In Canada, the first appearance of ants in your home is a sure sign of spring. You may first notice them in a window or doorway, in your bathroom or kitchen. One thing is for sure: when you see one or two ants, you have a problem with many more.
Whether you are dealing with carpenter ants or smaller varieties, you’ll want to know how best to get rid of them. The most obvious solution is to contact pest control Markham services. These professionals will be able to get rid of the ants quickly and efficiently.
Before you run off to the store to buy traps or poison, we’ve put together a list of home remedies for ants. Many of which can be found in your fridge or pantry.
1. Soap and Water
A trail of ants is a distinct sight. If you’ve seen them crawling along your walls and counters, you can tell they’re following a distinct path. Ants use pheromones to create a chemical trail from their nest to potential food sources. Using soap and water, you can disrupt this trail and even add natural repellants.
Ants can’t stand table salt. To spread salt in the nooks and corners of your home, simply dissolve a good amount into hot water and spray. While salt won’t kill ants, it is a good deterrent and will send them looking for another home.
3. Oranges and / or Lemons
Ants are turned off by the smell of citrus. To protect specific areas in your home, combine lemon or orange peels with hot water to make a paste that you can apply to counters or corners where they have gained entry. You can also spray countertops and tables daily with lemon-scented cleaners, which will repel ants from what they’re after—food particles, odours and residue. Finally, use dried peels from lemons or oranges in the soil around your plants, to provide protection.
Although nobody is entirely sure why, ants will rarely cross a line of chalk. If your home has clear entry points, where you know ants are gaining access, chalk makes a convenient way to keep them out. Simply draw lines around the entry points and give ants a clear sign to ‘keep out’!
Cinnamon is a natural turn-off for ants. If you know where they are entering your house or room, try sprinkling cinnamon in the cracks and along the edges of the walls. Cinnamon sticks can be used, as well; they are especially effective if when coated with a few extra drops of cinnamon oil.
6. White Vinegar
White vinegar is an effective ant repellant. Add a few drops of an essential oil—think peppermint or orange—and spray surfaces or entry-points. While this mixture won’t kill ants, it may deter them from coming in through your windowsills, doorways or other places you spray. Remember, however, that vinegar is not safe for granite, marble or other types of natural stone countertops.
Thankfully, the clean smell of peppermint is a turn-off for ants. Place a few drops of pure peppermint essential oil on cotton balls and leave them around your bathroom, on countertops or any other place you find ants. Be sure to keep away from children, as peppermint oil can be harmful to eyes.
8. Black or Cayenne Pepper
While ants love sugar and other food, they hate pepper. If you know where ants are entering your home and can sprinkle the area with pepper, you may be able to deter them with either whole pepper corns, ground pepper or ground cayenne pepper.
9. Baking Soda
If you are able to reach an ant mound, you are in luck—you may just be able to destroy the entire colony. Dust the mound with a good amount of baking soda and spray with full-strength white vinegar.
10. Coffee Grounds
It’s not just chalk lines that ants refuse to cross. They also turn away from coffee grounds. If you are a coffee drinker, get in the habit of sprinkling grounds in the gardens around your house. An added bonus—the minerals in coffee grounds happen to be great for the soil in your garden.
11. Grow Tansy
Tansy is a flowering herb that you can grow near windowsills and entrances to your home. Ants are strongly repelled by this yellow plant, which makes it a perfect outdoor option, on its own or as a companion plant.
Once spring arrives in Canada, so do many insects. Ants are the most common pest we need to control in our homes, as they skillfully invade through small cracks or leaks and make their way to our kitchens, bathrooms, windows and doors. Having a few home remedies for ants will help you feel more empowered when you first spot them.
Hopefully, this list will inspire you to look in your own cupboards to see how to interrupt their operations with natural products. Just a reminder—always make sure any product is kept out of reach of children and pets.