Pest Control: How To Get Rid Of Ants Indoors

Natural pest repellants: with these homemade remedies you can save money by eliminating ants yourself and without having to call in a professional exterminator.

Ants. Everyone has had to contend with these household pests at one time or another. They drive us crazy as we try to figure out where they came from, how to get rid of them, and what we can do to prevent them. As annoying as they are, they're easy to prevent and not too difficult to remove. In most cases, you can do the work yourself without having to call in an exterminator.

Most ants nest outdoors. To keep them from migrating indoors, a little preventative maintenance is necessary. If your home is prone to ant infestation, spray an insecticide formulated specifically for outdoor ant removal around the outside perimeter of your house. If you're unsure of what product to use, call your exterminator and see if he has a recommendation. Move trash receptacles away from the outer walls of your house and seal any cracks or crevices with a silicone caulk. Pour boiling water down ant holes to drown them. If you have aphids, white flies or mealy bugs in your garden, take steps to remove these pests as well. These insects attract ants because of the sweet residue they leave behind after eating sap.

Most ants prefer sweet food, but some are attracted by grease or foods rich in protein. There are even ants that enjoy munching on seeds. If your house is prone to ant infestation, it's a good idea to make sure none of these foods are left out in the open. Keep all bags, boxes and containers tightly covered and sealed. If ants can't smell the food, they're less likely to enter your home. Wipe up all crumbs and spills as soon as they happen. Sweep or vacuum kitchen and pantry floors as often as possible. Wipe down tabletops and counters with a solution of vinegar and water. Not only does vinegar clean and shine, but it repels ants as well.

The first step in indoor ant removal is to figure out why they're coming into your home. Chances are if you have one ant, you have a hundred. Follow the trail to see where they're coming from and where they're going. In most cases, ants are in the house because they're looking for food.

It's been said that if you step on an ant, it may leave behind a scent, which will attract other ants to its corpse. It's best to vacuum any ants (dead or alive) so no scent is left behind. If you do step on ants in your home, immediately wipe up the area with soap and water.

Before you run out and purchase chemicals that may be harmful to children and pets, you can try one of the home remedies listed here.

The following will repel ants. Sprinkle in the area where ants where spotted or place in bowls made from foil:

- Black or cayenne pepper

- Baby powder or other scented talcum powders

- Cinnamon

- Boric Acid

- Instant Grits (This will dehydrate ants and can also cause them to explode once they drink water)

- Cream of tartar

- Salt

- Mix one part each: Boric acid, cornmeal and powdered sugar

- Coffee grounds

- Ground bay leaves

- Paprika

- Dried peppermint

- Mint tea

Spray one of these solutions:

- One part apple cider vinegar to one part water

- White vinegar (full strength)

- Equal parts window cleaner and dish soap

Other methods that work well at removing ants:

- Liquid Bait: 1 teaspoon of boric acid and 2 to 2 ½ ounces of honey or corn syrup.

- In your food processor, blend water and citrus peelings and pour down ant holes.

- Drown ants by pouring about 3 gallons of boiling water down ant holes.

- Ants will not cross a border of petroleum jelly.

- Place whole cloves in cabinets, in corners on floors, under appliances - anywhere ants can be found.

If none of these safe home remedies seem to be working, you might want to pursue a more aggressive plan of action. There are plenty of chemicals on the market geared towards ant removal. Be sure to read the label, especially if you have pets or small children who can come in contact with the insecticide, and follow all directions accordingly.

If worse comes to worse, you may need to contact a professional exterminator. Not only will he get rid of the ants in your home, in most cases, he'll find the nest and eradicate that as well.

No one wants ants in the house. By keeping food out of the open, wiping up spills and covering containers tightly, you're sure to deter most of these pests. If some get through however, try one of the home remedies mentioned here or call in a professional. It's better than having to contend with these annoying insects over and over again.

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