ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How do you get rid of ants? Don't feed them, of course. Keep cupboards and floors clean. Keep the crumbs off the counter tops and the carpets.
By ardis barnes (04/29/2005)
Boric Acid gets rid of ants, just get it at the drug store also chalk, just draw a line of chalk across a door way or cupboard and ants won't cross it. (04/29/2005)
We use this thing called magic chalk, You find where they're comeing out of IE a light fixture and you draw a circle around the outlet and any ant that crosses dies. and it works for weeks. (04/29/2005)
I've heard if you sprinkle corn meal where they walk they'll eat it. The cornmeal swells up and kills them. Could be an old wives tale just not sure. (04/29/2005)
By Carol Tewksbury
Cayenne Pepper works better than pesticides. Bonus is that it is non poisonous and if kids or pets get a hold of it it burns but won't make them sick! (04/29/2005)
Plant mint alongside your house, where you think they might be coming in. Ants don't like mint!
We had them really bad, in our bathroom. We put out Raid Ant Bait stations, and planted mint, too! As a bonus...mint leaves are wonderful in summer iced tea!
Upshot of all this. No ants! (05/11/2005)
I had an ant problem indoors and found that the 20 mule team Borax is a great way to get rid of them without poisoning your family.
Also, ants hate cinnamon. If you want to get rid of ants just sprinkle cinnamon around and you get rid of ants and you get a nice scent too.
By Noelia Gutierrez (07/12/2005)
We had great success using Orange Glow wood polish and cleaner. We haven't seen an ant in months after clearing all cupboards and spraying them with Orange Glow. Leave the cupboards open over night because the scent is very strong. (07/13/2005)
By Kay Alina.
My dear Grandmother always put rinsed egg shells in her cabinets - seemed to do the trick. Her daughter, my 88-year-old aunt still uses this method. (08/13/2005)
If you have a problem with ants and don't want to use anything toxic--they hate anything spicy. Just sprinkle cinnamon, black pepper, or cayenne pepper around in the vicinity.
By Terri (08/19/2005)
Also, ants hate cinnamon. If you want to get rid of ants just sprinkle cinnamon around and you get rid of ants and you get a nice scent too.
What kind of cinnamon? Ground? Of all the things we have, we have ants. I keep a clean house, not immaculate, as I have 2 small children, but I have clean sinks every night, wipe down counters, vacuum, and keep laundry up, beds made, but I see ants everywhere. We have Orkin every other month, but I think that he does not do a very good job. He doesn't even spray in cupboards or closets or behind my couch. (that is another issue) but I have a lot of ants. If I sprinkle either 20 Mule team borax or cinnamon, do I vacuum that up or do I leave it or what? I am fortunate I don't have a menagerie of pests as I live in the humid south, but the ants drive me nuts.
Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I once read on Thriftyfun to put powder out for ants. I had a problem with them coming in the sliding glass doors and getting into the birdcage. I put powder (shower to shower & cheap store brands) in the door runner and on the deck beneath the door.The ants disappeared for about two days & I found a trail again leading to the Ultility door about five foot from the glass doors. I put Powder inside and outside that door and the ants never came back until I decided to clean all the powder up and back they came. So now I have to keep powder down all the time, but it keeps them out. I watched them and they try to shake the powder off when they get it on them.
For Fire Ants I found the best thing to use is Amdro, which you can get most anywhere Home Depot, Walmart, etc. You don't have to wet it and they will disappear. It is in a white plastic rectangle bottle, with a black label. I don't have any other kind of ants so don't know if these remedies work on the large black ants. I have used the one that you have to stand there and wet it, and after a while they return or come back in another area. (08/21/2005)
Pour salt as a border where you do not want ants to go. Ants will not walk through salt.
By Rena Henley (10/05/2005)
Bay Leaves! Leave them on the counter, window sill, or wherever they are coming in! It worked for us! (10/06/2005)
By Lori From Iowa
I've heard that if you rub a cut cucumber on the spot where the ants came inside your home, they won't come back in. I don't know if it works, but good luck! (10/06/2005)
You can follow Mike McGrath's instructions to create a weak boric acid sugar water. The key is that when you put out the sugar water, DO NOT KILL ANY ANTS. They have to take the sugar water back to the nest, where it will kill everyone else, including the queen. I've done this and we've been carpenter ant free since the spring. Be warned: once you do it, you will briefly see MORE ants, but after about a week or so, they will slowly taper off and then you won't see any.
The link: http://www.whyy.org/91FM/ybyg/boricacid.html (10/06/2005)
By Kathy K.
Using boric acid with an attractant like sugar water or canned cat food is always a decent thing to try, but for Pete's Sake don't use it inside the house. This will only cause you to see more of them, so always use the attractive materials outside your home adjacent to those rooms. You can usually find them outside those rooms if you look long enough. Good luck. (10/15/2005)
By Brian W.
