How to get rid of ants permanently is a popular question – equally popular to “How to get rid of ants in the Kitchen”. If you are having trouble getting rid of ants, you’re far from alone – as many people find ants moving into their houses as soon as warmer weather sets in.
And, If you’re tired of spotting ants crawling on your floors and walls or getting into the food pantry, you’ve come to the right place.
How Do You Get Rid Of Ants?
To get rid of ants permanently, you should follow three basic steps: First, find and eliminate the Ant Trail. Second, Set out Ant Bait to kill the ant colony. Lastly, Spray the perimeter of your house foundation, interior baseboards, and all entry points into the house to prevent new ant colonies, And repeat quarterly.
Today, we’ll provide easy instructions on not only killing ants but also getting rid of ants permanently.
Step-by-Step: How To Get Rid of Ants
The good news is – Learning How to get rid of ants in the house is relatively simple. Once you know how to get rid of ants permanently, you’ll be able to deal with any new ant infestations that pop up.
This article provides necessary steps to get rid of “common household ants,” of which 15-20 species are found in the U.S. If, however, you are dealing with very aggressive “Fire Ants,”check out our suggestions at the bottom of the article.
Step 1: Find and Eliminate Ant Trails
If you’ve observed ants, you may have noticed that they almost always follow straight lines in single-file order. This is because ants leave pheromone trails behind them to lead other ants to food sources.
If you’re seeing lines of ants coming in, the first step you need to take is to remove the ant trail. The best way to eliminate debris is to use a wet sponge and soap to clean the entire path of the ant trail, including the ants that are currently on it.
Doing this step will eliminate the pheromone trail and make it less likely that other ants will follow behind later.
Step 2: Set Out Ant Bait to Kill Ant Colony
If you’re seeing more than a handful of ants in your house, there’s a good chance that you have a colony living in it or very close by. One of the best ways to kill the entire colony at once is to set out poisonous baits.
Click here to see the best ant bait to get rid of ants inside, which is Terro Ant Bait; Terro is attractive to ants because of the taste and odor but will ultimately kill them.
When ants come out to gather food from the Terro liquid ant bait trays, they’ll bring it back to the colony, which will then die because of the poisonous food being given to it.
Knowing how to kill ants that have established a colony is arguably the most crucial part of solving your ant problem once and for all – and Terro Ant Killer, in our opinion, is the best and most effective ant treatment.
Step 3: Spray Foundation Perimeter and All Entry Points with Ant Treatment
If you want to know how to get rid of ants for good, there’s more to it than just killing the active colony. You also need to be able to prevent other ants from getting into your home in the future.
The best way to accomplish this is to spray your foundation with a pesticide spray thoroughly with Home Defense Insect killer – from Ortho.
Ants often enter through holes or cracks in your foundation, and thoroughly spraying it will keep them from accessing your house in the first place. You should also apply the spray to doorways and windows to form a barrier against ants in these locations.
Make sure you use this spray when the surfaces are completely dry.
Applying it before a rainstorm will keep it from sticking and drying properly, limiting its effectiveness, so be sure you use it in dry conditions at least 24 hours before a rain.
Repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3 on a “Quarterly Schedule” – To keep Ants out of your Home Permanently.
Step 4: Get Rid of the Ants in Your “Yard”
While this won’t always be the case, having ants in your house usually results from having an abundance of ants in your yard. A word of caution, If grabbing the Leaf Blower and blasting them off the driveway or sidewalk seems like a good solution, it isn’t. If you do that, you’ll just be spreading the colony further into your lawn – think of it as a “free flight” 🙂
To permanently fix this problem and give you added protection against future ant colonies, apply an insecticide for ants to your lawn after its next mowing. These insecticides are available as granules that can be put into a standard fertilizer spreader. As liquid concentrates that can be screwed onto a standard garden hose for application.
Either one of these methods will work, but it’s always a good idea to wait until after mowing to apply the insecticide. This will help to ensure the pesticide reaches the ground rather than getting caught on the tops of grass blades that will be removed during the next mowing.
