black ants
How to...

Get rid of ants for good

There’s nothing worse than waking up to get your morning coffee and finding trails of ants throughout your kitchen. No matter how many times you sanitize the countertops and spray for bugs, they just keep coming back. It’s time to get rid of these little guys for good.

Step 1: Keep them outside

Easier said than done, right? First, get a good outdoor bug spray to spray around your house once a month. Raid Max Bug Barrier works wonders. Don’t use it indoors, as it can be harmful to children and pets. Next, seal off all cracks in windows and doors using caulk. Caulking can be found at any home improvement or hardware store, such as Home Depot or Lowe's, for less than $3.

Step 2: Fully seal all spices

Finding ants in your flour when you’re about to bake is almost as bad as burning a meal you’ve just spent hours prepping. Avoid getting them in your flour by putting all spices in plastic containers that snap shut. Ensure they stay out by trying this home remedy — place a bay leaf inside the container (bypass a bay leaf flavor in your spices by taping it to the top of the inside of the lid). Bay leaves can also be used in cabinets to keep ants out.

Step 3: Use adhesive tape

Adhesive tape can be used for specific problem areas, such as a cookie jar, to guarantee ants can’t get in. Simply wrap the tape around the base of the item, sticky side up.

Step 4: Keep the kitchen clean

This may seem obvious, but keeping the kitchen as sanitized as possible is an effective way to prevent ants from coming in and taking over. Every day, wipe down the countertops with a simple solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid detergent. This can also be used on cabinets and inside the refrigerator. Make sure foods are always put away and sealed tightly. Keep the floors clean by sweeping and mopping with a sanitizing solution such as Swiffer WetJet weekly.

Step 5: Try home remedies

Finally, there are a few interesting home remedies for keeping ants at bay. Outline the outside of your house with chalk. Ants are repelled by the calcium carbonate in chalk and don't like to cross that line. Make an orange puree — orange peels blended with warm water — and pour over anthills. This will send them away instantly and they won’t be returning anytime soon. Sprinkle cayenne pepper alongside baseboards and the backs of cabinets to send ants running. Ants are normally looking for sugar, so finding cayenne pepper instead tells them there is no sugar anywhere ahead.

More on getting rid of ants and bugs

How to naturally rid your home of bugs
Bug spray on kids: Is it safe?
Organic products to repel bugs

Tags: kitchen cleaning pests


Comments on "How to get rid of ants in the kitchen"

Amy Grammond November 11, 2012 | 12:48 PM

Get boric acid powder from your local pharmacy and mix with sugary substances like jam or diluted sugar water. Place in shallow disposable plastic lids or metal jar lids in out of way areas in and under cupboards (use peanut butter for ants after fatty protein substances) It takes a few days for them to find it but they will go bonkers for it and take back to their nest for food. It will kill the entire colony shortly thereafter and is safer than chemical pesticides around children and pets.

Tiffany November 05, 2012 | 9:13 AM

Keeping the kitchen clean is what I've found to work best. I bleach the counters often and make sure there are never crumbs anywhere. It seems to have worked thus far.

Erin November 05, 2012 | 9:12 AM

Great read! I recently had to deal with ants in my kitchen and it's a nightmare. Thanks for the tips. I'll definitely be using these to prevent another infestation!

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