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How to Get Rid of Ants Fast Naturally

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During warm weather or rainy seasons, many people discover ants entering their houses and garden areas.

According to the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project, ants are social insects and live in colonies that may range in size from hundreds to millions of ants, depending on the species.

There are different types of ants, but the most common house-invading ants include pavement, carpenter, acrobat, pharaoh and odorous house ants.

House-invading ants can get into your food, damage property or cause stinging bites. These tiny creatures can also cause damage to your plants.

Dealing with ants can be very frustrating. Pesticides for ants contain chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment, but there are some natural, non-toxic ways to control ants. These may take some time and patience, but will provide good results.

how to get rid of ants

Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of ants naturally.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an effective household ant repellent. Its smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen.

According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, cinnamon essential oil yields positive results in both repellency and insecticidal activity.

  • Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil in a cup of water. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and wipe down the areas where ants may enter and dwell. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
  • You can also put ground cinnamon and whole cloves near entry points.

Note: Use the cinnamon oil spray strategically in places of ant infestation; do not put it all over the place.

2. White Vinegar

White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell. In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
  2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  3. Add a few drops of any essential oil and shake the bottle thoroughly.
  4. Spray this solution around baseboards and other entry points.
  5. After an hour, wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them.
  6. Repeat once daily until the ants are completely gone.

You can also use this vinegar solution to clean floors, windowsills and countertops to prevent ants from crawling over these surfaces.

3. Borax

Borax is toxic to ants and helps rid them from your house and garden. Ants are attracted to it and, when ingested, it ultimately kills them.

  • Mix equal amounts of borax and food jelly. Put it on a flat plate in the areas where you have ants.
  • Alternatively, mix borax with granulated sugar in a 1:3 ratio. Add enough water to get a syrup-like consistency. Put this paste in the areas where you see ants.
  • Another option is to make a paste with equal amounts of borax, cornmeal and a few drops of water. Spread the paste in areas where you tend to see ants.

Note: As borax is toxic, keep it away from pets and small children.

4. Lemon

To make your kitchen and other areas of your house ant-proof, try lemon. The smell deters ants and its acidic property masks their scent trails.

  • Rub some lemon juice on door thresholds, windowsills and other possible areas where ants are getting in.
  • Another option is to put a few drops of lemon essential oil on cotton balls and leave them in cabinets and other areas as needed.
  • Scatter small slices of lemon peel around outdoor entrances.

Use these remedies every few days until the ants are completely gone.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that can effectively keep ants away. Ants hate its strong smell, which also disrupts their smelling capabilities so they cannot detect food sources.

  • Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 cup of water. Spray the solution on all areas where ants are present. Repeat twice daily, until the ants are gone completely.
  • Sprinkle some dried peppermint around your doors, entryways and garbage areas to repel ants.
  • You can even grow peppermint plants in your kitchen garden.

6. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) also works well as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.

The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ants’ exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out.

  1. Gently sprinkle a thin layer of DE on windowsills, beneath the fridge, under cabinets, in and around garbage cans and any other places where you see ants.
  2. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.

Note: Do not wet the DE or it will not work.

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70 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Ants Fast Naturally”

    1. I bought 90% isopropyl alcohol (from Walmart). Thought I believe 60% was recommended. I sprayed everywhere I thought they might be hiding. Be thorough, I even found one in my window fan. This may not get rid of them forever (in fact I’m sure it it only temporary) but worth a try to help them stay away for a while.

      1. Alcohol/half water in a spray bottle..douse your beds and every inch of your carpet..I had them buggers..someone dropped one in our house that was staying at a local shelter..get rid of ALL FURNITURE..they lay their eggs on wood and you can’t get every egg..w lived with camping chairs for two weeks..wanted to make sure they were gone..it worked..I have a friend who has spent 1800$ on exterminator and she’s still got them..Alcohol is the key..be careful..the smell us noxious!!! Good luck!!!

    1. Alcohol works very effective in bed bugs..have to get rid of ALl FURNITURE though except your beds..douse your beds good..they climb out and die on the spot..furniture had to many sides of wood..can’t get to it all and that’s what the lay their eggs on..I did upholstery for 15 years..and never seen one..till someone came up to my house from a local shelter and dropped one on us..lived with camping chairs for two weeks!! Spray the carpet good and the edges too..that’s hire I got rid of mine..be super careful when going to friends houses!!! They get pissed along like wildfire..good luck

  1. I WILL DEFINITELY BE TRYING SOME; IF NOT ALL THESE. I HAVE FOUND ANTS, OF ALL PLACES IN MY BATHROOM AND NOW MY BEDROOM CLOSET- ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY DO SHARE A WALL.