Step 5: Maintain Ant Protection
Once you’ve killed off the ants already in and around your home and used sprays to keep them from getting in again, you need to maintain the protection you’ve set up.
Consider using a granular insect killer and spreading it next to the foundation around your house. Ortho Home Defense Granules is one of the best fine ant killers that won’t wash away like liquid ant killers.
Many products last for up to three months, but be sure to check the product you’re using to be sure. It’s also worth keeping in mind that hefty rain can wash away the chemicals faster, so you may want to apply a bit more frequently if you’re having a stormy year.
How To Get Rid of Ants – BestHomeGear.Com
How to Get Rid of Ants “Naturally”
If you are opposed to spraying insecticides on or around your house, natural ant killer options can be used to getrid of ants. The following are steps and tips you need to know about how to get rid of ants using natural methods.
Step 1: Use Natural Ant Spray
As consumers have become more health conscious, companies have begun offering natural alternatives to more traditional pesticides. Natural sprays can be just as effective as harsher chemical sprays while at the same time being safer for you and your family.
Like standard sprays, you can use these sprays to kill ants directly or to create a barrier at entry points around your home. Another option for killing ants naturally is to apply diatomaceous earth on and around entry points.
This mineral powder dehydrates ants, ultimately kills them and is entirely non-toxic to humans.
Step 2: Use Natural Ant Killer – (Alternative to Poison Ant Baits)
If you want a natural poison or ant deterrent spray instead of a more traditional one, the easiest thing to do is make it yourself.
- Mint Spray repels ants effectively with peppermint oil. It does so without introducing toxins into your household and is easy to apply. In our opinion, the best mint spray on the market (available at Amazon) – is the Mighty Mint 16 oz. Spray Bottle.
- Powdered sugar makes the best base for homemade bait, which ants almost always recognize as food and take back to their colonies. With the sugar, mix in borax in a ratio of about one part for every three amounts of powdered sugar.
- Add several tablespoons to a jar lid, and set out in high-traffic areas. This mixture will trick the ants into taking borax, which is toxic to them, back to their colonies.
- No Borax? Just substitute baking soda for Borax, and mix with powdered sugar as noted above.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the ant mound, then douse or spray it with full-strength white vinegar.
- Essential Oil: To repel ants in the bathroom or your kitchen, use peppermint essential oil by putting several drops on a cotton ball, then placing them on countertops, cabinets, garbage cans, or anywhere ants are attracted.
- Homemade spray – Mix equal parts lemon juice and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray your window sills and around entry doors to the house. You can also use this formula to spray ants found inside your house.
Step 3: Deter Ants by Overwhelming Their Olfactory Senses
A final component of getting rid of ants in your yard is to find a way to deterthem from entering your home in search of food. Since ants use pheromone trails to find previously identified food sources, you can use their biology to your advantage by merely overwhelming their sense of smell.
By coating entry points with a strong-smelling substance, such as vinegar or cinnamon, you can make it impossible for them to pick up on pheromone trails. This, in turn, will keep most ants from entering your home in search of food.
This kind of natural ant repellent will keep ants outside of your home without doing them any actual harm.
How to Get Rid of “Fire Ants”
Fire ants are those very mean little red ants you usually find in warmer climates, such as the southern states of the U.S. Like other ant species, once you know how the colony survives, you’ll better understand how to get rid of it.
If you, your family, or your pet have ever been unfortunate enough to step on a Fire Ant colony (I have), you know how painful these insects can be – and how to get rid of ants permanently like these. A fire ant bite or sting can quickly become infected and even lead to permanent scarring.
Quick Options to get rid of a Fire Ant Colony
Fire ants are highly territorial and attack anything near their nest. To kill the ant colony, you must treat it with a specific fire ant insecticide.
Step 1: Use Granular Fire Ant treatment
Scott’s, Ortho, and Martins make granular powder treatments, which you sprinkle over the fire ant mound. The Queen usually dies in about three days, and the treatment will be in effect for up to 6 months.
