How to Get Rid of Ants Cheaply and Naturally

How to Get Rid of Ants Cheaply and Naturally

Did you know that you can get rid of ants naturally and cheaply, using ingredients that you may already have in your cupboard? You can use natural ingredients such as peppermint oil, vinegar, lemon juice and coffee grounds to repel ants from your home and garden.

You can also use other natural ingredients such as baking soda and diatomaceous earth to completely get rid of any kind of ant (such as sugar ants and carpenter ants).

Ant pesticides contain chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment, so it’s best to try natural ways to control ants and prevent them from coming back.

There are thousands of species of ants in the world and we have all heard the horror stories about ants invading into houses, devouring everything in their path! Fortunately only a small number of ants invade our homes in search of something tasty or perhaps water.

Some of the things ants do are good for us and the environment, such as feasting on the larvae of fleas, bedbugs, silver fish, flies and spiders.

Ants are, however, very persistent and it’s not at all easy to rid your home of these creatures. Resorting to the use of pesticides in spray cans to kill the ants is not the ideal solution. You would most likely go through a couple of cans a week, and still not solve the problem. In addition, you would be guilty of doing your share of damaging the environment and risking your pets and family.

A natural approach to ward off, or eliminate ants from your home, would be infinitely better and have no harmful effects on the environment.

The Best Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants

Some of the following natural solutions will deter ants while other can kill the ants. While I don’t like the idea of killing ants, sometimes you have no choice. For example, if you have a nest of fire ants that can attack your child or other venomous ants whose sting can cause a great pain. The choice is yours.

Here are some of the best natural ways to get rid of the ants infesting your home and garden.

Peppermint Oil Ant Repelling Spray

Ants don’t like the smell of peppermint, as it may interferes with how they communicate via pheromone markings.

Peppermint is a natural insect repellant. Many people like to grow a peppermint herb around their house to repel ants but you can also use peppermint essential oil as a natural ant repellant.

To use peppermint oil for ants simply mix peppermint essential oil and water to make an ant repelling spray.

How to use peppermint essential oil to repel ants

Make a peppermint essential oil ant repelling spray by mixing 8 oz. of water in a spray bottle with 1/2 teaspoon natural soap, and 12 drops of peppermint oil. Remember to shake the bottle before each use and spray the peppermint oil mixture on door frames, baseboards, and entryways to get rid of ants.

You can also use peppermint oil for ants by putting a few drops of the essential oil on a cotton ball and using it to wipe baseboards, entryways and garbage areas to repel ants.

You can also leave a peppermint oil-infused cotton ball in cabinets and other areas to get rid of ants in the kitchen.

Use Vinegar as a Natural Ant Repellant

Vinegar has many household uses, but did you know that vinegar is a natural ant repellent? Its strong smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen. Vinegar is also a one of the top natural ways to get rid of flying ants, and it’s also beneficial for eliminating gnats.

To make your own natural vinegar ant spray mix equal parts of water and of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar solution at all the entry points of the ants and along the pheromone trail, a chemical factor secreted by the ants, which is recognized by the others ants and followed by them.

Once the vinegar dries, repeat the process for a couple of days. This will discourage the ants from getting into your home and they will eventually move on.

Soapy Water can Help Get Rid of Ants

Soapy water is one of the most popular and easiest ways to get rid of ants (it is also one of the best ways to repel cockroaches).

Simply fill a spray bottle with some dish-washing soap and warm water. Soapy water kills the ants and destroys the pheromone trail. It only works when wet so you will have to reapply for a few days.

Lemon Juice is a Natural Ant Repellant

Lemon can be used in many ways to enhance your health but it also works well as a natural ant repellent with an added nice, fresh smell to your home.

To make your kitchen and other areas of your house ant-proof, spray equal parts of water and lemon juice around these areas as well as all the openings. You will be surprised how the acid in the juice seems to mess up the ants’ sense of tracking.

Lemon juice is also effective in getting rid of sugar ants.


Amazingly, ants will not cross chalk lines! Nobody seems to know why, but it is an excellent way to put an end to ant trails heading for your home. All you need is some ordinary white chalk, so if you don’t mind chalk lines all over the place, go ahead and draw!

Baby powder 

Baby powder can also keep ants away and it has the same effect as chalk. Sprinkle some at any entrance points to block the ant trails.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can Kill Ants

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is an amazing, multi-purpose remedy that helps us to kill ants naturally as well as all sorts of other bugs such as waterbugs bedbugs, German cockroaches, and fleas.

