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Monsoon diaries: Natural methods to ward off ants

I remember reading a story about King Robert Bruce of Scotland who sought inspiration from the meticulousness of ants and the perseverance with which they approach any object. Well I have experienced these adjectives at the hands of the morsels quite a few times. Once I was trying relentlessly to get rid of ants as they were very much eager to crop up anywhere and everywhere I laid my eyes upon, and then I realized after few hours of hard work that you simply can’t ward of these little beasts but there is little prevention that seems more instrumental in this regard!!!

Here are some non-toxic (to you) ways to prevent ants from entering your house, and tips on how to get rid of them when they do storm your barricades.

An Ounce of Prevention 

Don’t kill ants if they don’t invade your space. Here are some ways to keep them outdoors, where they belong.

  • Ants need to eat, too, and they particularly like crumbs on your counter and floor, dirty dishes, and uncovered food. Keep your kitchen tidy, and you’ll see fewer ants.
  • Use a latex caulk or filler to plug the exterior holes in your home where ants enter.
  • Block ant entrances with substances they hate and won’t cross – salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, spearmint leaves, and coffee grounds. Spread a line of these repellents along window sills and baseboards.
  • Ants don’t like the smell of lemon. To keep ants away, spray a lemon:water solution around your house, and rub a lemon wedge along the base of doors and windows.
  • Spray a peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil solution (10 drops of oil:1 cup of water) around the inside and outside of your house.
  • Place pet bowls in a soapy water moat to prevent ants from eating Fido’s food.
  • Pour boiling water over ant colonies to kill ants where they, not you, live.

A Pound of Cure

If you can’t keep ants out, you’ll have to rub them out.

  • Soak cotton balls in a sugar:borax solution, and set them about your house in jar lids. The sugar attracts the ants, and the borax poisons them.
  • Vacuum ants, and quickly empty your bag or canister outside.
  • To prevent ants from swarming in the same spot, spray their path with vinegar, which will remove their scent and disrupt their trail.


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Last modified: July 3, 2014