Note: Be extremely careful when using insecticides, as some can be harmful or fatal to plants or animals if ingested.
Buy the Best “Fire Ant” Bait:
“Ortho” granular ant bait is designed to spread on lawns and acts as bait or food that the workers carry back to the queen and, in the same way, kill the queen, and the colony is doomed. Without the queen to lay new eggs, the colony fades away.
“Orthene” by Ortho – is another fire ant bait that works similarly but is sprinkled directly on the “ant mound.”
You can experiment with either of these “Ant Baits” and attack fire ants where they are most prevalent on your property.
Whether you use traditional pesticides or more natural methods, getting rid of ants isn’t particularly difficult. With just a little know-how and a few materials, you can eliminate ants in your house and keep new ones from coming in.
If you are using toxic chemicals, always read the instructions and handle them appropriately. Home pesticides can be perfectly safe when used properly, but you should still be cautious and follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Thanks for visiting Besthomegear.com! Have some other tips on getting rid of Ants permanently? Please send us a comment or suggestion below!
References & Additional Resources
- Identifying and Removing Ants – University of Minnesota
- How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs – Besthomegear.com
- How to Avoid insecticide poisoning in dogs and cats – Petcarerx.com
- What happens when a Queen ant dies? – Sciencing.com
- Blow Ant Piles Away a Cordless Leaf Blower – Besthomegear.com
- How To Get Rid of Gnats Indoors – Besthomegear.com
White vinegar, available at all grocery stores, is a cheap and effective way to kill and repel ants. It is also a natural cleaning agent. Try using a 1-to-1 vinegar/water mixture to clean hard surfaces, including floors and countertops, wherever ants are likely to travel.
Diatomaceous Earth is one of the most effective ant-killers out there, and placing them in the ant entryways can solve the problem of “how to get rid of ants permanently”. Diatomaceous Earth is made from remains of diatoms. Basically, by sprinkling them, ants dry and die.What kills ants the quickest? ›
Boiling water is an easy, effective way to kill ants immediately. If you see ants emerging from a crack in the concrete or a hole in the ground, pour boiling water into the area. This will kill many of the ants within it.How do you kill thousands of ants? ›
- Mix 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap or ¼ cup Castile soap for every quart of water.
- Spray the mixture to erase ant trails and kill ants on contact.
- Pour the mixture directly into the ant nest to wipe out the entire colony.
- Repeat treatments as needed.
Better Than Hopscotch: Ants will not cross a chalk line. Draw a chalk line in front of exterior doors, to prevent ants from coming into the house. You can also draw a chalk line around tables on the porch or patio, to keep pesky ants away while dining outdoors.How do I get rid of ants that won't go away? ›
- Keep Your House Clean. Ants feed on sugar, protein, and just about anything else they can find. ...
- Eliminate Damp Spots and Rotted Wood. ...
- Set Ant Baits. ...
- Stay Away From Sprays. ...
- Make the Outdoors Appealing.
Peppermint is a natural insect repellant. You can plant mint around your home or use the essential oil of peppermint as a natural remedy for control of ants. Ants hate the smell, and your home will smell minty fresh! Plant mint around entryways and the perimeter of your home.What do ants hate? ›
Ants hate the smell of strong citrus fruits. Save your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and scatter them around entry points. It's a natural way to deter ants without harming them.Why are ants so hard to get rid of? ›
The main reason is they live in huge colonies, each of which has hundreds of thousands of individuals. Their sheer number makes it difficult to kill them all. Even if you locate their nest, destroy it, and kill every ant in it, there will still be many survivors who were out foraging at the time.How long does it take to get rid of ants with vinegar? ›
Use this white vinegar solution to spray all entry points of your home, try to spry all windows, doors, baseboards and the common paths that ants would travel within your home. Give about an hour for this solution to take effect, then after a few hours the ants should be dead.
Home Ant Control Tips
Windex, the glass cleaner, is a known insect killer. When you have an ant swarm in your house, spray them all with Windex and they will die nearly instantly. Windex can also eliminate some of the scent trails that ants follow to find food.
