Get Rid of Ants

Effective Ant Control: Natural and Commercial Strategies to Eradicate Ants

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever been invaded by tiny, persistent ants? We've all been there. These small invaders can take our homes and turn them into a bustling ant city. It's frustrating, isn't it?

In this text, we're tackling the ant problem head-on. We'll investigate into why these tiny creatures might find your home attractive, and more importantly, the best ways to make it less so.

How to Get Rid of Ants, Completely? (Indoor and Outdoor)

image of ants getting sprayed in the kitchen

To get rid of ants, first start by identifying the right ant species, as different ants respond to varied treatments. Once identified, remove all food and water sources. Use an equal amount of water and vinegar to erase ant trails. For outdoor ant extermination, place coffee grounds or diatomaceous earth (DE) around nests to disrupt their colonies. Strategically placed bait stations using sugar and borax can eliminate ants. Regular application of these natural remedies enhances their effectiveness, maintaining an ant-free environment.

Here's a detailed step-by-step to help you get rid of ants properly.

1- Identifying the Right Ant Species

Carpenter Ants

Native to many parts of the world, Carpenter Ants chew away at wood to sculpt smooth tunnels for their colony. A key identifier is their preference for wet or rotting wood, creating nests in tree stumps or inside households with damp wooden structures.

Fire Ants

Renowned for their painful sting, Fire Ants set up colonies in open grassy areas, and when it comes to defending their territory, they have often won against larger invaders. Active during warmer seasons, they'll also infest homes in search for food.

Pharaoh Ants

Difficult to eliminate, Pharaoh Ants are small, yellow ants that prefer warm locations and disperse rapidly. They often invade homes to escape harsh outdoor conditions, nesting in secluded areas like walls and cabinet voids.

Odorous House Ants

As their name implies, Odorous House Ants release an unpleasant smell when crushed. Favoring sweet food, they commonly invade during wet weather, nesting near heat sources and moisture.

Pavement Ants

Primarily outdoor species, Pavement Ants build nests under stones and pavements. But, they may venture indoors for sustenance during colder months, making homes susceptible to infestations.

2- Applying Indoor Treatments

Develop a strategic defense, focusing on preventative, deterrent and eradication strategies. Regularly clean countertops and sweep floors to eliminate food and water sources.

Then, you can either make your own ant killer using homemade ant deterrents or commercial ant sprays offering another method to keep your home ant-free.

Homemade Ant Sprays

In a spray bottle, mix together an equal amount of vinegar and water, shake well, and spray in ant paths. The solution will rid the home of scent trails which ants use for navigation. You can also incorporate essential oils, such as peppermint, as a natural repellent.

Commercial Ant Killers

If you want a more "guaranteed" approach, commercial ant killers like the Terro Liquid Bait or the OnGuard Residual Spray are both good at exterminating ants and making sure they don't comeback. The only downside, is that they have chemicals and need more caution when used, but they're a lot more effective than homemade killers.

3- Applying Outdoor Treatments

To halt infestations, identification and destruction of outdoor nests are imperative. Deploy a variety of methods including coffee grounds, a natural ant deterrent, or Diatomaceous Earth, a non-toxic powder that kills ants by dehydration and abrasion.If you’re wondering how to kill outdoor ants, these methods are among the most effective.You can also eliminate ants with borax mixed with sugar, which serves as an effective bait for foraging ants.

Make sure to treat the surrounding area extensively to as some species nest in large colonies.

4- Preventing Ants from Coming Back

Having cleared your home of an ant infestation, further vigilance proves crucial in preventing a comeback. Here's what you need to do:

Maintenance Tips

  1. Eliminate accessible food: Ants obtain nourishment from varied food sources, especially sweet treats. Store edibles, particularly pet food and sugary items, in airtight containers. Keep countertops, cabinets, and floors free of crumbs and sticky residues.
  2. Disrupt trails: Ants communicate and navigate using pheromone trails. Cleaning common ant trails with a solution of water and vinegar disrupts these scents paths. Use a spray bottle for direct application and let the mixture dry without rinsing for the best effect.
  3. Tend gardens and greenery: Regularly inspect and prune plants, ensuring that branches and leaves don't touch the house. Discard decaying wood as it attracts carpenter ants. Also, well-draining plants remove possible water sources for pests.
  4. Residual ground treatment: Certain extermination solutions offer residual treatment solutions, ideal for perimeter application. Reapply these products at regular intervals as directed on the packaging.

Sealing Entry Points

Securing the house against possible ant entries critically deters infestations.

  • Spot the Traces: Indicators of ant colonies, such as sand deposits or wood shavings, spots entry points. Sugar and white vinegar mixture, applied on a suspect area, attract ants, revealing their trails.
  • Seal Cracks and Gaps: Any gaps or crevices on the exterior and even the interior of your home serve as potential entries for ants. Use a silicone-based caulk to seal these off.
  • Use Repellents: Peppermint and cinnamon oil, act as natural ant deterrents. Sprinkle them near suspected entry points.

