Whether you are trying to deter little sugar ants in your kitchen, wood eating carpenter ants or biting fire ants in your backyard, there are a variety of different pest control methods. This is a guide about getting rid of ants.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
Ants in your pet's food? Use chalkboard chalk to draw a circle around the dish. The ants won't cross the chalk. This actually works, I have tried it!
By Sandy from Crystal Lake, IL
Unusally hot weather has led to ants seeking relief in my house. With dogs I do not want to use poisons. Dollar store baby powder sprinkled on window and doorsills and directly on any ant trails kills them and is non-toxic, doesn't reek, or cause risks of toxic pesticides. Baby powder dries out their nasty little bodies and is easy to wipe or vacuum up the next morning. (I leave it on the windowsills for a while unless there are lots of dead ants there.) I have been doing this forever.
By Linda from Vista, CA
Want to keep ants away from your kitchen counter, garbage can or away from shrubs or trees or flowers or just about anything? I use black pepper from the kitchen. Just sprinkle it around anything and leave it there, it will deter ants large and small. I haven't had an ant problem since I used it 3 months ago. It works great for me, try it and see if it works. Only sprinkle it lightly inside the house, but a little more for outside.
By Mr. Farmer from MO
I read the coolest thing recently. I tried it and it works! If you have a problem with ants around pet food, water, doors or window sills, all you have to have is chalk. Yes, it that easy. You draw a circle around the pet food or water and the ants will NOT cross over the circle of chalk.
I told my friend and her daughter used sidewalk chalk around her windows and door. You can use it really anywhere you do not want ants to cross over. They can't tolerate what is in the chalk.
Amazing! Try it: nontoxic, no fumes and easily replaced when you clean or during a summer rain. It works and the price is right.
Source: Article on things you would never think of.
By Luana M. from San Diego, CA
It's that time of year and those annoying little friends are here. Out of a desire to be rid of them and not to spray poisonous bug spray around my sink and counter, I grabbed the bottle of white vinegar that I keep handy for cleaning just about any and all surfaces and gave them a "mist". Not sure if it was the acid or that they drowned in the stuff, but I just wiped their still (mostly) little forms away. This might be an offensive thing to some folks, but I think that they would prefer going to their ant promised land smelling of pickles than the noxious fumes which we can't even tolerate.
By Kelly from Burke, VA
If you shake baby powder around where ants come into the house, they will stop coming. Their feet get stuck in the powder but you don't kill them. Never kill black ants as they keep the white ants at bay.
By houseproud from Gold Coast Queensland, Australia
I try to get rid of ants at the source. If you find an ant hill, pour boiling water on it. It's nontoxic to other animals and gets them before they get into the house.
By Kathie622 from Nanticoke, PA
Product: Advion Roach and Ant Bait and Gel
Cost: Around $24.00
I am very happy with their product and it works. I ordered the first package and put them out according to the video.
I had trouble cutting the tip off the bait gel in the syringe, so I am going to pull it out with pliers next time and then use the little nozzle that comes along with it.
It is a great product. Here is the website that I ordered from.
By Robyn from Tennessee
Stop buying expensive bug killers. Get rid of them the easy way! Fill a spray bottle with water and dish soap, and spray them. The soap breaks down the protective outer layer and it kills them in seconds. Best of all, no clean up, no mess, no expense, and it's not toxic to your children or pets!
By Ree G.
I permanently got rid of ants coming into my kitchen by sprinkling two or three envelopes of Sweet and Low on my kitchen counter where they were coming in several years ago. We have never seen another ant anywhere in our house Sorry that I can't tell you the ThriftyFun member that posted the hint (I do think the hint was on Thrifty Fun) Also sorry if I didn't remember to post that it worked so well. Probably forgot due to waiting to see if it would work. I'm really not sure that I would do it again as I think regular ants (not FIRE ANTS) probably have a place in this world, like cleaning things that have died that are too small for the birds, etc. to clean up. Caterini
I like to use things I already have around the house for getting rid of bugs. I tried Dawn liquid soap to kill ants and it really worked.
Ant season is here and they seem to always show up in the kitchen or bathrooms. Instead of having to buy ant hotels, just use fabric softener sheets to insert in the window or door jams. This will keep ants away.
By Lana K from Belton, MO
I kind of paraphrased what I am going to try this year, in the house and also in the garden.
The honey thing might attract a lot of bees but I might try it. MIGHT.
