If you’re currently looking for ways to eliminate ants and their colonies, you’ve come to the right place. As many would say, this deal requires professional exterminators, but there are still some natural solutions that could eradicate the issue without adding chemicals or toxins to your environment.
Have you tried anything, and nothing seems to work? Luckily for you, we’ve made a list with some of the best ways to kill and repel ants naturally using only ingredients found in the home or at your local store.
Also, don’t forget to tell us in the comments section which one of these ways worked for you!
Diatomaceous earth (silicon dioxide)
Diatomaceous earth is a specific type of silica made of fossilized “leftovers” of aquatic organisms called diatoms (which are a type of plankton).
It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t poison, but it kills ants and other bugs by absorbing the oils in their skeleton, which dries them out. As it’s also an irritant, you should avoid breathing in diatomaceous earth or even getting it on your skin.
Glass cleaner and liquid detergent
Ants are known to leave a scented pheromone trail behind them, which acts as some sort of Google Maps for them. This method can easily remove their scent and deter all the other ants from reentering your home. If you’re curious to know, here’s how to do it:
- Mix glass cleaning spray with some liquid detergent in a clean spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture on certain areas where you have spotted more ants.
- After spraying, wipe down the area, leaving a light residue.
- Repeat all the steps above as often as needed.
Ground black and red pepper
Black and red cayenne pepper is a natural ant deterrent, as the insects seem to find the smell quite irritating. To use this method, just sprinkle some pepper around baseboards and behind appliances.
Anecdotal evidence might suggest that this is a much safer way to keep ants away.
Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that could effectively deter ants and any other bugs, like mosquitoes. If you want to try it, here’s what you need to do:
- Mix 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with 2 cups of water in a plastic spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture all over the baseboards and windows of your home.
- Allow the mixture to dry and repeat as many times as needed.
Tea tree oil
Just like peppermint oil, tea tree oil can be just as effective when it comes to deterring ants. To use this method, just complete the following steps:
- Mix 5 to 10 drops of tea tree essential oil with 2 cups of water in a clean plastic spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture around the house whenever you see ants. You can also saturate cotton balls with the mixture and place them around the house.
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Oil extracted from the lemon eucalyptus tree is just another super-effective insect repellent. It has citronella, used in candles to repel mosquitoes and other annoying flying bugs. There’s increasing evidence that it also works at repelling ants.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Despite having similar names, the oil of lemon eucalyptus is quite different from lemon eucalyptus essential oil. OLE comes from the gum eucalyptus tree, found in Australia.
It has something known as p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), which is a wildly effective insect repellent.
It is easy to find white vinegar at any grocery store. Besides, it’s also extremely cheap and effective at killing ants. On top of that, it’s natural!
Use a 1-to-1 vinegar/water mixture to clean all the hard surfaces, such as floors and countertops. If you spot any ants, just spray the mixture on them and wipe them up with a paper towel.
Ants can easily smell the vinegar right after it dries, but the scent doesn’t stay too long on people.
If you spot ant holes close to your home, just pour boiling water into them. The method will effectively and instantly kill the vast majority of the ants.
Anthills might seem quite small, but the ant colonies underneath have quite the infrastructure. However, it’s worth mentioning that boiling water might not be enough to kill all the ants.
Cornstarch is another natural repellant you can find in grocery stores, and it’s an effective way to smother more ants at one time. There are two different ways to use cornstarch in this situation:
- The first one is to liberally pour cornstarch over the entire group of ants and add some water on top.
- The second method is to cover the ants with cornstarch and then vacuum them up. However, remember to dispose of the sealed vacuum bag as soon as possible!
Cinnamon leaf essential oil
There’s one 2005 study that proves how cinnamon leaf essential oil is extremely effective in repelling ants, including biting red ants.
So, if you’re wondering how to use cinnamon leaf essential oil, saturate some cotton balls with undiluted oil, place them in areas where you see ants, and replace the cotton balls every other week.