4 ways to get ants out of your house and yard

For the most part, ants are useful little critters who kill annoying pests like fleas and bedbugs. But when they overstep their territory and take over your yard or kitchen, measures must be taken to encourage them to move somewhere else. Below are four ways to get ants out of your home.

4 ways to get ants out of your house and yard

1. Deter scout ants

Watch for the “scout” ants.

  • If you see just one or two ants, chances are they were sent on a scouting mission to see if your home is a good source of food.
  • Don’t let these scouts get back to the hive. After you kill them, clean your kitchen thoroughly with vinegar (they hate that smell), paying close attention to the trash area, under the fridge and stove, and in the cupboards.

If there’s nothing to report, the rest of the colony will move on.

2. Halt the invasion

If you missed the scout ants and your home has been invaded, try the following:

  • Make a mixture of peppermint oil and water to spray on ants. They HATE this flavour. Lemon water also works.
  • Sprinkle a thin line of cayenne pepper, black pepper or talcum powder around the areas of the house where they are congregating or entering.
  • If you have kids or pets, try sprinkling artificial sweetener instead.

Check to see where the ants are gaining access. Seal off any entrances with caulk, putty or plaster.

3. Destroy their communications system

Ants follow each other using a chemical trail. If you destroy that trail, it messes them up.

  • Use soap and water to wipe down any surface they’ve trod on. In a spray bottle, add one teaspoon of dish soap with water and spray it on the ants.
  • Ants are very susceptible to caffeine, and coffee grounds can confuse their sense of smell. Sprinkle coffee grounds around the outdoor hive or leave the grounds near the entrance point to your home. It takes a while, but the ants will eat the grounds and die.

4. Deal with outdoor hives

If you find the hive outside, there are a few non-toxic ways to kill the ants.

  • Poke a hole in the top of the hive and pour several gallons of hot water directly down the hole. This will kill the majority of the ants.
  • Repeat a few days later until they are encouraged to move along. (Be prepared to sweep up a lot of dead ants and feel like the bad guy in a horror film.)
  • If the boiling water isn’t enough, use a stick to open a hole in the nest. Fill the hole with baking soda and pour vinegar over it.
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