Want to get rid of your ants in an easy, budget-friendly way? Ants may be a marvel of nature but an infestation is a nightmare. Enjoying a Sunday brunch or your annual barbecue using your new outdoor kitchen is no fun if there are ants around. Time to grab that spray can, right? Wait! Hold your horses. To get rid of ants permanently, follow these nine easy steps. Then, go and enjoy your merry ant-free days.
9 easy steps: How to get rid of ants
(1) Queen births them all
All the ants that you see, they’re just the workers. To get rid of ants permanently, you need to understand how ants work. Ants live in colonies and the colony queen lords over them all so you need to get rid of the ant queen first because she’s the one that lays all the eggs that become those workers. So no matter your repeated spraying, as long as the queen lives, ants will remain a problem.
(2) Follow the trail
The second step is to follow the ant trail. There’s a reason why when you see one ant, you’ll soon start seeing a long line of them marching to the beat of your food or, rather, to the scent of it. Once an ant finds food, it leaves a trail of scent as it goes back to its nest which its fellow workers find and follow to get more food and make more woe for you. Remember that wherever you see the trails, whether it’s inside the house or outside in the garden, they’re important. If you have a problem with weeds, head this way.
(3) Hold the spray!
As mentioned above, to get rid of the ants you need to get rid of the queen so killing all those worker ants is meaningless. What you really need to do is to get rid of the queen! But, you’re going to be able to kill the queen by using the same worker ants that are stealing your food.
(4) Cancel the cleaning
You need those scent trails that the ants have left behind. so hold off the cleaning for a day or two until you can get some ant bait. Remember the queen and that it’s not what you see that’s really important right now- you’ll need to think long term to get rid of the ants permanently.
(5) Beat ’em with bait
How to get rid of those ants totally? Ant bait! Buy ant bait and feed it the worker ants so they will feed it to the queen. Read and follow the instructions before putting out the bait or check out our homemade all-natural recipe to get rid of the ants (see below). Place the bait in the areas wherever you see ants the most, and along known food trails.
(6) Patience is more than a virtue
Those worker ants that gorged on the ant bait you set out will now be going back to their colony and feeding the bait to the queen and other worker ants. It will take some time before the bait takes effect, especially as some ant colonies may have several queens. Don’t forget that you are going after a whole colony of ants and the average number of ants in a colony is 500,000! Put out more bait if necessary, especially if you have a serious infestation.
(7) Spray right
When do you spray? Spray if the ant nest is outdoors or below the ground but look up environmentally-friendly sprays, especially if you have kids and pets. Remember to check the insecticide labels first before you start spraying. Safety is a must.
(8) Cleanliness is key
Ants have been eradicated and you’re now living an ant-free life. But how to make sure you’ve got rid of ants for good? Keep your house clean, or a new colony of ants will soon start moving in. Clean up, don’t let food lie around, use airtight food containers, sweep those floors, and wipe those newly painted kitchen surfaces clean.
(9) Anty ins and outs
Holes, small cracks (especially in walls and the floor), crevices, are all spaces where ants can crawl – seal them off! Windows, pipes, wiring are regular culprits that keep those ants crawling back so make sure you keep an eye out for these things.
3-ingredient Recipe to Get Rid of Ants:
What you will need:
Borax – 1 1/2 tablespoon
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Warm water – 1 1/2 cups
Paper towel or cotton balls for soaking
- Completely dissolve the borax and sugar into the warm water.
- The mixture should be clear. Set aside 3/4 in a clearly labelled jar. Make sure that this container is stored out of reach of children, in a dry and dark place. This is your homemade pesticide.
- Put some cotton balls and wads of paper towels soaked in the pesticide on shallow lids and caps.
- Put these lids and caps in areas where you have seen ants. You can also put the soaked cotton balls around window ledges and door corners.
- Wait 5-7 days for the ants to take the bait. There will be more ants in the first couple of days but just wait it out – the number will soon dwindle. Read #6 in case you missed it.
- Once the ants have disappeared, seal the cracks where they used to enter the house. Celebrate the end of ants with a cup of coffee in your own diy mug!
How to get rid of ants short version:
- Understand how the ant colony works.
- Watch the ant trail and follow it.
- Bait the workers to get the queen
- Be patient as you wait for the bait to take effect.
- Spray only when necessary.
Remember to get rid of ants permanently: understand, watch and bait. Clean up and keep it that way.
Video Tutorial – How to get rid of ants