How to get rid of ants in our garden and our home: An Easy Guide

by John Griffith

For every homeowner, there are a few things we need to pay attention to. One, we need to pay attention to any signs of mold or moisture in our house. Second, we need to pay attention to the outside of the house and look for any signs of wear and tear. Last, but not least we need to pay attention to pests. For everyone living in a house, pests can be super difficult to deal with. In this article we are going to talk about one of those pests, which is often looked as non-harmful – the ant. However, if you have an ant infestation at home, you will know just how annoying they are. So, today we are going to teach you how to get rid of ants both inside the house and outside, as well.

An ant infestation at home is a serious thing

ants in house on green leaf close up photo

What are ants?

There is not a person in the world who hasn’t seen an ant. There are ants on each continent, except for Antarctica and in almost every part of the world. In fact, there are more than 22 000 different ant species. What is super interesting is that the ant population of the world is estimated to be around 10 billion billion (notice the double billion). Ants are species, which form colonies and work together to gather food and create nests for the colony. Each colony has its own hierarchy with a queen, which can live up to 30 years. It is believed that the reason why there are so many ants in the world is their ability to work as a team and protect each other, as well as feed each other.

If you see one ant in your house, chances are more will follow

apple taken over by ants how to kill ants

How do you get rid of ants inside the house?

Ants have a sweet tooth. They are attracted to anything that is sweet or contains sugar. For example, honey, half-eaten fruits or sweet beverages can attract ants if left unattended. Because of that you can often find ants on a surface where you either eat, or prepare food. Naturally, chemicals aren’t the best way to fight ants, because of contamination. So, here are a few homemade remedies to fight off ants.

Repel them with a strong smell

Anything that has a strong smell, repels ants. If you are having an ant infestation, you can try putting things like black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon essential oil or even vinegar behind appliances or around baseboards. All of these super strong smells will keep the ants at bay.

Ants don’t like strong smells

close up of how to kill ants next to plant

How to get rid of ants using household items

There are a few household items you can use to repel ants away from your home. You have to use those away from any surfaces, where you might place your food on, though. In case you have to cover the area, make sure that you clean it properly before using it again.

  1. Mix liquid detergent with glass cleaner. If you notice ants, trace them and find out which spot they are coming out from. Mix glass cleaner with liquid detergent and spray around the spot. Gently wipe down, leaving a small trail behind. Since ants communicate with each other through pheromones, spraying the spot with this mixture will wipe away those pheromones, meaning no new ants will follow the old ones.
  2. Hand soap. Mix hand soap with water and do the same thing as you would with the glass cleaner mixture. In this case the smell won’t be that strong, so if it bothers you, you may try with just soapy water.
  3. Cornstarch. Now, it is important to note that cornstarch will kill the ants, not just repel them. If you notice a large number of them, just pour cornstarch over them. It will smother them, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that the infestation is dealt with as more might still appear.

You can repel ants with a few household items

close up photo ants in house on leaf

How do you get rid of ants in the garden?

If you notice that there are a lot of ants on your plants, hosing them down usually works the best. However, if you see a full ants nest out there, there are a few ways to deal with it.

How to get rid of ants using boiling water

Although it may seem a bit cruel, pouring boiling water over an ants nest is the safest way to keep your garden clean of chemicals and deal with an and infestation issue altogether. The boiling water will immediately kill the ants and it will ruin the whole nest. Therefore, there will be no more ants for you to deal with.

Ants love the garden

how to get rid of ants going to nest

Try chemicals

Being able to deal with the issue just by using household items is great. However, that isn’t always enough. Sometimes the problem is bigger. Therefore, you need to try and get rid of the ants chemically. So, here are a few chemicals that work against ants:

  1. Boric acid. Mix 1/2 tsp of boric acid with 8 tsp of sugar and 1 cup of warm water. Mix well and add to a cotton pad. You can place this pad around your garden or home. Just be careful. Boric acid is poisonous. Keep away from children and pets.
  2. Borax. Borax isn’t actually quite the same as boric acid, but you can make the same solution with it, which is also going to do wonders against ants.
  3. Diatomaceous earth. Also known as silicon dioxide, this chemical helps against ants and isn’t poisonous, so you might feel more comfortable using it. Just prepare it according to package instructions and be careful not to breathe it in. After all, it is still a chemical and can irritate your throat.

There are so many ways to deal with an ant infestation

get rid of ants walking on tree branch

How to get rid of ants tip #1 – don’t leave food laying around

swarming food get rid of ants close up photo

If there is a plant infestation, you can use water to wash off the ants

how to get rid of ants on plant branch

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.