eco-friendly when describing their companies. That’s not enough to ensure the pest control measures they use are safe. Ask them what products they typically use for ant treatments and which ones they don’t use before hiring them.

If you’d like some extra help in keeping your kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms tidy — which will deter ants — call on The Maids! We’re ready to help you live in a cleaner, healthier home.

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