Reader Tips: 25 DIY Ways to Get Rid of Ants!

I received the following question from frugal friend Abigail…

“We have a home in PA & have been having trouble with little tiny ants in our home. We have sprayed “over the counter” sprays, but they keep coming back. I hate to keep spraying chemicals b/c we have young children including one that crawls. Do you have any home remedies that could handle our ant problem? Thanks so much!”

I shared this question on The Frugal Girls Facebook Page, and so many great ideas were shared!  So… in addition to ant traps, etc. ~ here are some DIY ways to get rid of those pesky little buggers

Carol said: “My husband put baby powder on our back porch to get rid of the ants. haven’t seen any for a long time.”

Mikell said: “Peppermint plants and/or peppermint oil around the entry points! They hate peppermint.”

Asa said: “Spray them with white vinegar. Works for me.”

Alisa said: “Wipe counters and floors with white vinegar. Just put it in a spray bottle and get those little suckers!”

Kim said: “Wash everything down with bleach, then put down cayenne pepper where you see them the most. Ants won’t touch cayenne pepper and they won’t cross it.”

Anna said: “Sugar ants hate cinnamon…pour a line around the outside of doors and windows and wherever it seems they’re coming in.”  ;)

Lorri said: “Add peppermint oil to a spray bottle with water and spray all over the floors and counters. It really helps!  You can also add lemongrass or citronella along with the peppermint.”

Paige said: “Cornmeal. They take it back to their nest and it makes them swell, and you can probably figure out the rest.”

Grace said: “I’ve been told ground black pepper … spread it around the outside foundation and any place the ants appear to be entering the house. I have not had a need to try this but thought I would share in case it works.”

Natalie said: “I heard peppermint oil works. I always put sticks of peppermint gum all over the place and it keeps the ants away. I hide them really well because we have a 2 year old. Good luck!”

Kristina said: “Plain old table salt works for us.  Find the areas they are the most and put salt all over the area. It worked in less than a day for us and they never came back!”

Rhonda said: “Cornmeal is supposed to work wonders. Put it around the perimeter of your house or the area where you know they are coming in!”

Jennifer said: “I have used cinnamon before and they do not like that. I just find a spot they may be coming from (i.e. hole near a door or window sill) and sprinkle the cinnamon heavily around that area.”

Rachel said: “We had that too, we were told to put dawn dish soap into a squirt bottle with water and spray to keep them away.  It worked for me!  Use enough to not make it all suds… but not too little that it isn’t effective.”

Vicki said: “Bay leaves work for me – just lay them out wherever you see them – especially if you can find the entry point.”

Angela said: “We have the same type of small ants. Our bug guy said to use Windex.  So far it has worked!”

Diana said: “My sister used cinnamon sprinkles on the counter where the wall meets it, and she swears by it!”

Teri said: “Put cut apples outside. The ants leave your house and surround the apples and for some reason, stay away :)”

Carissa said: “Believe it or not, cinnamon. I used ground cinnamon to get rid of ants in our apartment a few months ago and we haven’t had a problem since. I’ve heard you can also use cinnamon oil like from health food stores and soak a cotton ball in it and put those out but I’ve never tried that one. Wouldn’t hurt to try, it will make your house smell good! (as long as you like the smell of it.) :)”

Judith said: “Put vinegar by the doors inside and out.”

Mindi said: “Dried bay leaves worked wonders in our kitchen. Just sit them out on your cabinets and it works great. Change them every few weeks!”

Dana said: “Just today on the radio I heard to spray vinegar around doors and windows. Very safe.”

Melissa said: “CAULK THE CRACKS!!”

Kiera said: “Maybe its been said, but dry Grits (like cream of wheat) you can buy at any grocery store. The ants eat it, then later die. Plus it’s safe, just in case the kids get into it.”

Jennifer said: “I heard you should sprinkle cinnamon at the window sills/doorway. (We tried the cinnamon & it worked for us in WA). I also was told to sprinkle some cornmeal.”

Do YOU have any tips or tricks for getting rid of ants??

Leave a comment & share!

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7 Responses to Reader Tips: 25 DIY Ways to Get Rid of Ants!

  1. Erin J says:

    My aunt swears by Simple Green. She used to have ants all of the time and them started cleaning her kitchen with Simple Green. Since then she hasnt seen an ant since.

  2. Tracey S says:

    Make a solution out of half rubbing alcohol and half water with about a tablespoon or so of Dawn. Gently shake to mix. Spray on ants. Kills other bugs including black widows. While it is better than many commercial mixtures, I wouldn’t recommend breathing it in as you are spraying. It is easier to clean up than using bug spray. The alcohol will evaporate and the rest is soap and water.

  3. Barbara says:

    After a flood we had ants so bad that they would be in everything. You could not put a plate on the table without them attacking. So I put a one inch wide strip of cheap instant grits around the foundation of our house. The grits swell when the ants eat it causing them to pop. I have never seen another ant in my house again.

  4. Menissa says:

    I use borax and grape jelly they take it back to the nest and it kills them. I put about a teaspoon of the mix on a piece of cardboard. It really works and its cheap!

  5. Ashley Y says:

    Put sugar in your grass, then in your neighbor’s yard a week later, works every time :P

  6. Elise says:

    I used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap and wiped the ant trail back to its entry point. I stuffed the peppermint leaves in the opening which was the corner where the floor met the wall. It worked. However, I think I will caulk that crack before the next ant season in the Spring.

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