Why do Natural Methods Work?
In a nutshell, natural methods consist of creating environments that are polar opposites with the ones that ants thrive in. For example ants are attracted to moistures, so powdered remedies work like fences that ants simply won’t cross. Natural oils and herbs work by releasing scents that repel them. Many of the methods are preventative, but there are some that will get rid of ants that have already invaded your home.
You can prevent an ant invasion, or prevent it from worsening with some of the following methods:
- Seal cracks and other entry points.
- Keep a clean kitchen: wash dishes regularly and wipe down floors and counters with a vinegar-based cleaner.
- Keep food in airtight containers.
Natural Methods for Getting Rid of Existing Ants
Once ants have already invaded your home, you don't need to panic. You can still remove them naturally. Try one or more of the following:
- Use an herb or spice – Sprinkle cinnamon, mint, black pepper, garlic, or cayenne pepper around the area where ants are appear or around the foundations of the house. The ants (and other pests as well) are repelled by the scent. Be aware that some of these, such as garlic, can be poisonous to dogs and cats.
- Coffee Grounds – When used in the garden and around the foundations of your house, coffee grounds repel ants (and cats, for that matter). Coffee grounds also have a fertilizing effect in the garden as they are nitrogen-rich.
- Flour and Cornmeal – Spread one or both of these over cracks and entry points in your house. These soak up moisture that ants need to survive, and when eaten, will kill the ants because they cannot digest these grains.
- Boric Acid— Mix a pinch of boric acid (the ingredient sold in powder as ""Borax™"") with 1/8 teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of water. Set it out where the ants are active and watch them go after it. You'll stop seeing them after a few days because they've carried the toxic boric acid back to their nest and shared it. Be careful with this method, however, as boric acid is toxic to pets and mildly toxic to humans.
When Home Remedies Fail
Getting rid of ants naturally is something you can do on your own, but in severe cases of infestation, a professional can provide options better suited to your needs. Be sure to ask your local exterminator about natural professional options.