    1. Monica, looking for a solution I found. Boric acid, sugar and water. You soak cotton balls and leave in their path, they are gone in days!!! If a few come back just repeat!!! My kitchen has been free of them for months!!!! They tried the bathroom, I put it out again and I haven’t seen them in several weeks!!!!

    2. Check your closet for boxes. If you have shoe boxes, look inside each one. Ants will nest in them. They like the glue and the darkness. Be ready to suck them up with a vacuum. They will run in all directions!

      1. don’t suck them up with a vacuum!! They will just run out of there and it will be an even bigger mess!!!

  2. Since it got very hot, I to have small ants. I’m trying the lemon juice and vinegar. Vinegar is the number one agent for a lot of things. I clean with it and it is safe. I had a kidney transplant so I have to be very careful of what products to use..
    Lets hope this does the trick. Thanks, Elaine

  3. I have found tiny ant everywhere usually an outside spray with an outside base spray works, not this year. I will try white vinegar solution with peppermint first. I’m willing to try it all they are terrible.

    1. Ants love glue. If you fix something with it you must clean up excess thoroughly. Or mix cinnamon in your glue b4 using it. They hate cinnamon.

  4. I needed these tips,
    There are ants all over the place in my house

    I know they are just looking for food, but this happens every year ;-;

    1. Those small creature are really a disaster, if you are not careful they will drag
      you into the hole. Will try vineger and lemon. Hope it will wirk for me.

  5. Fire ants Nothing works Best but onlt makes them move Gas yes gas Tried all else yes kills grass in that spot but better than the ants grass will grow back I just keeop tem moving Maybe me too LOL

  6. Trying the vinegar and water solution in the kitchen on the counter in the cracks of the wall hope this helps, ants are driving me crazy.

  7. Love this post! Live in Atlanta, GA — ant heaven apparently. Made a mixture with the vinegar, cloves and cinnamon and wiped down the baseboards with it after cleaning thoroughly. Haven’t seen any ants in two days! Hopeful that a daily wipe down in the kitchen will keep the ant family reunion away from my kitchen. Thanks!

  8. I have found the ants we get now want nothing to do with sugar, but corn will kill them. I use corn starch or finely ground corn meal. They take it back to the nest, but are not able to digest it, they drink water and the expanding corn kills them. Not dangerous for children or animals.

  9. great tips here.
    i live in thailand and have the same annoying problem with ants everywhere.. somehow they invade every corner of the house sometimes running across my computer screen when im online downstairs. if i leave an empty teacup on the small cupboard in my bedroom overnight, then in the morning it will be swarming with ants.needless to say they are in the bathroom and the kitchen especially around the trashbins if not emptied regularly and cleaned.
    we have brown ceramic floor tiles so the little buggers are not easy to spot moving around in their long chains once they know where there is a food source. will try the white vinegar approach with great anticipation.
    heres hoping and fight the good fight!

  10. Hey do I get an infestation of ants when I use domestos. Thought thus would be potent enough to get rid if them. Shew! they love it.

  11. The only way to really get rid of ants is to go to the source…the queen. If you can’t/don’t kill her then all you’ve done is put a band aide on this problem. Although I agree 100% with BJ, that gas kills them I do not suggest gas. It’s just too dangerous. No one loves to spend $$ on things like this but if you have no way of finding and removing the source then you may consider calling the pro’s especially if you have carpenter ants because since they live in rotten wood they many times nest in walls and that type treatment really needs to be done by someone who knows what they’re doing. Sometimes you just gotta “Pay the man”…or woman. 🙂 and NO, I do not and have not ever worked for a pest control company…I just know a good bit about ants being born and raised in Southwest Ga. Good luck!

  12. I’ve been having a problem with ant’s again, we usually call the exterminator, however I am trying the lemon idea, so far I’ve only seen the ants on the floor and wall, they aren’t going near the window which is their access point to my room. I also left some cotton balls soaked in lemon in my window so hopefully they leave!

  13. i have ants on my counter top i tried vinegar but they liked i think they are coming in the screens happens every year a little heat ants come & stay

  14. So far I’ve been using an essential oil mixture that seems to be working well. 1 cup water, 70 drops cloves, eucalyptus, AND lemon essentia oils. Citrus oils of lemon and lemongrass are great for repelling ants and mosquitoes. Clove oil is great for ants as well

  15. I’ve been using an essential oil mixture for ants that seems to be working quite well. I live in an apartment complex and I swear these ants are tougher than gangsters. The only thing that gives me decent results are essential oils. So I made up this mixture: 1 cup water, 70 drops clove, lemon, and eucalyptus essential oils. The clove oil that I have is actually a fragrance-like oil. Its not the actual essential oil but it has a very strong scent. Clove, lemon, and lemongrass is great for repelling/killing ants.

