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How Can I Get Rid of Ants?

Icing sugar mixed with borax, which can be used to get rid of ants.
Ants will avoid cinnamon, so it can be used to keep them out of the house.
Sealing cracks with cracks can keep ants from getting in.
Article Details
  • Written By: Margo Upson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Ants are a common household pest all over the world. They can get through the tiniest holes, and quickly seem to multiply in number. It can be hard to get rid of ants after they have infested a home. Using multiple methods of ant control is usually advised.

The most common way to get rid of ants is through the use of ant bait, a poison. Ant bait usually works one of two ways. Some kill only the ants that eat the poison. Others allow ants to carry the poisonous substance into the ant colony, effectively wiping out almost all of the ants, including the queen. Ant bait is available in numerous forms. It comes in ant houses, little plastic containers with holes along the side to let ants in or out. Ant killer also comes in a gel form, to be spread around the areas where ants most often seem to congregate. Different types of poison can be sprinkled around the foundation of a home to kill ants before they enter the house.

Sprays and powders can be used to get rid of ants almost immediately. This solves ant infestations temporarily, but will not kill the colony. In a pinch, most household cleaning sprays will also kill ants. The rule of thumb is that if it will make a human sick, it will kill an ant. With using any ant poison, or household cleaning product, remember not to use it near food or around children or pets.

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For households with children, or for those who prefer to not use harsh chemicals, there are several natural ways to get rid of ants. One of the most commonly recommended is mixing sugar with borax solution, and sprinkling it around problem areas. Most natural ant controls use the idea that ants will stay away from what they don’t like. Cinnamon, mint, vinegar, talc-based baby powder, and pepper can all be used to deter ants. When sprinkled on counters, ants will stay away to avoid the unpleasant substances. Salt can also be used. Pouring salt around the foundation of a home can help keep ants out.

Preventing ant infestations is easier than getting rid of the ants after they are in your home. Keeping counters clean, floors swept, and the sink cleared is the first step to ant prevention. Using caulk to seal any cracks between walls and floors can keep ants out. Sugar, honey, and other sweet food items should be kept in plastic or glass containers during ant season. Planting mint or other ant deterring plants around the outside of your home can help control ant problems as well.

There are many ways to get rid of ants. Depending on the severity of the ant infestation, using two or more methods may work faster than using just one. Some types of ants respond better to different types of poison. Keep trying ant control ideas until one works, then stick with it to keep the ants from returning.

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Discuss this Article

Antzantz55
Post 3

I used to have that problem too. I have sugar ants and they will chew tiny little holes in ziploc bags, candy wrappers. cereal bags, etc. If they want in, they find a way. I now put everything that they may like in Rubbermaid containers. Large jars with tight fitting lids can also be used.

As soon as I get home from the grocery store, everything gets opened and put into the air tight containers. I still see some ants in the pantry scouting around, but only a few.

I guess they are trying to figure out where their food supply went. If you do find the tiny hole that they are coming in through, make sure to use a bug spray on it before you seal the hole because they will just chew through the caulk. I use an old diabetic needle to inject the bug spray in the holes. (I use a concentrate bug killer that has to be diluted with water). It's better than spraying the surface of the wall.

The bug killer gets them where they live in that little hole when you can inject it in there. Hope I helped out in some way.

anon41509
Post 2

For the past month we have had an ant problem. they are coming in with clothes, they are on the bed, in the kitchen, everywhere that you can think of and the nest can't seem to be found there are so many of them. they are constantly in our clothes. I bought a new top and when i looked at it there are little holes all over. new boxes of food not even opened are being attacked. I bought a box of pancake mix. i put it in a plastic bag and tied it. when i got to it the bag had holes and so too did the box. Someone tell me what can be used. Please.

saltmcg
Post 1

Having a problem with what I think are harvester ants: huge nests built with dead leaves and mulch, etc. Very long trails, sometimes underground. Large brown ant with painful sting. They are nesting in and around vegetable boxes in my garden. How can I get rid of them without making my garden toxic? Will borax and powdered sugar work on this type of ant? Thank you!

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