The best way to keep ants out of your home is to caulk or seal any small cracks or crevices lading into your home. They are attracted to the heat and the scents in your home. This may seem like a daunting task, because who has time to inspect every inch of their home? Also, how good does your vision have to be to see the hairline cracks where ants can enter? Have no fear, as there are ways you can find some of these entry points and other ways to discourage ants in your home as well.
Clean by Wiping
Keep your counters clean by wiping them down nightly. Again, you can use the bleach or vinegar solution if you choose. Be sure to clean any crumbs or spills immediately to avoid luring ants into your home. Even spilling a few grains of sugar that you can barely see could attract ants and feed several of them! Wiping counters with vinegar or bleach at least several times a week will help sanitize your kitchen as well as break down the scents and chemicals that lead ants into your home. Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming regularly can also help. Don’t store any food on the floor, and try to use air-tight storage containers whenever possible.
Use Strong Trash Bags
Be sure to use strong trash bags and take the trash out regularly. Weaker garbage bags can become torn and leak out many things that may attract ants! Also, be cognizant to disinfect or wipe the floor area where any garbage bag may have sat while you were taking it out. Sometimes you don’t see something that might have leaked out, leaving a scent behind that attracts ants. It’s also best to try to keep your garbage in a trash can that has a tight lid. This helps avoid odors in general and can be beneficial to not attracting ants into your home.
Place Whole Cloves Under the Counters
Other alternatives include using whole cloves to repel ants and other insects. Place whole cloves under the counters and by some of your windows because it’s thought that the strong smell of cloves will help repel pests. Another tried and true method that some people swear by is to scatter bay leaves in your home under the counters, where food is prepared, in the pantry where food is kept, and by any likely entrances where ants may enter the home.
Some suggest planting herbs such as mints around the perimeter of your home to help repel ants. Many say ants do not prefer the scent of strong-smelling herbs and plants and will avoid the area. Others claims used coffee grounds work (because of their bitter nature and strong smell), or strings soaked in cayenne pepper, clove oil. or lemon juice will help. Simply place the soaked string or coffee grounds wherever you don’t want the ants.
Pour some powder
If you do happen to notice ants in your home, others suggest sprinkling some talcum powder on them and following them to their exit trail. Pour some powder in that area and caulk or seal it to help prevent future re-infestations. You can also sprinkle some talcum powder around the perimeter of your home from time to time. Some swear this keeps the ants away. The talcum powder will probably suffocate the ants, so if you’re searching for a cruelty-free method, this is one you’ll want to avoid.
Keeping trash from laying around your yard is a good start to avoiding ant problems in your yard. If you have a garden, you may want to introduce other plants into the garden that tend to repel ants such as mint, garlic, cinnamon, marigolds, and geraniums, for example. You can also plant a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, etc. to attract birds and other insects that will naturally feed on some of the ants, thus reducing the problem in general. Again, using coffee grounds around your garden is another method to repel the ants.
Keeping Your Home Clean
Prevention is obviously the easiest, least cruel, and most effective way to avoid ants in the first place. Having your home sealed properly is a big first step to keeping ants away. Keeping your home clean and disinfected is another great way to avoid ants. Once you have an ant problem, there are some natural ways to remove them without doing them much harm, but, of course, if none of these solutions work, you might have to use commercial ant baits or contact an exterminator for more serious infestations.