Borax and sugar can be combined to make a deadly ant bait. In a bowl, mix together two cups of sugar, one cup of water, and two tablespoons of Borax. The sugar will attract the ants while the Borax will slowly kill them as they wander back to the colony.How do I get rid of ants once and for all? ›
"Mix equal parts of vinegar and water, place the mixture in a spray bottle, and spray on the ants directly," says Barrett. "The mixture will kill them and you can clean the area by collecting the dead ants using a wet wipe or damp cloth," they add.How do I stop ants from coming back? ›
- Seal cracks with silicone caulk.
- Repair holes in window and door screens.
- Replace weather-stripping.
- Fix loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Keep tree branches trimmed back and away from the house.
- Terro Liquid Ant Baits. Best Liquid Bait. Buy on Amazon.
- Raid Multi Insect Killer. Most Versatile. Buy on Amazon.
- Terro Ant Dust. Best Dust. Buy on Amazon.
- Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil. Best Non-Toxic Killer. Buy on Amazon.
- Ortho BugClear Insect Killer. Best For Lawns. Buy on Amazon.
While the propellants and other chemicals associated with deodorants can kill individual fire ants, they definitely do not provide long-lasting and effective control.What month do ants go away? ›
Fact is, there is no single “ant season.” Ants may choose to enter buildings at any time of year seeking shelter from the elements, whether that means rain and cold or dry heat. And, of course, food and moisture are always attractants.Does killing ants bring more? ›
Killing ants will, definitely, attract more ants because the dead ants release pheromones that attract or rather alert, nearby ants.How do you get rid of ants nest in the house quickly? ›
- Water and white vinegar.
- Soapy water is another safe solution to get rid of ants. Mix a capful of liquid soap with a cup of water and put into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the ants whenever you see them. Once they have all been caught, wipe them up after five minutes.
Use a natural anti-ant spray. Once you've removed the ants' food sources, give your kitchen surfaces and floor a final wipe down using an eco-friendly homemade anti-ant spray, made with one part vinegar to one part water. Homemade lemon and peppermint oil sprays will also do the trick.
On the other hand, plain table salt does not. It is only effective in intercepting the ants. This should not be applied on heavy ant-infestation.Why is vinegar not getting rid of ants? ›
The smell of Vinegar will cause them to stay away from it or permanently leave the house. Ants crawl in a straight line, marching towards the food sources. The Vinegar solution will interfere with these pheromones, and the ants will get lost.How do you find where ants are coming from? ›
Use your flashlight to look for ants behind or under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and cabinets. Ants may also be found in or around floor drains, inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves, behind wall paper, and in cracks and crevices in cabinets and around walls.Does Dawn soap get rid of ants? ›
Getting rid of ants is easy with Dawn Dish Soap. Spray a mixture of water and Dawn directly onto countertops, floors, sinks, or wherever the ants seem to be. This will leave behind a residue that ants refuse to walk across. It is also safe for kids and pets, so you don't have to worry about any harsh chemicals.What soap gets rid of ants? ›
If you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50/50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture.Does Lysol work on ants? ›
#1 Using household chemicals to kill ants
This home remedy is somewhat effective: grabbing a spray bottle of Lysol and dousing a few ants will kill them. Still, using household cleaners as ant control isn't an effective long-term solution.
For ants, hydrogen peroxide is fatal, but when placed between a rock and a hard place, scientists found they'll drink the substance to cure themselves, New Scientist reports.How do I keep ants from coming back? ›
Salt, baby powder, lemon juice, chalk, vinegar, bay leaves, cinnamon, or peppermint oil are a few items that you have around your home that will stop ants from coming inside. Lay these out in areas where you see ants, and they'll stop using that area as an entrance into your house.What is the best homemade ant killer? ›
Try combining three parts powdered sugar with one part boric acid. The sugar will lure the ants in and the boric acid will kill them, Pereira says. Liquid is better—adult ants prefer to drink their food—so water this stuff down a little. “I recommend this to a lot of people,” Pereira says.