Come summer and you can expect to see ants inside your house. One or two here and there is no problem, but an ant invasion cannot be ignored. Types of ants which invade your home are the pavement ant, thief ant, argentine ant, pharaoh ant and the carpenter ant. Ants come inside your house for food and shelter.
The carpenter ant does more than get into your food – they can destroy your furniture. Many people resort to chemical pesticides which are harmful to the environment and humans. Instead of using these harsh chemicals, you can use some natural remedies to counter an ant invasion. Read on to find out what these are:
Ants communicate via pheromones apart from touch and sound signals. Once a forager ant smells food, it marks a trail which other ants follow and your house is invaded. The trick to stop an invasion is to disturb the trail. Vinegar disrupts the smell trail and the ants can no longer find their way to your house.
Mix 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar and with a cloth, rub down windowsills, countertops and floors. You could add some essential oil and put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on all entry points and baseboards.
Garlic, cloves, cinnamon
Garlic, cinnamon and cloves are other effective natural remedies.The strong smell of cinnamon and garlic keeps ants away. You can place cinnamon sticks in areas where you have seen ants enter your home such as doorways and windows. You can slice up garlic cloves and place them too strategically in corners around the house, though cinnamon has a much better aroma. A few cinnamon sticks or garlic cloves on the kitchen countertop will keep ants away as well. Cloves too have a strong smell and you can use cloves to chase away ants too.
Mint has a strong smell too and can be used to get rid of ants. You can plant mint around your house to discourage ants from entering your home. Or you can place mint leaves besides windows and doors to avoid an ant infestation. Mint leaves placed inside shelves and corners will keep ants away from your pantry. Anthills near your home are the source of the invasion, so placing mint leaves near anthills is a good plan to stop an infestation.
Used coffee grounds act as a deterrent to ants. Placing them near the foundations of your house and anthills makes the ants lose their scent trail. This means that they cannot find their way inside your house.
Ants and sidewalk chalk don’t mix at all. Ants get covered in the chalk and die. Draw lines using sidewalk chalk on entry points to your home. Sidewalk chalk works well with other natural remedies to keep ants out.
Black pepper spells doom for ants. Sprinkling black pepper wherever you see them will make them run here and there. If you observe carefully where they’re going, you may find the entry points. You can then take measures to block these entry points and prevent ants from entering the house. But if you have young children or pets, this remedy is not for you.
Plants with strong smells
Eucalyptus, rosemary, thyme, chili peppers, basil and peppermint have really strong smells and can help in keeping ants out. These plants too mess with the smell trail which makes it difficult for ants to enter your home. Many of these plants serve a dual purpose – they help to get rid of mosquitoes as well.
Honey / sugar and water mixture
Use a few tablespoons of honey or a 1 part sugar and 1 part water mixture in a paper tray as a diversion. Place it at a spot where the ants can find them, but away from the house. Once the ants find it, keep it further and further away from the house to lead them away from your home.
Natural remedies are an easy solution for ant invasions. These remedies are usually found in your pantry and all you have to do is place them wherever you see ants entering your home. Using natural remediesis much better than using pesticides which harm the environment.