Instead of buying chemicals to get rid of ants in mounds, sprinkle cream of wheat or malto meal on the mound. The ants will eat it, the cereal expands in their stomachs, and the they die. Cheap, easy, safe.
By Amy from Denver, CO
Sugar ants come around the kitchen and other places looking for sweet stuff to eat. Other kinds of ants follow too but I generally call them sugar ants. Here is how to make a trap to put on the counter.
*Borax is an natural laundry boosting powder available in the laundry section of the store, normally on the top shelf.
Ant killer: Save your orange peels! Mix up equal parts of peels and water in a blender, pour over the ants nest or transfer to a pump-spray bottle to mark a line around your property. A natural solution with no nasty insecticides.
Source: An online site on how to rid garden pests.
Kill ants for good with uncooked grits! Just sprinkle the grits around where you have the ants and they eat them and die. Ants lack the ability to expel gas caused by the grits. This is the safest way to kill ants - no pesticides, safe for environment, pets, and kids.
By liknmylife from Shelbyville, KY
Spread some ground cinnamon where you think the ants are coming into the house.
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Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Ants.
How do you get rid of an ant invasion?
By Irene V.
By Robyn Fed09/12/2010
I found this site that tells of a citric acid solution and boric acid, and boiling water and caulking all the holes and other things..spray foam insulation around the water lines are great too. Hope this helps, I have heard ants will not cross over a chalk line, I do not know if this is true.
Here is another bit of advice I found amusing.
Most exterminators will tell you it is the water they are attracted to. I think they follow the pipes. You can use some of the spray foam insulation to close off any openings they are coming in through. Here's the best thing I have ever found (and we lived in a house where I tried everything - I thought they were going to carry the house off we had them so bad): mix boric acid with something sweet, like jelly, and spread it on something disposable, like a paper plate. Sit several out in the bathroom, and keep it closed off from pets and kids. Yes you will attract and kill an unbelievable amount, but just resist the urge to clean them up, and leave them overnight. They will be gone the next day, the other aunts will come and carry them back to their home (heard of "army of ants"? Well, they leave no "soldier" behind) The other ants will feed on them, and kill the entire colony out. I did this one time and had no repeat episodes.
Another thing that works to prevent other occasional ants is cinnamon. I sprinkled some between my window screens and windows so nothing comes in if I open my windows, and lightly misted water, so it doesn't blow all over the place, either.
This was from
Blessings, and I like the ideas at these two places!
They are small ants in the house. Every time, when a piece of food is dropped (which is a lot around here), we have two kids, 5 and 15 months these small ants come out of nowhere. Like an army of them! Any ideas? Anything will do.
By phish2 from MI
Mix powdered sugar and baking soda. Put mixture in shallow plastic lid, if you can find where the ants are coming in the house, put in that area. If they (the ants) have a "ant trail" put the lid there. The ants are crazy about sugar and will haul this mixture back to their nest. When they digest this mixture the baking soda will react with their stomach acid and explode and the ants will die. They carry the mixture back to their nests on their feet. It works.
Every year the ants start coming into my home all spring amd summer, how do I get rid of them?
By Lorraine S
By pam munro03/30/2012
We had ants in an old apartment of ours & read that spraying them & their trials with soap would keep them down & it did work.
How do you get rid of the little red ants that nest in the ground?
By Holly M
By mary becerra07/30/2012
You can do several things. You may have to because these ants are persistent and have huge interconnected ant colonies underground. You can boil water and pour it on the ant hills, You can mix in some borax with the boiling water (find in the laundry isle) you can sprinkle the dry borax on the ant hills also. You can use granules of ant bait that is a poison and sprinkle on the ant hills also.
How can I get rid of ants around my above ground pool?
I was told I have acrobat ants on my outdoor fence and on the edge of the roof of my garage; the cost to get rid of them professionally will cost hundreds of dollars! Do any TF members know if I can spray something on them myself, or is this a job for professionally pest services only? Help! Thanks very much.
By Louise B.05/12/2012
I had never heard of these ants, and so googled for info. I suggest that you do so. I think that there are quite a few do it yourself treatments to eliminate these ants. However, I do not think you should bother with cinnamon, etc. These infestations sound like a job for pesticide. You may have rotten wood problems and leaks that need to be addressed as well.
I have these little ants, so small I can hardly see them. They seem to be red in color. They are all around my house and occasionally get inside. I am using some poison, but it just seems to move them around. Any good solutions to getting rid of them altogether?