By practicing these methods, your home becomes unattractive as a nesting ground for ants. Armed with this knowledge, leave behind to ant infestations once and for all.

What Attracts Ants to Your House?

There exist certain factors that draw ants into our homes, primarily including sources of food, water, and accessible entry points. It aids understanding precisely why these tiny invaders exhibit such attraction, as it equips us with the knowledge to formulate effective countermeasures.


Food serves as the strongest lure that attracts various ant species. Particularly, sugary substances, protein-based foods, and greasy items entice them the most. For instance, unconcealed sweet treats on kitchen countertops or pet food scattered on the floor become primary targets. Developing a thorough cleaning habit assists in eliminating potential food sources for ants. Usage of airtight containers for storing food, especially sweets, can effectively reduce the chances of an ant infestation.


Ants, like all creatures, seek a steady water source for the sustenance of their colony. Prominently, kitchens and bathrooms are the common sites at risk, as they present numerous water sources, such as leaks from defective pipes or faucets, overflowing pet water dishes, and condensation drops on cold drink bottles. Regularly mopping up water puddles and fixing any leaks counters this particular attractant.

Access Areas

The architecture of houses often leaves various minor crevices or holes that helps ants enter your home more easily. Locations like holes in woodwork, cracks in walls, gaps beneath doors or around windows, and even openings around utility lines and pipes serve as convenient entry points. Ants generally leave a scent trail back to their colony, which other ants then follow into our homes. Sealing such access points, using pepper or cinnamon, or spraying a solution of vinegar and water along ant trails breaks this scent trail and acts as an effective repellent.

By understanding what specifically attracts ants and taking essential preventative steps, we adapt our homes to become less appealing to these pests, significantly reducing the likelihood of future infestations.

Our Recommended Products for Ant Control

Battling an ant infestation becomes easier when armed with top-notch pest control solutions. As experts, we've assembled a list of highly effective conventional and natural options for dealing with different ant species.

Conventional Ant Control Products

Conventional ant control products present a widely used, powerful method for taming persistent ant problems.


Terro offers a variety of ant control solutions, one being Terro Liquid Ant Baits. The spectrum of active ingredients attracts ants, delivering a lethal dose to the colony. Also, the Terro Outdoor Ant Killer Spray effectively tackles protecting perimeters of homes from ant intrusions.


Raid, a household name in pest control, produces potent ant baits and sprays. Specifically, Raid Ant Baits III disrupts ant life cycles, ensuring a gradual decrease in ant numbers. Raid Ant & Roach Spray offers a fast-acting killer, killing ants on contact.


Ortho products, like the Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer, offer longer-lasting residue, maintaining a fortifying shield against ant infestations. The product works for numerous pests, including all common ant species.


OnGuard dedicates time to crafting natural pest control products that are safe around pets and children. The OnGuard Natural Indoor Pest Control Spray repels not only ants but also roaches, spiders, and other insects.

Natural Ant Control Treatments

Natural ant control treatments are eco-friendly options that effectively repel and kill ants with minimal harm to surrounding environments.

Diatomaceous Earth

A non-toxic powder, Diatomaceous Earth kills ants by puncturing their tough exoskeletons, causing critical dehydration. It is a safe option to sprinkle in and around areas of infestation.

White Vinegar

White vinegar mixed in a spray bottle with water is an excellent ant deterrent. The strong smell masks the ants' trail scent, resulting in disoriented, diverted ants.

Baking Soda and Borax Mixtures

A combination of baking soda and borax proves fatal for ants. The trick is to mix these two ingredients with a food attractant like sugar, effectively poisoning foraging ants.This is one of the best ways to eliminate carpenter ants.

Essential Oils

Essential oils double as ant deterrents. Spraying diluted oils along entry points and countertops in the kitchen ensures natural, ant-free zones in the house, and you can add a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil to your regular cleaning soap for added effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

Protect your home and surroundings from the grip of ants. Prioritize identifying the species you're dealing with – Carpenter Ants, Fire Ants, Pharaoh Ants, Odorous House Ants, or Pavement Ants. Each one comes with its own unique challenges. Equip yourselves with specific treatments tailored to these species.

Arm your living space with proven products like Terro, Raid, OnGuard or opt for natural choices like Diatomaceous Earth, white vinegar, baking soda, or essential oils if you are environmentally cautious.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the distinguishing characteristics of Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter Ants are known for their wood-boring behavior, creating smooth tunnels inside damp or rotting wood structures. They are attracted to wet environments and are typically found in tree stumps or moisture-compromised areas within homes.

How effective are vinegar and essential oils in deterring ants?

Vinegar killers disrupt ant pheromone trails, reducing their navigational ability, while peppermint act as natural repellents due to their strong scent, making them effective in keeping ants away.

What is the purpose of setting up bait stations in ant control?

Bait stations attract ants with food mixed with slow-acting poison, allowing ants to carry the toxic bait back to their colony, effectively reducing the population over time.