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Ants can find their way into nearly any kitchen and once there, can be downright impossible to get rid of. Don’t despair — you’re not condemned to share every meal with the local ant colony. Plus, you can start with natural ant repellant that doesn’t require harsh chemicals.
Here are ten easy ways to get rid of the ants invading your kitchen.
Ants are incredibly reliant on their sense of smell. According to biologists, ants have between four and five times more odor receptors than any other insect. When they find food, they lay trails of pheromones for other ants to follow. You need to obstruct those trails.
When you see ants in your kitchen, spray them down with a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar and wipe up the entire area. Ants can’t stand the smell of vinegar and it will discourage them from returning.
If you like to bake, you probably already have a container or two of ground cinnamon in your spice cabinet. In addition to adding a delicious flavor to your baked goods, cinnamon can also act as an effective deterrent for ants in your kitchen.
While you can use sticks or powder, the cinnamon essential oil will be the most effective way to keep ants from coming into your kitchen. Apply a little bit of pure essential oil wherever you see ants entering your kitchen.
Black or Red Pepper
Pepper is another thing that is probably already in your kitchen, and it’s a great natural ant repellant. Both black and red pepper are effective when it comes to discouraging ants from making their home in your kitchen.
Sprinkle pepper across their trails and anywhere that you see them entering your home. While it won’t kill them, the strong smells will confuse them and can chase them away. If you use red chili pepper, make sure that it is pure pepper — any spice blends with sugar in them will just attract more ants.
You’ll probably find this substance in the pool supply section of your local Walmart. Diatomaceous earth, also known as DE or silicon dioxide, is a non-toxic powder made from the remains of fossilized microorganisms called diatoms.
It’s a safe natural ant repellant to use in your kitchen because it doesn’t contain any toxins. Instead, it absorbs the oils in the ant’s exoskeletons, drying them out and eventually causing them to die of dehydration. Just sprinkle your DE anywhere you see ants. They’ll crawl over it and eventually die off.
There are some poisons that can be effective when it comes to getting rid of ants in your kitchen. One of these is boric acid, which works by eroding the ant’s outer shells when they consume it.
The trick to making boric acid work is to create a solution of the acid, sugar and water. The sugar attracts the ants. They consume it and take it back to their colony, sharing it with the rest of the ants that might be trying to make your kitchen their own personal all-you-can-eat buffet.
Cinnamon isn’t the only strong scent that will chase ants out of your kitchen. Peppermint, in the form of pure essential oils, is also an effective deterrent. It works for much the same reason that cinnamon oil does, confusing their powerful sense of smell.
If you’re worried about damaging your home by putting drops of essential oils everywhere, saturate a few cotton balls and stuffed them in wherever you see ants coming into your home.
Ants hate citrus, which makes it the perfect natural ant repallant. Lemon, orange, grapefruit — if they smell it, they will turn and run the other direction.
All you need is some peels from your favorite citrus fruit. Make sure that there is no flesh left on them — the sugar in the fruit can attract more ants — and set them in a container or directly on the surface where you see ants.
If you want to create a double-hitter cleaning solution for getting rid of ants, collect some orange or lemon peels and let them soak in white vinegar for a couple of weeks. What you’re left with is an incredibly effective cleaning solution that smells amazing and will keep the ants away.
Natural Ant Repellant for Your Kitchen
Natural pest repellents can help you make your kitchen inhospitable to ants. However, these aren’t going to solve an ongoing infestation, so be sure to contact a professional if you start to see many pests.
Preventative tips can do wonders. If you want to keep ants out for good, the most important thing you need to do is find out where they’re coming from. Figure out where their nest is, and you’ve already won half the battle.