A natural ant repellant will most likely be among your shopping priorities if your kitchen, garage or garden is packed with ants. This is a common issue for homes across the United States, especially those in areas with harsh winters. When the temperature drops below freezing, ants tend to move their colonies indoors for protection. Of course, ants will also make their way into your house if you live food uncovered or if you don’t take care of cleaning as much as you need to. Unfortunately, one or two ants can turn into an entire colony, taking over your home. Without panicking, take a deep breath and read our DIY Natural Ant Repellant for Home Use guide to get rid of them the healthy way.
When dealing with insects indoors, finding a safe solution can prove to be tricky. If you have pets, like dogs or cats, they can easily get intoxicated by various commercial repellents. Even more so, some varieties an also bring great harm to curious children exploring every nook and cranny they can find. This is why a natural ant repellant is almost essential for getting rid of these pests, regardless if they’re house ants, carpenter ants or fire ants (yikes!). What you need to take care of, as a responsible adult, is finding a natural ant repellant that will keep everybody safe and help you remove the pests. Browse through our tips, tricks and natural ant repellant alternatives below.
Attract Ants Naturally to Repel Them
It would be great if we could instantly kill ants, but the situation is a bit more complicated than expected. Sure, attacking a few ants will kill them off, but the real problem is with the colony. You don’t need to focus on the handful that you see on the surface, but on how you can attract all of them for permanent removal. Before using your natural ant repellant, consider the following solutions for luring them in.
Without a doubt, the #1 natural ingredient for enticing ants is sugar. It’s readily available in all households and can be instantly applied at any time. When using sugar to prepare the grounds for your natural ant repellant, make sure that you dilute it with water. As you’ll soon find out in the next section of our article, sugar and water work amazingly with boric acid for getting rid of ants naturally.
Aside from sugar, proteins also work as amazing bait for ants. Grease from bacon or peanut butter can easily be used as alternatives for sugar, in case you want to try another method. In addition to these, other sweet ingredients like syrup, jelly or honey do a fine job of attracting ants.
Natural Ant Repellents Safe to Use Indoors
Now that you have your bait all set up, you can look into the options you have for a natural ant repellant. We carefully picked these solutions for indoor use and have included tips on how you can protect your pets or kids from them.
If ants are everywhere in your garden or any other outdoor area of your house, most times you don’t even need to worry about it. Ants are good for fighting of termites and other pests that can ruin your flowers, fruits or vegetables. You should only look into a natural ant repellant if you feel that the situation is getting out of hand and becoming a discomfort.
Issues Ants Can Cause
Although ants are invariably valuable to our environment, serving a large number of roles ranging from custodians to defenders, they can become a problem when they find their way into our homes.
Once inside, ants love to chew their way into our foods, forming full-fledged assembly lines into cupboards and drawers. Others take us on directly, violently defending territory that they are not aware is not theirs.
Ants can do more than attack our foods and our bodies; they are often effective at damaging wood and other structures significantly. Even plants are not always safe from ants – leaf-cutting varieties in some parts of the world can level gardens overnight.
As a side note, there are a few cases that call for a professional exterminator. If you have tried all of the options on our list and ants keep coming back, you might not be triggering their nest properly. If you lose control of the situation, it might be best to contact an exterminator to get the job done for you. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that you experiment with these natural ant repellant solutions beforehand. An exterminator should really be your last resort, as the substances used by these companies can be extremely toxic.
Liquid Dish Soap Natural Ant Repellant
A natural ant repellant that is used in homes all over the U.S. involves dish soap as a primary ingredient. You can prepare this natural ant repellant as a homemade spray to get rid of the little ones quickly and effectively.
For this home remedy, you will need to get the following items:
- 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap
- 1 cup of water
- 1 spray bottle
Once you have all the ingredients, simply mix the tablespoon of liquid dish soap with the cup of water. Pour the solution into the spray bottle and use it for the key areas in your house where ants appear. You’ll most likely be spraying corners, window sills or on the edges of baseboards.
If you want to use this as a natural ant repellant for outdoor use, you can use the same ingredients but in different quantities. You will need about a gallon of water and a fourth cup of liquid dish soap. Boil the water for enhanced results, add the liquid dish soap and use wherever needed outside. Please note that this solution will also destroy the plants in your garden, so use with caution. The good news, however, is that it’s considered by most to be a reliable natural ant repellant for fire ants.
Borax Ant Killer
Possibly the most popular natural ant repellant of them all is based on boric acid. Commonly found as Borax, boric acid has the power to kill off ants for good. To get this solution right, you will also need an ingredient to attract them. In most cases, homeowners will use the bait and borax together as to attract and kill ants simultaneously.
Before you get started, prepare these ingredients:
- Borax (one tablespoon)
- Sugar (one cup)
- Water (half cup)
- Recipient (like a jar or bowl)
This recipe is incredibly easy to carry out. All you have to do is get the sugar, borax and water and mix them in a bowl or jar with your spoon. The sugar in this natural ant repellant will succeed in luring ants, while the Borax content will be fatal for them.
If you have children or pets that could reach the solution, try placing it in a plastic recipient (like Tupperware) and poking holes on the top part. This way, ants will get inside the container and feed on the natural ant repellant and your loved ones will stay safe.
Essential Oil All Natural Ant Repellent
There are quite a few essential oils that work wonderfully as natural ant repellant solutions. This do it yourself ant killer can be prepared with any of the essential oils listed below:
- Witch Hazel
- Tea Tree
After you have chosen the essential oil you want to use, get this list ready:
- 1 tablespoon – essential oil of choice
- 1 glass – water
- 1 spray bottle
Pour the water and essential oil into the spray bottle and shake well. Just like with the liquid dish soap natural repellent, use in all areas of your house that ants usually go through. Pay extra attention to baseboards and corners for the best results.
Vinegar Natural Ant Repellant
Vinegar is known for being a nice and accessible natural ant repellant. As opposed to the other options on our list, vinegar does not have to be diluted in water to work. Quite the opposite – it is best to use straight white or cider vinegar for your natural ant repellant.
What you will also need, however, is a spray bottle. Place vinegar inside and use it in every region you can to attack ants. If your problem persists, consider the additional tips for getting rid of ants that we have provided at the end of our article.
Spice Repellants for Ants
Just like essential oils, spices are also awesome for killing ants like there’s no tomorrow. You can use any one of the options from the list below and even combine them for extra efficiency.
- Red Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
You can also look into peels from cucumbers, flakes of red pepper, bay leaves or coffee grounds after brewing. Sprinkle any of the spices mentioned in our list above in the problem areas of your home. You can also use them to create a paste for applying at doorways.
Additional Tips for Getting Rid of Ants
If none of the options we have described until now have worked for you, there are some extra ingredients that you can always look into before contacting an exterminator. Use any one of the following:
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
No matter what natural ant repellant you decide to use, be aware that patience is a virtue. It can take quite some time for the entire ant colony to die out, so make sure that you repeat your chosen solution daily. As we explained, it is best to purchase services from an exterminator if you really feel the infestation exceeds your powers.
Best of luck!
Georgia has graduated from a nutrition expert degree and her work involves some freelance blogging on the side of her main part time job in a doctor’s office. She doesn’t travel a lot due to work constraints, but she likes going out as often as she can to compensate.