The DIY Ant Control Guide For Homeowners and Renters

These DIY ant control tips are for the adventurous homeowner and renter, who wants to do the job themselves rather than hire a professional pest control company. We have a few solutions to help if you have ants in your home or yard.

When it comes to getting rid of ants you have two options:

  1. Use an insecticide or pesticide
  2. Use a safe natural solution

I know how to get rid of ants naturally using DIY ant control solutions. I’m going to show you how to control ants do today. But before we get into all the fiery details about killing ants let’s talk about some more important things.

Such as…

Why Have Ants Invaded Your Home

Before you rush off and start killing those ants it’s important that you stop for a moment and consider why they are here in the first place. Why did the ants pick your home, not your next-door neighbor, or the nice people down the street?

Ants can show up in your yard and wreak havoc for any number of reasons. However, if the ants have entered your home they are most likely looking for food and water.

In any given ant colony each insect has duties and responsibilities. The worker ants’ job is to scout around foraging for food and water. The worker ants will report back to the other ants in the colony once they find a reliable food and water source that they can feed on.

The rest of the colony hears the good news and many of them come by to feed too. With so many ants coming to eat, your home is eventually overrun by ants looking to get an easy and quick meal. You have an ant infestation on your hands.

If you are unfortunate enough to be that home that ants invade you have to have a good game plan if you want to get rid of them quickly and for good.

Routes Ants Use To Get Inside Your House

Ants can enter your house in a number of ways. So if you want to keep ants out it’s important for you to know the most common routes they take to get inside your home. After talking with many pest industry experts and homeowners I have identified and compiled a list of the most frequent entry points ants use to march their way into your home. Ants enter your home through

  • Window and door frames – it is too easy for ants to get inside if your windows and doors have gaps, are damaged, or if the wooden frames are dry rotted
  • Utility lines – when utility companies install cable, electricity, internet, natural gas, telephone, and water they create lots of little holes that ants use to enter your house
  • Foundation gaps – all homes are imperfect and as such contain gaps, cracks and crevices created during construction. Ants exploit these foundation gaps to gain entry into your home.
  • House plants – if you bring plants from the outside in it is likely that ants could hitchhike a ride inside your home.

You can make it more difficult for ants to enter your home if you seal off the above entry points listed above.

How to Get Rid Of Ants In The Kitchen

When ants enter your home most likely they will make their way to the kitchen. They are in search of food and water and will do whatever it takes to feed and drink. It is important that you act fast to remove ants from your kitchen first and then eliminate them from inside your home.

As ants crawl around your kitchen on countertops, tables, over kitchen appliances they are spreading disease that they are carrying on their bodies. These diseases in the form of bacteria, parasites, and viruses can affect your food and water. Eating any foods or drinking from any contaminated source could result in food poisoning.

Children, the elderly, and pregnant women are at a particularly high risk of food poisoning from ant contaminated food and water. As such if you have any of these high-risk individuals staying in your home you must get rid of the ants before they pose a health risk to your loved ones.

Getting rid of ants in the kitchen is easy once you have closed off the routes they use to get inside your house. With routes shut down, you can control the ants simply by removing all food and water sources so they can not readily feed. More specifically, you need to clean up all spilled food and food residue. Be sure to clean in and around your stove, refrigerator, toaster oven, and other appliance they should all be grease and crumb-free.

If you take this easy approach to clean your kitchen from top to bottom, ants will find your home unattractive since they are not able to feed and drink and relocate to a more suitable location.

How Most People Try Killing Ants

You see them crawling everywhere, going here and there, seeming to not have a single worry in the world. It’s obvious you have an ant problem. So what’s the first thing you do when you see ants you don’t want around?

You immediately jump into action trying to kill the pest by:

  • Pouring water on the ant nests
  • Using some ant baits to kill the queen
  • Sprinkling salt, cayenne pepper, or cinnamon everywhere
  • Calling in a professional to do the job

You could take any number of actions, all aimed at killing the ants on the first contract. Have you ever stopped to consider this is not the best approach?

What to know what you should do first if you believe you have an ant problem?

