It’s a problem we’ve all experienced, a bit of food, be it fruit or candy has been left somewhere in the house due to forgetfulness, or picked as a safe spot by a child to keep their treat. The next thing you know there’s a little line of determined ants and a new pest.
If you’re like many of us, myself included, then you’re not alone. Ants are a common problem and can be difficult to get rid of. There are many ant repellents available, but they contain harsh chemicals that sadly have the potential to be harmful to your family and pets. Luckily there are several natural remedies that use ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen or garden.
So, the next time you’re faced with this all too common issue, enjoy our safer, natural treatments you can use to remedy this situation.
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A very common household item, useful for just so many things, is vinegar. Vinegar makes a fantastic ant repellent both inside and outside your home. All you need is a spray bottle and some white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
You’ll want to mix the vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio then spray it around your home’s perimeter, as well as any ant trails you may have found inside (These trails usually originate near windows, vents, doors, or cracked walls), anywhere with links outside.
Vinegar is effective against ants as it disrupts their sense of smell, making it difficult for them to find food and their way back to the nest.
You’ll want to re-spray your mixture every few days until you notice the ants have stopped venturing indoors.
You may remember this one from your childhood. Chalk is a very effective ant repellent, and all you need is regular old-school chalk, not the colorful kind. Again, you’ll want to use this treatment around your home’s perimeter as well as any ant trails you may find.
To use, simply draw a line with the chalk around any areas where you’ve seen ants or ant trails.
The chalk will work by blocking the pheromones that ants use to communicate, making it difficult for them to find their way into your home.
You’ll want to re-draw your lines every few days until you notice the ant problem has subsided.
This one may surprise you, but black pepper is actually a surprisingly effective ant repellent. All you need is some ground black pepper and a small container or bowl.
To use black pepper, sprinkle a good amount of black pepper around any areas where you’ve seen ants or ant trails.
Similar to both vinegar and chalk, black pepper will work by disrupting the ant’s sense of smell, making it difficult for them to find food and their way back to the nest.
Again, you’ll want to re-sprinkle your pepper every few days until you notice the ants have stopped venturing indoors.
Cayenne pepper is another common household spice that can be used to repel ants. All you need is some cayenne pepper and a small container or bowl.
Similarly to black pepper, sprinkle a generous amount of cayenne pepper around any areas where you’ve seen ants or ant trails. The cayenne pepper will work by irritating the ant’s senses, making it difficult for them to find their way into your home.
You’ll want to re-sprinkle your cayenne pepper every few days until you notice the ant problem has subsided.
You might want to be careful with this treatment near any textiles or other absorbent materials, as cayenne pepper can leave stains.
Cinnamon is yet another common household spice that can be used to repel ants. You’ll need ground cinnamon and a small bowl or container, anything really that you can be on the move with. You’ll need to hunt for those entrance points!
Put some cinnamon around any areas where you’ve seen ants or ant trails.
You’ll want to re-sprinkle your cinnamon every few days until you notice the ant problem has subsided.
Mint and Chewing Gum
Mint is a great ant repellent, and you can use it in a few different ways. You can either grow mint plants near areas where ants are entering your home or make take a mint tea bag, rip it open, and sprinkle it around the same areas.
You can also place mint leaves or bags of mint tea near any food that might be attractive to ants, such as sugar bowls, cereal boxes, etc. The mint will work by masking the ant’s sense of smell, making it difficult for them to find the food in the first place.
Another option is to use chewing gum. This may sound strange, but a lot of mint chewing gum contains a substance called menthol, which has a similar effect on the ant’s sense of smell.
To use, simply place a piece of chewing gum near any areas where you’ve seen ants or ant trails. (I prefer unchewed gum around my home, but a couple of chews means that this can be placed basically anywhere, so covering entry points such as walls or ceiling cracks are no longer an issue!)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do tiny ants suddenly appear?
There are a few reasons why ants might suddenly appear in your home. One possibility is that they’re seeking food. Ants can’t help but get attracted to sweet things like sugar and honey, so if you have any open containers of these items in your home, they may be attracting ants.
Another possibility is that the ant colony has gotten too big and they’re seeking new territory. Or, it could be that the weather has changed and they’re looking for a warm place to nest.
What smell do ants hate?
There are a few smells that ants hate, including mint, cinnamon, and black pepper. These strong smells can mask the ant’s sense of smell, making it difficult for them to find food or their way back to the nest.
Will ants go away on their own?
Ants may go away on their own, but it’s also possible that they’ll continue to be a problem if food sources remain present. If you’re concerned about ants in your home, it’s best to take action and try one of the repellents listed above.