How Can I Safely Get Rid of Ants?

When you spot ants in your kitchen or house, your first instinct is to squash them.

Clean Your House

An ant collecting honeydew.An ant collecting honeydew.
While that will stop that particular ant, it won't stop other ants from entering the same way. You've got to stop the ant problem. An exterminator can be costly and inconvenient, so there are some inexpensive things you can do to stop ants in your home.

Something had to attract the ants into your home. Thoroughly clean your kitchen. Concentrate on getting any crumbs and residues off the floor. If this doesn't take care of the problem, move onto some of the other solutions.

Ant Traps

These are inexpensive and convenient to use. They are also safe to use around pets, unless your pet decides that it is a chew toy. Place them near where you've seen ants. These traps do contain poison so they should be used with caution.

Boric Acid

Mix boric acid in equal parts with sugar. Add some water to make a slurry and spread it where you've seen ants traveling. The ants, attracted to the sugar, will eat the mixture and take it back to their nest. Since boric acid is toxic to ants, the mixture will kill not only the original ant, but any ant that shares in the harvest.

Baby Powder

Spread a small amount of baby powder along cracks and window sills where ants enter a home. They won't walk through it, so you've effectively formed a roadblock.

Frosted Corn Flakes

Leave some smashed corn flakes out for ants to snack on. Ants will eat them because of the sugar, but they can't digest corn, so it kills them and any of the ants that eat the flakes. You can also spread it outside to encourage the ants to stay out of your house because they can find an abundance of food to snack on outside.

Smells

Ants will be repelled by certain smells like peppermint and cloves. So if you have an ant problem in a closed space like a cabinet, leave a couple of cloves in the cabinet, or crush up some peppermint leaves and leave them there.

About the Author

James Rada, Jr. was a newspaper reporter for eight years and earned 23 awards from the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland State Teachers’ Association and CNHI. He also worked for 12 years as a marketing communications writer, earning a Print Copywriter of the Year Award from the Utah Ad Federation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.