By vicki hood07/18/2012
90% karo syrup, about 10% 20 mule team borax warmed just enough to dissolve - in a squirt bottle. Squirt into cracks and areas pets cannot lick. ants may take a week for the ant workers to lap it up and carry back to home and queen. Queens live up to 20 years. You want the whole thing killed off as queen produces many more queens.
I have small red ants. They come into the house, and they bite! They do not seem to react to ant traps or ant poisons although diatomaceous earth slows them down!
By John from Midland, Ontario, Canada
I have seen others post this tried and true method. Use chalk to mark around things like water and food dishes for pets, on window sills, along the doors and under the sinks. They love water, so they come in a lot under the sinks, then you think they are behind the stove, etc.
Another idea is they hate the smell of cinnamon, so sprinkling that is a good way of keeping them away. Good lucks.
I have a raised herb bed and have got red ants invading it. I have tried numerous ant powders, etc. with no chance of being rid of them.
Please help x.
By Carolyn from Bedfordshire, UK
By Jack Stryker06/13/2010
Red ants are the only the enemy of termites. I do not run them off. But if were over run with them I would use Sevin. Sevin will them all. Sevin should be used for Jap beetles. Do not use beetle traps.
Also the cleaner 409 is good to use to ants on the patio and decks. 409 is cheap.
I am having a terrible time with ants this year. What chemicals or natural products have you used to kill them?
By Nan Corpe03/19/2011
I keep getting them in my bathroom and Terro works right away. They will come back after a while, and you will need to use it again.
What is a natural way to get rid of ants?
By Teni H.08/24/2012
In a spray bottle mix water and ammonia.
80% water and 20% ammonia.
Who has a recipe guaranteed to get rid of ants and their homes?
By carmine borelli07/11/2013
The 20 Mule Team Borax , and "Eggo" , or any Pancake , Waffle syrup , Mix 40% Borax to 60% Eggo syrup , put the sloppy mix on a piece of shiny cardboard box material , and put it anywhere you see a working Ant trail , or group , Just let them Put on The Feedbag , and go home to kill All The rest of Their relatives .
in One day No More Ants , and No Kidding it is The Answer to Brown Ants Anywhere they are .
Does vinegar kill ants?
By orbork from Deming, NM
Yes, vinegar is perfect for ants. I put 3/4 vinegar with a good splash of dish soap in a spray bottle. I used the soap because it adheres better to the ants and kills them instantly. I also like to use the vinegar because it doesn't harm my pets. win/win situation. Good luck!
How do you get rid of ants?
I have had good success after trying a tip on here, boric acid powder and jelly. I mix it together and put it on old container tops and place under cabinets in the kitchen or where ever I have seen ants. After a day or two, all ants were gone. I did this at my mom's and she and my daughter were amazed! Try it and Good Luck!
How long can grease (black house) ants live without going back to the nest?
By Emma B
Take piece of foil and put a mixture of baking soda and powder sugar (about half and half). Ants intestinal tracts are highly acidic and baking soda is a base or basic. So, as we might recall from high school chemistry, a base will neutralize an acid or vice versa. This chemical reaction, among other things, will produce a lot of gas. So the ants are attracted by the powered sugar and in the process of eating the powered sugar also eat
the baking soda, this reacts with their highly acidic intestinal tract, produces lots gas and bursts their intestines.
Any ideas on how to get rid of ant? The little red ones that are all over the yard and come into the house where ever they want to. I've tried everything and nothing seems to work. We never had them until about 10 years ago and now, as soon as the weather warms up in the spring, we fight them all summer long. I've tried traps, spray, cornmeal, bleach, on and on. It's getting really old.
I have finally gotten ride of them in the kitchen as long as it is a 'crumb-free' zone, but they are now in my dining room (carpetted). I don't use the dining room as a 'dining room' so there is no food, but I can't get rid of them. I have a cat so I am weary to use ant traps - any natural way to get rid of them. I'm becoming phobic with these pesky creatures! I have to fed the cat on a small table so the ants don't surround her food. I can't stand it anymore - any help?
How to get rid small house ants without chemicals?
By Dogmom from Chicago
Grits! They take the grits back to the nest and when eaten, it will swell in their stomachs and kill them. Good for ant beds. Pour all over the ant bed. If it is the teeny sugar ants, meal will work.
How do I get rid of big black ants? We call them army ants. I need something that will work inside and outside.
