Are ants in your environment becoming a problem that you’d like to solve while still doing your part to preserve nature’s biodiversity?
Here are 12 tips to eliminate ants without exterminating all the insects in your environment!
How to chase away ants using natural methods
Outdoors or in the garden:
- Remove the stumps of dead trees on your property and store fire wood at a distance away from your house (storing it beside your house is too close).
- Spread wet coffee grounds along the foundations of your house, in the entrances of their nests and on other areas the ants like to use.
- Add compost to your soil to reduce its sand content, as ants prefer to build their anthills in sandy ground
- Pour boiling water directly into the nest on the ground. To increase the effect, boil 250 ml of hot peppers in 1 litre of water, and pour the entire contents into the nest.
- Make sure your home’s framing or structural timber is protected from humidity and replace any part of wooden structure that is damp or rotting.
- Spread leaves of lavender, marjoram, elderberry, tomato, ferns or lemon slices in areas where ants often pass.
- The acidity of vinegar and lemon repels ants; use a pure or diluted solution to spray it in areas often visited by ants
- Essential oils: use 20 drops of essential oil of peppermint, cloves, or cinnamon in 1 litre of water, and spray the points of entry and known pathways of the ants, but out of reach of children or domestic animals. A warning: essential oils can strip paint and stain some surfaces; test the product in an unseen area before using this type of solution everywhere.
Tips to eliminate ants fast
- Mix sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with sugar and place this mixture near the anthills’ entrances or on the paths the ants often take; the sugar will attract them, but the baking soda will kill them
- Spray diatomaceous earth into any fissure in walls, window or door frames, and foundations, and seal them. This doesn’t work outdoors because it will not resist being exposed to the elements (rain and humidity).
- Observe where the ants come and go, and install borax-based ant baits there; the ants will generally die 24 to 48 hours after ingesting it
- Use a store-bought product that is authorized for domestic use and contains pyrethrin, a natural insecticide made with chrysanthemum flowers.
If you are patient, these methods can work very well when the ants’ presence is occasional or temporary, or in the case of a slight infestation. However, ants often end up finding other ways to relocate elsewhere near our homes, and even to find new points of entry.
If an infestation becomes more serious (for example, when ants can be seen indoors almost every day), most of the methods described above will not be sufficiently radical to eliminate an established colony.
In such a case, your best option will be to call a company that offers an ant extermination service, who will know how to work safely and get rid of these intruders once and for all!