  16. Will definitely give these remedies a go, can’t believe I still have ants in the kitchen and cupboards, have had a professional pest control spray twice within a couple of weeks, have tried a commercial surface spray(hate using chemicals)in desperation, but that didn’t work either, driving me crazy, so hope something from this post will help.

  17. I had a problem with the little fast crazy ants (about 1/16″ long) coming into the kitchen. They loved the trash can and would come in every night in the dark and be all over it. The key to stopping them was finding out how they were getting in. They followed a very precise trail from their entry point. Very carefully watching the ants on the return path led to the entry hole, which was an incredibly small hole between two floor tiles, under the refrigerator. The hole was only big enough for one tiny and to fit through at a time, although there were hundreds raiding the trash. One drop of kitchen sealant sealed the hole and this let to total hysterics in the ants trapped in the kitchen. They would follow the trail with their feelers but suddenly find it ended, and then would start running in circles. Shortly there was a huge group of ants doing this and after about 30 minutes they all slowed down and stopped next to each other, like cars in a parking lot. Apparently stranded ants do this when they can’t get home. I waited until most of them seemed to be in this grouping then ended their misery. For several days after, no ants appeared at the trash can. Then a bunch showed up, and amazingly were using part of the same trail, but this time, back tracking them as before, I followed the trail to a hole in the bathroom doorframe molding. Same solution, plugged the tiny hole, waited for the ants to assemble, and wiped them up. This has pretty much stopped the problem.

    Since then a few ants have shown up now and then. It is harder to trace individual ants back to their entry points, but I have found that when they are wandering around foraging, a sharp tap with a piece of silverware on the surface near them will immediately make them forget about what they were doing and want to go home. They will rapidly run back on their trail to the entry point. It is really a good idea to have a bright flashlight so that you don’t lose sight of them, because it can be hard to find them again if you do. They like to run along edges and crevices in straight lines when possible, but sometimes have to cross flat areas. If they stop and look like they have changed their mind about going home another sharp tap or two will usually get them going again. Finally they will enter some tiny hole, and then I plug it with sealant, and any other similar holes nearby.

    The I go along any long seams between surfaces, like where cabinets meet the wall, the edge of sinks and bathtubs, doorframes, floor moldings, etc, to eliminate obvious entry points. But they really seem to like tiny holes most of all.

    So far what was a big ant problem has become minor, and I haven’t had to use insecticide but once, for a larger entry place under a sink that couldn’t be easily plugged. The ants used to drive us crazy. We are on the third floor of a building and they must live in the walls. But it has been possible to control them mainly without chemicals and actually has been very interesting to watch them.

    1. @ Anthony: Love your post. I have some on my kitchen island and can’t find out where they are coming from, so I will use your spoon tap idea. One year, a whole colony was living in my paper towel holder. I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t in any areas where there was food and my counters were clean. Then they started showing up between the paper towel sheets. Crazy; so I screwed off the top of the holder and it was like I opened Pandora’s Box! They ran up my hand and arm; I screamed and threw the holder into the sink and sprayed the heck out of it with hot water, then ran the holder through the dishwasher 2 times. Ants can be so frustrating.

  18. I tried the vinegar and peppermint oil. They loved it and there were more than ever. I can’t stand them and don’t know what else to do. I even tried ant traps in the area. I think I am going to have to call a professional, although I hate that smell. But if it gets rid of them, so be it.

    1. Mop kitchen floor and leave it completely soaking wet with undiluted bleach, a detergent, and a pinesol type product. Leave and go to work for the day. The fumes will kill any living creature. When you come home the ants will be deaed on arrival. The fumes would have dissapapted.

  19. I once had a problem with ants coming in from openings behind my stove. The calking was loose in my apartment. I sealed up the cracks, with much Boric acid, that turned hard after continued use and calking. But, I was able to suffocate the ants completely dead. One day before going to work, I used a strong bleach solution with a good pinesol type product, and probably a detergent, almost undiluted, the smell was intoxicating. I left the floor soaking wet with this un breathable solution. Then I went to work, came home 10 hours latter. The ants were laying dead on the floor.

