Whether you don’t love the idea of using insecticides in your home or you want to use things you already have on hand to be frugal, there are quite a few ways to keep ants from taking up permanent residence in your kitchen. These old fashioned tactics use common ingredients found in the cupboard and offer a toxin-free pest control. Have a look at these 17 old timey ways to get rid of ants below.
Ways to Kill Ants
1) Borax Mixed with Syrup
Boric acid is toxic for humans to eat, but will not do harm to people if left in an inconspicuous place. The tastes of the boric acid is masked by the syrup and the ants eat it up only to die later.
2) Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar
Ants love any kind of sweat thing and this mixture makes an irresistible (yet deadly) food source for the ants.
3) Dish Soap, Baking Soda, and Water
The three mixed together makes a solution which is toxic to ants but safe for humans. Place small bowls of it or spray it on trails or entrance sites.
4) Molasses Mixed with Borax
You can also mix dry yeast instead of Borax. These mixtures will kill ants when they ingest them.
5) Table Salt
Sprinkled table salt will kill them if they eat it.
Clove oil can kill ants, while dried cloves act as a strong smelling deterrent.
This common cooking ingredient can kill ants slowly because their bodies cannot digest it. This is not a quick fix as it takes time, but is entirely non toxic. Some folks have also had success with oatmeal.
Some of this slippery stuff on entry points will make paths too tricky for the ants to cross.
9) Lemon Juice
Fresh lemon juice deters ants with the acidic smell it gives off and it disturbs their scent trails. Soak cotton balls in lemon juice and place where you’ve seen them before or swipe some lemon juice in areas they travel.
10) Peeled Garlic
Like many pests, ants do not like the smell of garlic. Place some peeled fresh cloves of garlic near entrances or near their nest.
11) Cucumber Peels
Placed in your garden or where you’ve seen them coming in from outside these can keep ants at bay since ants are said to dislike the taste of cucumber.
Ants have a hard time crossing a line of chalk. This is not only because it’s a visual barrier, but also because the chalk covers the scent markings which are so crucial to the ant colony in finding food. The video below shows just how quickly a few lines of chalk disrupt their mass foraging. Take note that this is only a temporary measure.
13) Orange Peels
Dried and pulsed in the food processor, orange peel makes a (non-toxic to humans) powder which will deter the ants because they hate the smell. In addition, the natural chemicals in citrus peels like limonene also can act to kill or injure the ants.
14) Baby Powder
This is another smell that ants hate and which messes up their scent trails. It can be sprinkled where you see them outside or in your home.
15) Pennyroyal, Peppermint, or Bay Leaves
These herbs smell caustic and so are said to keep many kinds of critters away. Like many of the other things mentioned here, the strong smells of these herbs cancels their scent markings which can leave them disoriented. Once this happens, their search for food is put on hold or abandoned entirely.
Put some vinegar in a spray bottle and apply to ant trails to sabotage their foraging.
17) Coffee Grounds
Sprinkled over their anthills, the strong scent of coffee prevents their scent trails from directing them to food.
A lover of antiques and a collector of all things vintage, discovering treasures has always been a passion for Rose. Once a seller of antiques, collecting early 20th century advertising art has become her main focus, in addition to studying and writing about history.