13 Quick And Easy Ways To Keep Ants Away

13 Quick And Easy Ways To Keep Ants Away

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Ants. They can be a nuisance or a real problem, and you’ll want to take care of them if they’re invading your home. Whether you want to ensure they escape freely or die a painful death, you are sure to find a system here to keep your house ant-free.


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1. Baking Soda

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This is could be the quickest and easiest method on this list for getting rid of ants. Mix equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. Place the mixture in an ant hangout spot or where they’re entering your house. The sugar will attract them and the baking soda will kill them. Save the remaining sugar to make a cake after the ants are gone.

2. Borax

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Borax seems to be the most popular and effective DIY method. Borax is a multi-purpose cleaner that moonlights as an ant assassin. You can find it in the laundry section of your grocery store. However, it does not have an inviting smell, and we can only assume it tastes equally awful. So you’ve gotta dress it up. The Ant Killer Blog recommends this: mixing one part 20 Mule Team Borax with three parts granulated sugar. Pour it into a small sealable container with several pencil-size holes about ½ inch from the top. These are the ants’ entry and exit points. The powder level should reach ½ inch below these holes, allowing you to add enough water to create a “slightly soupy” consistency. Finally, stir  in one teaspoon of peanut butter or honey. Cover the container to prevent pets from eating it, and put it where ants will find it but kids will not. Borax is toxic. The ants will take it back to their colony and should be gone within two to fourteen days.


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3. Get The Queen

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This is the coolest method here. Depending on the species of ant, if you get the queen, you get the colony. The queen is the reproductive organ, and without her, a colony’s days are numbered. But it could take up to three months or even a year for the remaining ants to die out. Using the following simple method, you will uproot a colony and catch the queen in an amazing minimal number of minutes. Fill a glass with water. Squeeze in some lemon drops. Find an ant hole and using a syringe, send two shots of lemon water down the hole. When the scent reaches the queen, she’ll send out the message to evacuate and find a new home. Send more liquid until many ants start scurrying and…the queen emerges. She will be significantly larger than all the workers. Here’s a video. 

4. Soap And Water

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This is the fastest temporary deterrent. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a healthy dollop or two of dish detergent. If it does not form bubbles, give it a good shake. Then give the ants a good spray. Again, this won’t permanently solve the problem, but it will keep them at bay for awhile. The mixture will kill the ones that get sprayed and wash away any trail pheromone, preventing a line of ants from following the previous footsteps.


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5. Lemon

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Ants don’t seem to like the smell, so this fruit’s juice is a natural repellent. Lemons, with their citric acid, also overpower the scent of the trails. All you have to do is rub half a lemon or lemon juice around all entrance points. It won’t damage wood, but according to a Woman’s Day article, the acid can dull the appearance of stone like marble, onyx, limestone, and granite.

6. Peppermint

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Peppermint makes a good repellent. Its strong fragrance acts as a strong deterrent, confusing ants’ smelling capabilities. The Top 10 Home Remedies site recommends adding 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to one cup of water. Use a spray bottle to cover areas where you’ve seen ants. You can also put some drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and rub it on your baseboards. Bye-bye ants.


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7. Diatomaceous Earth

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Also known as DE, food-grade diatomaceous earth destroys ants. It’s the powdered fossilized remains of phytoplankton from the sea. Although the powdery pieces are microscopic, they are supremely sharp. When ants eat DE or walk over it, it punctures their exoskeleton. This leaves the insect prone to dry out and die. It won’t take long for your ant problem to disappear. You just have to place a thin layer of DE where ants congregate as well as at entry points to your house. Make sure to keep the DE dry for it to work, and choose food-grade DE because it’s non-toxic.

8. Vinegar

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Vinegar is so versatile, we wrote an article listing 17 helpful ways you can use vinegar. Like chalk and soapy water, vinegar removes the ants’ scent trails and leaves them confused and lost. Pour a dollop of vinegar into a spray bottle full of water, shake and spray around your doors and windows. It won’t kill the buggers, but it will keep them from bugging you inside…at least for awhile. Avoid spraying natural stone surfaces like marble and granite.


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9. Ground Cinnamon

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If you prefer to keep your pests alive, but away from your house, put down a thick coat of ground cinnamon. Ants do not like it. This might not work if the ants are getting in the house from a grassy area or if rain is in the immediate forecast. You can also try the wiping strategy that’s explained on 10 Home Remedies.com. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil to one cup of water. Drop in a cotton ball and then use it to wipe ant-infested areas. Do this once a day until there are no more ants. Speaking of cotton balls…

10. Cotton Balls

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This strategy works for keeping ants out of plants. Put a few drops of cinnamon essential oil on a cotton ball and wedge the cotton ball wherever you want to repel ants: around the base of the flower pot, between the wall and the pot, or in cracks in the wall or ground. Use a few balls and replenish every couple days with new drops of oil. You can try wiping the wet cotton ball along entry points to the house (window sills, doors, etc.) and like with the plants, maybe it will keep the ants out of your house.


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11. Bonus! Picnic Defense

If you are going to enjoy a meal at a picnic table, you can count on ants joining your party. Unless you put up this simple and brilliant defense: make a moat. Four moats, actually. Bring with you pie or baking tins and extra water. Put the tins under each point the table contacts the ground, usually the legs. Then fill the tins with water. This will seriously hinder any ant’s ability to climb onto the table. Flying insects are a different story.

12. Chalk, Talc, Or Your Finger

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If you only have five minutes, and you have some run-of-the-mill chalkboard chalk lying around the house, and you don’t mind chalk lines around your windows and doors, have we got the solution for you! Well, maybe. Chalk lines work, but they provide only a temporarily fix. Actually, anything you can lay down to disrupt that ants’ trail pheromone will stop their progress. You can rub your finger around an ant to confuse it or drop baby powder to stop it in its tracks, but these are temporary solutions. Don’t fall for the chalk myth. At least, don’t expect it to permanently solve your ant problem.


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13. Keep Clean

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This is the most tedious and probably the most laborious member on this list. But it bears mentioning. If the ants can’t find food, the ants will not stay. Store open food packages in plastic containers and be sure to clean surfaces after cooking or eating. Also, leave no dirty dishes laying around (Ugh! We know!). Take out the garbage frequently and be diligent about keeping the floor clean. If you have kids, try this rule: Table-Chair-Floor. These areas are what they are responsible to check and clean after each meal or snack. Good luck!

If you have a system that’s not listed here, please share in the comments below.

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