What To Do About Ants First

We already discussed why it’s not a good idea to kill ants on the first contact. Doing so can be counterproductive and make matters worse. The first thing you should do after noticing you have ant problems is to identify what type of ant you’re dealing with.

There are over 700 species of ants in the United States alone. But don’t get too excited only a handful of these ants are the type that likes to invade homes.  A few of the most common ant species you need to worry about include:

  • Acrobat Ants
  • Argentine Ants
  • Black Crazy Ants
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Fire Ants
  • Odorous Ants
  • Pavement Ants
  • Pharaoh Ants
  • Tawny Crazy Ants
  • Thief Ants

It’s important to know what type of ant you are dealing with.  This is because the most effective method of ant control treatment will depend on the ant species.

Time to discuss some of our most effective diy ant control techniques.

Get Rid of Odorous Ants Without Chemicals

You have an ant problem. They’re crawling all over the yard or making their way into your home. These ants are making you nervous and you want to get rid of them asap. We already discussed your two options for getting rid of ants.

You could use insecticides or pesticides. But today we’ve decided to take a more natural approach. Let’s create a cheap and inexpensive homemade ant bait that should get the job done.

Homemade Ant Bait Ingredients

  • 1 part,  borax
  • 3 parts, Powdered Sugar

To prepare the homemade ant bait just thoroughly mix together the borax and sugar. For inside ants, place the powder in tiny containers, such as bottle caps, and set the containers where you see the ants most.

If you have small kids or pets we recommend another approach. Dissolve 3 tablespoons borax and 1/2 cup sugar in 1 cup of warm water. Mix the ingredients well and then soak cotton balls in the solution.  Place these cotton balls in the small containers and position where ants can get to them.

Have you located the anthill or nest? If so place a container there, as this will help speed up the process. Anytime you are trying to kill an ant colony it is always best to target the anthill or mound.

This homemade ant bait treatment works wonderfully to kill odorous house ants. A different treatment is needed for the other ant species. Next, we provide an all-natural ant killing solution for carpenter ants.

The All-Natural Carpenter Ants Solution

We have found Diatomaceous Earth to be the best all-natural solution and remedy for killing and getting rid of carpenter ants. Much like the Borax solution for Odorous ants, this ant treatment is cost-effective and easy to implement.

We like to use food grade diatomaceous earth because it is safe for people and pets. For this method, we use a bulb duster to inject the diatomaceous earth (DE) directly into the carpenter ants nest.

If it rains within 24 hours of the application you should re-apply the DE. It can take up to a few weeks to totally eradicate the ants. When the nest dies out your problems will be solved.

How To Kill Pharaoh Ants With Sugar Water

These ants are super tiny and can be hard to identify unless you look closely. Pharaoh ants are protein eaters and are one of the most common ants that like to invade your home. What we dislike most about this ant is the fact they nest in little voids just about anywhere in your house. I have found that boric acid works well to kill Pharaoh ants.

To prepare this ant bait you will need

  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon boric acid
  • 2 tablespoons water

The make the ant bait mix the dry ingredients well with water. Once mixed add the mixture to some bait cups (bottle caps).

A few examples of bait cups

Place the bait cup where the ants are crawling around, locate and place at the nest. Now, wait for the sugar water to work its magic.  Give this solution 12 to 24 hours to work effectively and this should remedy your ant problems. This method also works for Argentine ants.

How to Prevent Ants From Coming Back

It’s important that you practice the DIY ant control techniques I discussed earlier.

If you’ve made it this far, you have either killed off your ants or just want to know how to prevent ants in the first place. Good for you if this is what you are thinking. In both cases, it’s good to be proactive, and take steps to prevent ants.

Here a few steps you can take to make your home less ant friendly.

  • Keep your yard cut, trash free, and well maintained
  • Seal cracks and crevices to control ants
  • If you see an ant nest kill it
  • Spray scents and fragrances that ants don’t like
  • Sprinkle used coffee ground in your yard, flowerbed, or garden
  • Remove food and water sources that ants feed on
  • Keep your kitchen and dining room clean and free of food

7 Genius Ways to Get Rid Of Ants

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Lynn Edwards

I founded DIY Pest Control Guide with the intention of sharing practical, user-friendly pest control strategies. If you need assistance, reach out to me at - I'm here to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

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