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No matter what time of year it is, people are caught by surprise when they see ants in their home. While you may have coordinated a decorating scheme and set up furniture to create a welcoming environment for guests in your home, ants probably weren’t the kind of guests you planned for.
The pesky insects get everywhere once they find an entry point to your home. You may first spot them in the kitchen, but they’ll work their way over to the carpet by the couch and the mats in your bathroom. It’s annoying to find them everywhere, especially if they start to bite.
Read on to learn how to get rid of ants in your house without overpaying a professional to come and spray down your property. With a few quick steps, you’ll banish ants from your home and have a safe, bug-free place to relax with your family once again.
1. Follow Them First
When you see bugs in your home, your first instinct might be to jump back and leave the room. It’s a natural feeling to have, but remember to go back and follow the trail of ants. Trace them back to where they’re entering from, like a gap in your hardwood floor or inside a cabinet. If you can find where they’re coming from, it’ll be easier to get rid of them all at once and maybe even find their nest.
Ants have a ‘satellite colony’ structure, which means they can move their operation to one of these satellite nests if the main nest is threatened. So, you must ensure to find the main source to determine how to get rid of ants in your home efficiently.
2. Lay out Traps
The next step you can take is to lay out ant traps in the areas you see them most frequently. These are sold at most stores and online.
One thing to note is if you want to lay out traps, be mindful of any pets you own. Liquid traps that drip or traps with strong smells may attract dogs or cats that live in your home. Put traps in places your pets can’t reach, like under furniture or inside cabinets. You can also block pets from entering the ant-infested rooms, if you notice that they’re only in certain spots.
3. Clean Your Home Thoroughly
Whether or not you decide to lay out traps, it’s a smart idea to clean your home thoroughly whenever you discover bugs or insects of any kind. Particular household behaviors like leaving food or crumbs on the counter and having over-ripened fruit may invite ants.
Vacuuming and mopping the floors is a good start. Make sure you spray down all countertops and surfaces with a cleaning solution and remove any old food from your pantry.
Ants may also eat food stuck in the bottom of your trash can, so wipe that down as well or replace it with a new one.
They also need water to survive, so check for leaks and avoid leaving damp clothes or towels sitting out.
4. Find a Strong Spray
Cleaning your home removes bugs in the short-term, but ants will find their way back inside. If traps don’t work, research strong ant sprays that will do the job for you. Most sprays go along the edges of each room and dry quickly. They often protect your home for up to a few months at a time, depending on which brand you get.
As always, don’t let any household pets or children near freshly sprayed areas. Even once the spray dries, don’t let your pets lick where you sprayed. If sprays make you nervous, look for a can that is safe for homes with kids and pets, which should be advertised on the packaging.
5. Mix a DIY Solution
Some people are averse to introducing chemicals to their home, so if you’re in that boat, don’t worry about sprays or traps. With items you might already have in your home, you can mix a DIY solution that won’t affect anyone who lives in your house — except the ants.
Common home remedies to eliminate ants include vinegar, diatomaceous earth and essential oils. Cinnamon is a lesser-known home remedy to eliminate ants from a space—ants don’t like the scent of cinnamon. You can use cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder, but essential oils are the best natural deterrent for ants. Just dab some cinnamon essential oil in places you’ve seen ants enter your space.
Black or red pepper can also discourage ants, although it won’t kill them. A boric acid solution consisting of sugar, water and the acid can attract and kill ants. Boric acid erodes ants’ outer shells when they consume it.
Make sure to switch up your solutions to attract and kill ants that prefer sugars or proteins, since ants aren’t always interested in the same ingredients.
6. Schedule Your Next Treatment
Whichever ant killing method works for you, don’t forget to schedule your next treatment. Ant-repelling and killing products will only work for a certain length of time, so you may find more ants in your home after that time period ends.
Mark on your calendar or in your planner when you’ll spray or set out traps in the future, so you don’t have to worry about finding an ant surprise in your home anytime soon.
It’s Possible to Get Rid of Ants in Your House
If you find ants roaming your kitchen, don’t fret. It’s not hard to learn how to get rid of ants in your house. Try these ways to eliminate them, and you won’t have to worry about sharing your house and your food with these pesky invaders.