Ants can be a headache when they infest our kitchen. They not only damage the beauty of your home but also can harm your kids, pets, and sometimes yourself too. Seeing dead ants in your food while having them is a nightmare, I assure you. Here, we will discuss ways to get rid of ants in your kitchen and even your home, without using any toxic chemicals that might harm your beloved pet as well as your kids.
Why are there ants in my kitchen?
Ants aren’t only fond of the sweet substance; they are also fond of the food source. If you have accidentally dropped sugar cubes, bread crumbs, maple syrup, food source, or any food crumbs on the floor, chances are the swarm of ants will invade your kitchen and leave messy ant trails behind.
House ants can be of different varieties. Certain types of ants include Little black, Pharaoh ants, Argentine, Carpenter ants, fire ants, scout ants, and Odorous house ant. Because of their minute size, they can easily enter kitchens through cracks in windows, doorways, floors, damaged wood, small hole, and structural damage. Carpenter ants are especially attracted to moist areas. You should correct roof leaks, tiny cracks, damp areas, plumbing leaks, etc. to prevent carpenter ants from entering your home.
What attracts ants in the kitchen?
The sad thing about ant invasion is that once they’ve found the morsel, chances are that they’ll keep scurrying your kitchen for other edible items. Ants leave behind ant trails of chemicals called pheromones. The chemical attracts other ants in the vicinity.
Killing a few ants is never the solution. There are thousands of worker ants where they come from. The best home remedies include locating the whole colony and either sealing it permanently or diminishing it. Until you wipe out the ant colony, the egg-laying queen will keep reproducing and sending worker ants inside your home from her hidden nest.
10 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen
Here is the list of ten natural home remedies to get rid of ants in the kitchen.
Diatomaceous earth (Silicon dioxide)
Diatomaceous earth or Silicon dioxide is a type of silica that comprises fossilized remains of aquatic organisms called diatoms. It acts as a natural repellant against ants and other tiny bugs. Since it’s an irritant, you shouldn’t breathe in it and keep it away from your skin. Once sprayed over the ants, it absorbs the oils in their skeletons and sucks them dry. You can easily find it at home depot.
Glass cleaner and liquid detergent
The mixture of active ingredients such as regular glass cleaners like Colin, lemon juice, and liquid detergent available in your kitchen can help prevent ants from entering your kitchen. The chemicals help to remove the scented pheromone trail ants leave behind. You can mix it inside a repellent spray bottle, and spray it on areas that mostly attract the ants.
Hand soap and Pepper
We know the magical ability of hand soap in cleaning germs. Fortunately, it also comes in handy in removing ants. The soapy water helps to remove the scented pheromone trail.
Pepper acts as an irritant to ants and helps to remove the scent trails. You can try black or red (cayenne) pepper as an ant deterrent. Sprinkle it around the place of their congregation.
Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that may come in handy to repel ants, bed bugs, termites, fire ants, and other bugs. Mix 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around the places where they mostly congregate.
It can be harmful to pets, especially cats, if ingested. Keep it away from the reach of your pets.
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural bug repellent. It contains a citronella element that helps to repel ants, bugs, termites, and fly. Instead of spraying it, you can saturate cotton balls with the oil and place them in areas where the ants mostly swarm. It acts as a poisonous bait or toxic bait.
It is effective in solving many household problems. Along with wiping out the ants, it also helps to unclog the kitchen sink. Prepare vinegar and water solution measuring 50:50 and spray it over ants. Along with killing the ants, white vinegar also helps to repel them. You can regularly clean the floor, countertops, and hard surfaces using diluted vinegar. It works as a liquid bait.
Boiling water or warm water comes in handy when killing off the ants and eliminating the ant nests. If you notice a swarm of ants inside your kitchen or home, you should pour the hot water onto them. This will effectively and immediately kill many of the ants inside. However, you must be wary of the surface before pouring hot water.
Cornstarch can help to eliminate a swarm of ants. You can liberally pour cornstarch over the ants and pour water on top. The messy solution will eliminate ants effectively. It’s also easy to remove and clean cornstarch residue from the floor.
Neem oil or Azadirachta indica is an extract from the Neem tree that acts as a repellent insecticide and pesticide. It’s extracted from the Neem tree, which is native to India. You can spill or spray Neem oil and water solution over the ants to kill them effectively.
How to locate and destroy the ant colony at Kitchen?
Here are a few steps to identify an entry point, locate and destroy hidden nests effectively.
- Identify the entry point: The first and foremost thing to do is to pinpoint the exact entrance of the ants in the kitchen. Most probably, it is the cracks in the kitchen floor, a slightly open window, a torn window screen, or an exhaust.
- Find the nest: The next step is to locate the nest or the colony. Each nest contains a queen ant. To find the nest, you might have to crawl through the ground, small opening, or even cold marble floor. Track each of their movement. It’ll definitely lead you to their natural habitat, hidden nest, or colony located inside a damaged wall, tree stumps, woodpiles, etc.
- Destroy the nest directly: Here comes the most difficult part. You wouldn’t want to kill few ants but the entire hidden nest. Killing a few will disperse the rest.
- Look for organic ways to eliminate the colony. If it exists outside the home, you can pour a half-gallon of boiling water over the outdoor nest to collapse it and kill off the ants.
- If you find the ant nest in an indoor structure, the best thing is to apply a very thin layer of Boric Acid Powder directly over the nest using a plastic squeeze bottle to kill the ants inside. The boric mixture is less toxic to humans.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the physical nest from the place. Reapply boric acid to the emptied space.
- Clear out remaining ants: You can’t kill 100% of ants in a first try itself. You might be left with a stray ant here and there. Consider spraying them with a soapy solution (one tablespoon dish soap and 12 ounces of plain water). This will immobilize them. Clear off the debris.
- Seal the entry point: The last thing to do is to seal the entryway so no other ant colony could get attracted to your kitchen. Use caulk to seal small cracks and openings. Caulks are very useful in sealing the entryway permanently. Get in touch with the pest control service or pest control specialist to learn more about the process.
How to make your Kitchen Ant-Free Zone
- The messy kitchen countertops, floor, and dustbin are the major attractions for house ants. Routinely wash your kitchen countertops and clean the floor.
- Never leave uncovered food or drink on counters, food bowls, food containers, condiment jars, or the floor. Keep food items such as pet food, powdered sugar, and peanut butter inside airtight containers.
- Sweep off the spilled beverages from the floor immediately. The powdered sugar in the beverage easily attracts ants. Clean up spills or sweep the floor on a regular basis to expel ants.
- Wipe up water spills on the floor and countertops. Keep the area dry. The dry home will prevent carpenter ants from entering your home.
- Shut the garbage can completely to ward off signals of leftovers, food particles, and morsels.
- Regularly inspect your kitchen and indoor structure for plumbing or appliance leaks. Repair the leaks, cracks, openings, and any moisture-damaged structures to prevent the formation of indoor ant nests and to expel ants.
- Keep repellent insecticide ready at home all the time including repellant ingredients such as coffee grounds, black pepper, cinnamon powder, cayenne pepper, etc. Contact pest control service if you feel like you can’t solve the ant problem.