When the ants go marching one by one into your home, you want them to march right back out. This might lead you to try any number of “home remedies” for ants that you learn about from friends or from online articles. But do any of them work?
Don’t waste your time on pointless home remedies. Today, we’ll talk about which remedies really get rid of ants and which ones are completely ineffective (even dangerous). Keep reading to find out!
Home Remedies for Ants
#1 Using household chemicals to kill ants
Many a homeowner has googled, “What household cleaners kill ants?” in an attempt to find a budget-friendly pest fix.
This home remedy is somewhat effective: grabbing a spray bottle of Lysol and dousing a few ants will kill them. Still, using household cleaners as ant control isn’t an effective long-term solution. That’s because ants live in colonies: where there is one ant, there are hundreds or even thousands of others. Once one ant has entered your home in search of food, other ants will use their scent trails (invisible pheromones left behind) to follow.
A good, long-term ant control solution won’t just kill the ants you see; it will also locate and destroy the ants’ nest. This will make sure that you aren’t trapped in an endless battle against thousands of ants!
#2 Using borax to get rid of ants
We’ve talked about borax in previous blog posts: it’s been touted online as a solution not just for ants but also for cockroaches and other pests.
Like household cleaners, borax is a “remedy” that comes with a couple of problems.
First, borax is difficult to use correctly. Ants will not simply walk over a pile of borax; they will go around it if they see it. This means you need to apply the borax in a very fine mist. (To get around this hurdle, many online articles advise you to mix the borax with sugar to attract the ants. Don’t do this! You’ll end up attracting even more ants, along with all the insects that might eat ants, like cockroaches.)
Second—and most important—borax can be dangerous to use. Borax fans will point out that it is a naturally occurring mineral, but natural doesn’t always mean safe. Borax can be toxic to humans and animals in high doses and can cause irritation of the skin and eyes in low doses. While borax poisoning is rare, it’s important to be aware of the danger—especially if you have children or pets. Adults, of course, know not to eat borax; children and pets, on the other hand, have a knack for finding and ingesting things they aren’t supposed to.
#3 Using coffee grounds to get rid of ants
Using coffee grounds as an ant repellent has some anecdotal support from the occasional homeowner, but the majority opinion is that this home remedy is a myth.
Ants are not so repelled by coffee grounds that they will avoid your home or leave it entirely. Instead, they’re more likely to ignore, go around, or even move the grounds sprinkled around your home. (That’s right—they can pick up and move the coffee grounds!)
Worst of all, this remedy could actually end up doing more harm than good. We advise against sprinkling food, crumbs, or anything edible around your home, as it can attract roaches (which eat anything) or other pests.
#4 Using vinegar to kill ants
Vinegar—whether white vinegar or apple cider vinegar—is a common ingredient in many kitchens. That’s probably why many homeowners hope that vinegar or a mixture of apple cider vinegar and dish soap will kill ants.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Vinegar does not kill ants in the traditional sense: you spray it, and the ant dies. The only way this remedy is effective is if the ant drowns in vinegar (though water accomplishes the same thing).
If vinegar doesn’t kill ants, does it at least repel them? Some online articles tell you to use vinegar as a repellent, but again, this isn’t really effective. Ants can simply go around the smelly areas or find a different entrance into your home. For such limited effectiveness, it’s not worth making your house smell like an Easter egg.
How to Get Rid of Ants Effectively
Getting rid of ants quickly and permanently requires a multi-pronged approach that includes both killing the ants that you see and destroying the nest that you don’t. Keeping your kitchen ant-free is a process that often requires the knowledge and equipment of an exterminator.
If your home is plagued by more than a few ants, the pest control professionals at Scherzinger are happy to help.
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.