What is the best way to get rid of ants?

The last three weeks I have had ants on my kitchen counter. I have spread, scrubbed the counter, no food is left on that counter, I have spread outside and all through the kitchen to no avail. How can I get rid of them? I need the counter space!
  17 answers
  • Lavende Lavende on Dec 22, 2016
    Oh my, I consider myself an expert on this one! We had massive ant attacks when we moved to our new house and I tested everything to see what works! In the end, it was a super simple, cheap, and non-toxic option that has become my go-to: Food Grade Diotomaceous earth. I wrote a post about using it on fruit trees, but actually I used it under all my baseboards and other entry points and its been working great. Just try to find the entry point and keep it powdered (and/or close it if possible!)

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    • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 27, 2016
      I put some food grade diatomaceous earth in my outlets too.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 22, 2016
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Dec 22, 2016
    Some old lady who does not have knowlege or experience might 'look it up for you', but I deal with this in the tropics where this is no small issue. Your need to get them to take the poison home with them to their nest and infect the hive to truely get rid of them. I use a product, Blattanex by Bayer, that contains sulphuramide. You put the gel from the tube where you know they will be walking, they eat it, take it home and kills the whole family. The other thing is to find their nest by follwing them home, (they usually do this in a line). Bait the line path or find the 'ant hive' pour gas/lighter fluid into it and light it up (if it is outdoors). The entire colony and their condos are gone for good.
  • Diane Rich Diane Rich on Dec 24, 2016
    I read on HT that windex kills bugs instantly! Easy to use and you can clean your windows too!
  • Rtr9805380 Rtr9805380 on Dec 25, 2016
    Vinegar! I had the same problem all of a sudden .Spray all areas twice a day and gradually they will get to be less. Spray under and at the of bottom of the cabinets and the counter tops. The smell does stay long it is natural .worked better then over the counter stuff I bought. Take you pots out of your cabinets spray there too. You can dilute but at least 70/30 with water Good luck

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 27, 2016
    Normally I bait, but starting 2 summers ago, I sprayed the counters and other scent trails with equal parts vinegar, bottled lemon juice and one big squirt of dishwashing liquid. It repelled them much better than vinegar alone (they would come right back after it dried). It is my go-to cleaner for just about everything, but it needs to be wiped up quickly. It worked well, and I saw very few scouts. I think my ants were getting immune to the baits, so I hope it will work again next summer. I also put food grade diatomaceous earth in the outlets, and sprayed the perimeter with ant spray ( as I always do). I put some used coffee grounds in a couple of ant hills outside as well.
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    • B. Enne B. Enne on Feb 23, 2017
      Good luck and keep us posted! Be careful if you use my homemade spray. I use it all the time, but must have missed wiping a spot on my bathroom faucet, and now I have a pin hole in the chrome finish.
  • Chr4787838 Chr4787838 on Dec 29, 2016
    For years I have used lemon juice diluted by half to deter ants in house. We spray out side with Ortho Home Defense for multiple bugs to keep them outside . Have also used borax to control roaches ,ants, fleas, and ticks. It works on spiders also if they are crawling on the floors or counters.
  • Donna Milito Grazioli Donna Milito Grazioli on Dec 29, 2016
    As silly as it sounds I used J & J baby powder & brushed it under the base board Where I saw them coming in, I have cats so I didn't want anything that could harm them. I was really infested with them. I had to do this 3 times but this over a year ago & never had another ant.
    • Chr4787838 Chr4787838 on Jan 09, 2017
      Did you use the talcum powder ? One thing about talc is that it is carcinogenic. If you use it I would wear a mask and leave house for a while to let it settle down then damp mop floors.
  • Debra Watson Debra Watson on Jan 03, 2017
    Peppermint Essential oil , Lemongrass oil works also

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    • Susan Susan on Mar 03, 2017
      YES to the Peppermint oil - BE CAREFUL - it burns skin on contact! I dilute it with water in a spray bottle to use around the baseboards (on my linoleum it's fine but be careful of other types of floors) to keep bugs out and around the OUTSIDE walls of my home... Spiders hate it. I killed a wasp with just one spray... and it SMELLS SO GOOD !
      I've use borax (20 Mule team is good) under sinks, around doorways etc.
      Best for ants
  • Heather Heather on Jan 05, 2017
    Put a Bay Leaf any place that is an entry point or pathway. No more ants! It's also non toxic, easy and not messy!

  • Judy Judy on Jan 05, 2017
    Nutmeg works too
  • Loree Loree on Jan 16, 2017
    Cinnamon works great!! When I have located where they come in, I sprinkle the area with cinnamon and I have never seen another ant. This has worked to keep the ants away for over 2 years, so I know it really works. Cinnamon is not toxic or dangerous and it has a nice odor to it. So it's a win, win situation!!!
  • Dfm Dfm on Mar 01, 2017
    equal parts borax and sugar- sprinkle around perimeter of house, close to foundation.
    • Susan Susan on Mar 03, 2017
      skip the sugar - it's not necessary - it DRAWS ants - but the BORAX works like magic
  • Emma Emma on Mar 02, 2017
    cornmeal &sugar works outside, on anthills , around perimeter of house or yard, & entry points

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    • Emma Emma on Mar 03, 2017
      No, the cornmeal swells up & they die.😀
      Also, coca cola will kill rats & mice,
      They cannot burp or fart& they die .
      It works.
      I have used both of these remedies with good results.

  • Dfm Dfm on Mar 03, 2017
    yes it does....it brings them to the borax.
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jul 16, 2021

    Hi, this article has a whole bunch of useful information that will help you get rid of ants - https://www.familyhandyman.com/pest-control/how-to-get-rid-of-ants/view-all/