Use equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar, put in a lid-like a coffee can lid and put near the ants trails. They love sugar and will haul it back to their nests, the baking soda when digested will cause their stomach to explode. Using this rather than a poison is safe if you have pets or small children in your household.
Looking for the post about getting rid of ants using peanut butter, sugar and 1 other ingredient.
By (Guest Post)05/07/2008
What I have found that gets rid of ants in my kitchen is cinnamon.
Is there a safe home remedy to get rid of a lot of ants? It has to be safe enough for kids and pets.
By Army Brat08/15/2012
I use the powdered carpet refreshner. They hate it and it smells gr8! Sprinkle it where U see them crawling...
I need to get rid of fire ants in my yard. I have tried everything, but nothing helps. Can someone tell me what to do?
By Litter Gitter10/01/2012
I never knew what a fire ant hill looked like until a few years ago and they started showing up here and there in our county. When we found a hill in our back yard, I went to Ace Hardware or Southern States Feed store and purchased a container of Amdro. I think it was around $18.00, not cheap but well worth the price. You just sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons on the hill and they take it into the nest and it kills them. I treated the hill in our back yard about a dozen more hills in the areas where we walk and pick up litter. It quickly solved the problem with fire ants in those areas.
Our home is overcome with ants. We have children and don't want to use heavy insecticides. What can we use to get rid of them?
By happy sewer from NC
Use bay leaves on windowsills and in the corners of the threshold of doors and they will repel ants.
How can I get rid of ants?
By Faye C.
I was bombarded with ants around my fridge about two weeks ago. I took a piece of peppermint candy and set it on the floor where they were crawling around. In about three hours, the peppermint was covered with the ants. It looked disgusting. So peppermint does NOT deter them. I read here on thrifty fun once to take a lemon scented dusting spray where you see them and around the baseboards where they can be getting in. I sprayed them and the baseboards last Monday. It's been a week, and I haven't seen any more ants in the house yet. Hopefully it stays that way.
We get ants along the driveway all summer long. Any ideas how to kill them?
By Brenda from Charlotte, NC
By Louise B.04/23/2010
I use diatomaceous earth. You have to keep applying it at regular intervals, but since it is just ground up shells of diatoms, tiny sea creatures, it doesn't poison anything like children or pets or songbirds and is not harmful to the environment. The brand I have is Insectagone Ant Killer. It is NOT a poison.
How do I remove white ants with homemade methods and tips?
I've never heard of white ants. Are you sure they're not termites?
I have a wooden house here in Thailand and it is above the ground on wood posts. The ants climb up the posts and enter the house. I have put ant power around the posts, but when it rains it is all gone and in come the ants. I tried petroleum jelly and when it gets hot, it just kind of melts and runs down the posts. I put powder inside the house where I think they are entering, but they always find a way in. Anything that I can put on the posts that won"t wash away when it rains? Thanks.
By Dena Roberts07/17/2013
I don't know if you have this in your country, but here in Canada we have wide sticky tape with a gluey substance on it that we wrap around trees to stop canker worms from crawling up the trees. it is sticky on both sides, so the worms, ants, etc. can't crawl up the trees. It works when it is really hot and when it is cool, as well. Maybe you can find it on the internet.
Does anyone know how to get rid of white footed ants? Sarasota is covered with them. I have read everything there is to know about them, but as far as getting rid of them it seems to be impossible because the workers do not feed the queen ants. Any help would be appreciated. I know they are sweet eating ants and the little cans of tetro does not seem to work, I even sprayed them with diazanon, but the rain washes it away. Any suggestions?
Helene from Florida
Dave -- Just wondering what company you are with in Naples. I am having a problem with white-footed ants and a friend who is in the business advised me to find someone who would treat them with Temidor. I am in Bonita. Please let me know how to get in touch with you.
Has anyone had black, not small, ants that are very aggressive in their yard? These nasty things have made a home in my dogs' kennel. No mound, just a hole into the ground. (so not black fire ants, as they have mounds?)
They are aggressive and will swarm to me and/or my pets as soon as they come into the area, climbing onto our legs and biting! I have searched many sites to identify them, but no description seems to fit! I live in central New Mexico.
I have large red and black ants. Can anyone tell me what they are?
Are the bugs a bit furry? The red and black 'ants' could be "Cow Ants" aka "Velvet Ant". If so, they are actually wasps and carry a very powerful burning sting. Here is a link that might be helpful: