Ants may be important to the environment and in certain ecosystems, but they are not welcome in my house. Despite my constant protests, these insects just can't take a hint. Where there is a will, there's a way, and ants are nothing, if not persistent.
As the weather begins to change, it's important to be prepared in case of an infestation. It's always a good idea to be proactive. Check around your house for cracks or holes and repair any you find. Also check screens, around windows, and doors. Be sure to clean up any crumbs and don't leave food out on the counter. This is all common sense winter prep and house maintenance. However, no matter how prepared you are or how clean your house is, you may find yourself face to face with an ant problem. It doesn't matter if you live out in the country, in the suburbs, or in the heart of the city, ants can and will find a way inside and make themselves right at home.
It's frustrating, but I've found three amazing ways to get rid of ants. Read on to learn how you can effectively eliminate your ant problem.
This first tip I found a few years ago. My Mase Cane plant had spontaneously decided to bloom. This was a wonderful surprise, as I didn't realize that was a possibility. The flowers were beautiful and filled our house with a sweet fragrance each evening. Unfortunately, that sweet scent attracted some unwelcome intruders. The ants were all over my plant. Needless to say, I was not thrilled.
Luckily, I had some ground cinnamon in my kitchen cupboard. Ants do not appreciate the woodsy scent and go out of their way to avoid it. It's also thought that they don't like the feel of the course powder. I sprinkled cinnamon directly on my plant and around the base of the pot. Immediately, the ants were deterred.
Ever since, I've sprinkled cinnamon all around my house as a barrier. It's always my first reaction anytime I see ants. I keep a stock of ground cinnamon in my cupboard specifically for this purpose.
I keep a stock of ground cinnamon in my house.
While cinnamon is good for deterring ants, it doesn't kill them. If you want to completely get rid of ants, you can easily whip up a concoction of baking soda and powdered sugar.
You will need:
Mix a tablespoon or two of baking soda with the same amount of powdered sugar in your container. Be sure to mix it up well. Set it along the path of your ants. The ants will be attracted to the powdered sugar and won't be able to tell the difference between it and the baking soda. The baking soda reacts with the acid inside of their digestive system and they won't be able to expel the gas, ultimately killing them. You can use this indoors or outdoors to get rid of your ant issue.
I've done both. We had a bunch of ants hanging out around our garage door this past spring. I made two containers of this mixture and placed one on each side of the garage door. Within a week, all the ants were gone.
The first two ways were green and virtually free, using ingredients you probably already had on hand in your kitchen. I always like to try those methods first, but sometimes you have to bring in reinforcements. The third and final way to get rid of ants is by using Terro Liquid Ant Baits. You can use these inside and they will eliminate your ant problem within a week.
These work! A few weeks ago, we had an ant issue around our fireplace. My husband made a container of baking soda and powdered sugar for the ants. It attracted a lot of visitors, but it was making a huge mess. It also didn't seem like it was getting rid of the problem. We needed something a little stronger to actually get rid of the entire colony. My husband picked up a pack of these ant baits and we set two out on the fireplace. Immediately, ants flocked to the baits. Three days later, no ants. These baits are especially effective for getting rid of carpenter ants.
Terro Liquid Ant Baits are a great way to eliminate an entire colony of ants.
Question: How do you get ants out of your car?
Answer: Move your car. I recommend going to a public car wash and cleaning out your entire car. Remove all the trash, take your floor mats out and wash them, if you have leather interior, wipe down your seats, wipe the dashboard, etc. Vacuum your car thoroughly. Google says you can put ant traps in your car. I do not recommend using the liquid bait. The ants tend to open up the plastic and it makes a mess. In the future, be very mindful of where you are parking. Never park in the grass and always check for ant hills and mounds.
© 2018 Alyssa
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on September 03, 2018:
Oh no, Shannon!! Well, hopefully they won't bother you the rest of the year!
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on September 03, 2018:
Wow, that's amazing Bill! I'm glad you haven't had to worry about this. It's frustrating! haha! But, if you should ever find yourself facing an ant issue, you will be prepared for sure! :) I hope you had a nice, relaxing Labor Day!
Shannon Henry from Texas on September 03, 2018:
Wish I'd known that cinnamon worked earlier this summer when ants were a major problem.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 03, 2018:
Oddly, I've never had this problem, but thanks to you I'm ready just in case. :) Happy Labor Day, Alyssa!