Monday, December 14, 2015

I don't know if it's the unusually high temperatures we've been having or what, but ants are determined to move into my house and take up residence. First they came in through an electrical outlet in the dining room and found some crumbs my son so generously left under his high chair. Next they moved onto the kids bathroom, maybe to drink some water to finish off their meal from the dining room. The latest place they've ventured to is my bathroom, looking for remnants of my irresistible homemade sugar scrub.

After doing some research and trying out a couple natural methods to get rid of ants, my house is currently ant-free. As a celebration of sorts, I compiled this list of natural ant removal methods, including the ideas that worked for me. Secretly I'm kind of hoping the ants come back so I can try more of these ideas!

I put some distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and sprayed the entrance points. I also sprayed vinegar along the trail to destroy their pheromone trail. Once the vinegar dried, a few ants came back to check out the situation. After reapplying the vinegar a few more times, they got the hint they weren't welcome and moved on.

Essential Oils

Here are some essential oils that ants are known to dislike: eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and citrus oils. I put about 10 drops of cinnamon essential oil and water into a small squirt bottle. Then I sprayed entrance points and along trails. I had to reapply a few more times after it dried. I thought vinegar worked better, but maybe I needed more essential oil and less water. Amanda at Easy Peasy Organic swears by eucalyptus oil. She used a ratio of 50/50 eucalyptus oil and water. You can find essential oils at health food stores, Amazon, and Mountain Rose Herbs.


If you don't have essential oils, you can sprinkle powdered cinnamon, clove, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, mint or bay leaves at entrance points.

Soapy water

This is Brie at DIY Life's favorite way to get rid of ants. Fill a spray bottle with 2 tablespoons dish soap and 1/2 cup water. It kills ants and destroys the pheromone trail. It only works when wet, so you'll need to reapply for a few days.


In a spray bottle, add 1 part rubbing alcohol or tequila to 1 part water. Spray at entrance points or trails. Reapply for a few days.


Ants won't cross chalk lines. Draw lines with chalk at their entrance points or to block their trails. Amanda at Easy Peasy Organic had good results with this method.

Baby Powder

Sprinkle baby powder at entrance points or to block their trails. They won't walk across it.

Citrus or Cucumber Peels

They are toxic to the kind of fungi ants feed on. Leave peels at entrance points. Replace every other day. Or puree peels in a blender, add water, and smear at entrance points or along trails.

Lemon Juice

Dab lemon juice at entrance points or areas they visit.

Coffee Grounds

Ants don't like the smell of coffee. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the perimeter of your house or at entrance points.

Baking Soda & Powdered Sugar

The powdered sugar will attract ants and the baking soda will kill them when they eat it. Mix together 1 part baking soda and 1 part powdered sugar. Leave where you see ants.

Borax & Sugar Mixture

Tip Nut has some different recipes to try. The ants take it back to the nest and it kills the colony. Keep where children and pets can't get to it. You can find Borax at Walmart or Target in the laundry aisle.

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Doesn't this sound like something from Lord of the Rings? From what I've read, it's an all-natural dust made from tiny fossilized water plants. It is lethal to insects because of its microscopic razor sharp edges. You can sprinkle it around the perimeter of your house and it will kill bugs that touch it. It won't harm warm-blooded animals, birds, or earthworms. You should be able to find it at home and garden stores, nurseries, and even Amazon.
What natural methods do you use to keep ants away?

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