There are few things more frustrating than an ant problem in your home. Sometimes it seems like no matter how many precautions you take to keep them out, ants always find a way in to infest your home. Although the occasional ant or two can be easy to deal with, if you ever find you are being overrun with ants you need to take serious steps to get them out. But just because you have an ant problem doesnt mean you have to go straight for the chemicals, especially since they can be so bad for your home. Instead, consider these eco-friendly solutions to control your homes ant problem and ensure you and your family stay safe and healthy.
Wipe Down Ant Lines
Ant colonies find their way to food sources by sending out ants to scope the premises. When they find a food source, the ant returns back to the nest leaving a trail of pheromones for the other ants to follow. This is why you see ants walking in a line to and from the food source they found. Locate the trail that the ants follow and wipe down the pheromones with water and chili powder to cover up their path. This will help disturb their route in your home and will allow you to take care of the few roaming ants left over more easily.
Block Their Entry Way
Ants are great at finding small holes and cracks to enter your home. Find these cracks and holes they use to access your house and use caulk to close them up. You may not be able to find every entry point with this method but you should be able to find the worst offenders. This also is a great way to improve your homes energy efficiency so you are killing two birds with one stone.
Use Alternative Cleaning Sprays
Rather than use harmful chemical sprays to kill ants in your home, try mixing equal parts Windex and ivory soap and spraying the ants. This will kill the ants just as effectively as other chemical sprays without the leftover harmful residue.
Use Food to Get Them Out
This might seem like a counter intuitive solution since food is probably the reason why ants came into your home in the first place. However, ants hate some foods and will stay away from any area that has them. These include peppermint, salt, cinnamon, chili powder, and pepper. Mix these foods with water and spray affected areas to keep ants out.
Pour Boiling Water on the Nest
If you can find the ants nest this is one of the easiest and most effective solutions to get rid of them. Look around the outside of your home for where the ants return to after gathering food. Once located, pour boiling water into the entry hole to kill off the ants in the nest. This will exterminate a large number of the ants that come into your home and may be enough to keep them out for a while. This solution wont get rid of all ants though as some may still be in your home.
Keep Your Home Clean
Ants enter a home to find a food source. If food is scarce in your home and well contained, ants will be less likely to infest your home. Keep all food sources stored away in your home and remove your trash on a regular basis.
Maintain your Pets Eating Area
If you have a cat or dog you may notice how much ants love to swarm their food. Make sure your pets food dishes are clean and there is no spilled food on the floor around the dish. You may also consider buying pet food dishes that keep ants at bay. These dishes are designed to serve as a moat that separates an ants path to the food making it nearly impossible to get inside the food dish.
Although there is no full proof way to keep ants from infesting your home, using eco-friendly methods can treat your ant problem while keeping your family safe and healthy. Dont be afraid to use your imagination to safely treat your ant problem. Most all eco-friendly techniques were developed through trial and error by people just like you. If these solutions do not work, contact a pest exterminator before using harmful chemicals as they may have alternative treatment options as well.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.