You can use diatomaceous earth outside by sprinkling it around the perimeter of your house, and also use it quite safely inside wherever you see ants. Diatomaceous earth does not kill the ants instantly, but it should solve ant infestation problem within a few days. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and die.

Remember not to wet the DE, or it will not work. So if it rains, it would be a good idea to redo the outside area. Always use the food-grade DE as it is completely safe should one of your pets decides to eat some of it. You can read more about DE in my article about the most extraordinary diatomaceous earth uses and benefits.

Boric Acid Ant Bait

Boric acid kills ants when they ingest it and it also damages the ants’ outer layer the same way diatomaceous earth does.

Boric acid is a natural white, crystalline substance that is used in various pharmaceutical products. It comes in a powder form that you can sprinkle near entryways to get rid of any kind of ant such as sugar ants and carpenter ants. You can also use it to make a bait for eradicating termites.

Boric acid should be treated with respect because it is toxic. It is a pesticide/insecticide and can cause harm if it is ingested so keep it away from children and pets.

You can make an ant trap using boric acid and honey to kill any kind of ant such as sugar ants and carpenter ants.

Mix 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of boric acid in a small bowl. The consistency of the ant bait should be sticky like a paste, so adjust the amounts if needed.

Spread the ant bait paste with a knife or a spoon over a piece of cardboard and put where you see ants.

Soon the ant bait will attract the ants who look for the sugary food.

The ants will not die immediately but they will carry the boric acid to the nest, killing other ants. Make new traps every several days.

Remember: while boric acid is a natural substance, it should not be ingested by people or pets because it is toxic.

Coffee grounds

For some reason ants don’t like the smell of coffee so it can be used as an effective ant repellent. If you sprinkle used coffee grounds around the edge of your home, and at any entry points you find, the ants will not venture any further. Coffee grounds sprinkled in the garden will also keep ants away from the plants.

Corn meal 

Corn meal is a natural ingredient that can help you kill ants. Ants love corn meal and carry it back to the nest to eat. But because they are unable to digest it, it eventually kills them, as their stomachs expand and burst, resulting in a rather unpleasant death. This seems something of an unusual way to deal with ants, and the popularity of the method has not been documented.


You can try to use regular salt to get rid of ants. While salt does not kill ants, a salt solution is used as an ant deterrent to stop ants coming into the house through cracks, holes and over windowsills.

The ants will not walk over or through any area sprayed with a salt solution. You can also sprinkle salt along cracks in the driveway or along the sides of the house where ants are present. Make sure that areas are dry before applying the salt.

Essential Oils to Repel Ants

You can make your own natural ant spray by using the power of essential oils. Good essential oils to repel ants are peppermint, tea tree and lemon, although other essential oils can be used, such as eucalyptus, lavender or cedarwood. As an added bonus, you can also use these oils to make an effective bed bug spray.

Try mixing 8 oz. of water in a spray bottle with 1/2 teaspoon natural soap, and 12 drops of one of the above essential oils – remember to shake the bottle before each use and repeat every few days until the ants are completely gone.

Another option is to place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and wipe on baseboards, entryways and garbage areas to repel ants.

You can also leave an essential oil-infused cotton ball in cabinets and other areas as needed and this is an excellent way to get rid of ants in the kitchen.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy which will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

Other Natural Ant Repellants

Apart from coffee grounds or chalk which the ants don’t like to cross, you can try other natural substances such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper or lemon peels to repel ants.

How to Prevent Ants From Infesting Your Home

In spite of measures you may take to make your home ant-proof, somewhere along the line they are bound to get in.

You will have to outsmart them by keeping all your food sealed. Food items such as honey and jam jars attract ants so you can stand them in a saucer of water to prevent ants from reaching the food.

Ants are very partial to pet’s food, so keep the bowls in the fridge overnight, or place each one in a larger bowl containing a little water.

Do you have any other ant control suggestions? Let’s hear them in the comments.

If you want to get rid of flying ants, make sure to read my article: How to Get Rid of Flying Ants Quickly and Naturally.

Read my other related articles:
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2. How to Get Rid of Frogs Naturally
3. How to Get Rid of Spiders Naturally
4. How to Get Rid of Wasps Naturally
5. How to Get rid of Flies
6. How to Get rid of Cockroaches
7. How to Naturally Get rid of Fleas
8. The Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally
9. Palmetto Bug: What it is and How to Get Rid of It Quickly
10. How to Keep Snakes Away: Effective Snake Repellents

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