  20. I noticed them crawling from the outside up the side of the lower part of the house….i spray and spray and they move to another part….annoying as hell, but i will not let my home become theirs lol. I used vinegar for outside and chemicals in the house….we gonna see what happens!!

  21. Omg!!! The warning label on bleach says not to mix or use with detergents or other household cleaning chemicals. Especially, NEVER ammonia. This releases hazardous gases and is deadly. People can and have died from those fumes.
    Geez, people! Be careful. And be careful with the advice you give, please.

  22. I dissolved one cup of sugar in three cups of water and sprayed it near their point. That did the trick for me. Or u can substitute syrup with the sugar/water concoction. But then your house will smell like a southern home.

  23. I dissolved one cup of sugar into three cups of water and sprayed it near their entry point. That did the trick for me. You can substitute syrup for the water/sugar concoction but your home will smell like a home from down south.

  24. Ants in our garden and inside the house are stressful and tiring. I already lost two sets of slippers swatting them on which i found that slippers are very effective in killing them right on .

  25. these are all very interesting but my ants are big and small but don’t really bother with food. They seem to go in the bathroom and in the living room and I have even had it crawling up on my desk in my office. this is soo creepy. I can sit on the couch and all of a sudden an ant is crawling up my leg. I can’t stand it… I go to brush my teeth there they are all in the sink coming up the drain. I threw bleach down the drain. I was the closest thing I had.. I am very frustrated. I am going to try the cream of wheat.

  26. Make it easy on yourself.
    Use corn meal, grits, or cream of wheat.
    Corn meal is the easiest. It can be swept up when ever you choose and more sprinkled down when you need it. They will take it to the Queen. How good ! My dad owned a grist mill , so we had plenty of corn meal. But to to the store and buy a small package of ground corn meal. The type you can make corn bread . Just keep a small bag of corn meal and sprinkle it around where the ants are. Won’t hurt animals , your pets or your children. Birds are ok with it outside . And it is so inexpensive.
    Enjoy.
    Joanne

  27. How do you get rid of ants that seem to be living between the fire hearth and the carpet. They also seem to be living between the cracks in my fireplace. I have tried ant powder, sprays and bicarb of soda. Nothing works. They are no where else in my house. They’re flying ants with huge wings! I am so frustrated with them. This is the second year I’ve had them.

  28. Here’s the only way to get rid of ants permanently, soak bread crumbs ( the kind that you can buy in a can,) in corn syrup and leave and sprinkle around base boards and cabinets. This is sure to draw the ants into your house by the thousands. Then you can kill them with your slippers.

  29. I am looking for the ratios for a solution of boric acid, sugar and water!!! It is toxic so you have to be careful around children and pets!!! It might take two times, but my kitchen has been free of them for months!!! They came back to the bathroom and now it’s been free of them for several weeks now!!!

  30. I use used coffee grounds. They eat it and then explode later. They are gone. I got rid of two major ant hills in my yard. When they were all dead the ground which was a hill was now a hole in our yard.

  31. The best way to get rid of ants & spiders are to buy electronic pest controls that you plug into wall . They give out an electronic sound in the walls that bugs don’t like . You can buy them at Wal-Mart’s . I used to buy sprays in a can , about three cans a week until I bought the electronic pest controls. The have no smell but they do have a little sound that you can hardly hear.

  32. Great site – ants have been driving me crazy for months – tried lots of suggested tricks. The one that has worked this far is using a small travel spray bottled. Half white vinegar, half water – add a few drops of peppermint oil. Shake. A few short spurts aimed at the ants stops them
    In their tracks. Wipe up with paper towel. Intend to use the silver spoon theory to find out where they are coming from & seal those areas. This should put an end to it – & it’s all natural & safe.

  33. Well, I’ve just started sprinkling baking powder at their point of entry and along their trails and it seems to have worked! No more ants!😜
    Yesterday the kitchen floor was swarming with the buggars and the counter tops and cupboard doors were all in motion! A horrible sight! Apparently this happens often in spring! First time for me!
    Spent the day vacuuming them away and hoping they wouldn’t suddenly come marching back out of the vacuum cleaner! But every time I returned to the kitchen there were hundreds more to take their place! On Sunday in Austria all the shops are closed so no hope of buying another ant trap!
    So Last night I tried baking powder – an old kitchen help that housewives have been using for decades! Give it a try!

  34. Have heard most everything as a sure-fire remedy to riding a kitchen of ants and have tried most everything. I can’t find their source and they seem worse at some times than others. They don’t seem to be sweet eating ants so I think I am going to try Boric acid and bacon grease…I’ll let you know how this serves…can’t hurt, huh?

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