Equal parts of icing sugar and baking soda. Place in a flat dish so the ants can crawl into the mixture. The mixture must stay dry so if it rains you will have to make more. Don't forget to mix it. (03/28/2007)
It dont matter how clean you keep your house, cause I think my house is spot-less! :0) And we get ants in the house... fire ants, they get in our closets and eat on our clothes. We made up this fire ant killer recipe and it has worked great for us..
1 Bottle of Orthene ant killer
1 5lb pkg cornmeal
1 5 lb bag sugar
5 pkg cheap strawberry or cherry jello
mix this all up in a 5 gallon bucket. Put in smaller containers (we use our empty coffee creamer containers). use this outside on the mounds. And we sprinkle it around our house.
We have seen a mound of ants gone in half a day, the cornmeal and sugar get coated with the orthene and the ants take the granuals down to the queen.
Hope this helps! :0)
Editor's Note: Because this contains poison, make sure to keep this out of the reach of children or pets. (03/28/2007)
What KIND of ant? The real, REAL slow but bright solid red-orange ant is perfectly harmless. Large ants with black parts may be either Carpenter Ants, which take 3 yr. to get rid of, or Pharoah ants which follow around after termites to eat the sugary cellulose the termites leave after chomping. Then there's the tiny black sugar ants which just irritate, but don't cause much harm. However, if it's the notorious FIRE ant, Amdro gets the queen and doesn't take much to do the job. Boric acid will kill ants but not the queen, I understand.
Good ants perform a good function of cleaning up the earth after another insect dies, and don't need killing. Fire ants sting and hurt, so I don't allow them on my property, although I am organic and hate to use the
Amdro, which I have not had to use but once every four or five years in a very few places. God bless you. : ) (03/28/2007)
Ants are bothered by the smell of peppermint and will avoid it. I mix up a batch of water with peppermint essence oil, put it in a spray bottle and spray areas that the ants frequent. In the spring when the ants are particularly bad, I often spray down kitchen countertops, walls, and around windows and doors. I have tried many treatments and this is by far the most effective on the ants in our area. (03/29/2007)
I use combat baits where curious/ nosy doggies cannot get into. It has to do with spring rain not
with how clean you are. Somethings you cannot avoid but treat and they leave. Grants Ant Stakes I
place one on each side of patio and they leave or die. those little annoying carpenter ants that run in
circles or crazy. (03/29/2007)
I get a bad case of them every summer for about a month. What I do is put a thin line of talcum power mixed with chili powder along the edges of where ants might get in. Does the trick every time! (04/01/2007)
We use a product called Terro. It is a gel substance in a small bottle. You can find it at any discount store or hardware store. You put a small piece of cardboard down and squirt a little Terro on it. In a few days, your ant problem will disappear. (04/05/2007)
Borax will rid your house of ants, spiders and cockroaches...however, I don't use it because we have indoor pets.
What works best in my situation is a line of ground cinnamon or black pepper where-ever ants enter. It has never failed me.
When the weather first starts to get warm here, we see one or two waterbugs make their way into the mud room from the back deck. We set a dish of fresh cucumber peels by that door, and that's the end of them. (04/06/2007)
I haven't problems with inside ants, but have alot of mounds on the outside. I was told to use used coffee grounds (after you made a pot of coffee) and pour on the mounds. It works for me. I have never had to go buy anything else. The ants eventually move to a new spot. I just pour more coffee grounds on the new spot. But it does work. Give it a try. (04/07/2007)
I've tried everything to get rid of ants. Finally in desperation i poured cheap lemon dish detergent on the ones that i could see. It was a dollar a bottle and killed them immediately. I had them in my kitchen so it was important to me to have something safe. Maybe you could try pouring it into the ant hills. (04/17/2007)
We had a problem with ants in our garden last year eating our plants and a friend of mine said to put aspartame all around the garden and in between the rows he also said to mix a little in a spray bottle with some water and spray the plants. I did that and no more ants, it worked great! The aspartame is poison to the ants but they like it cause it's sweet, they bring it to the queen to eat, then she dies and no more ants. The man who told me about this had a huge fire ant mound in his backyard he poured a diet coke down into the hill and he hasn't had a problem with ants since. Hope this info helps. (04/17/2007)
Terro Ant Killer works! The ants take it back to their colonies to eat and it then kills them all. You can buy it at most stores. I bought it at Walgreens. (11/03/2007)
FYI: Terro does work great but it also now comes in a very convenient container. You just put it in your cupboards. No more mess or having to put it on cardboard. (12/05/2007)
I tried sprinkling ground nutmeg around baseboards, the stove etc. and while the ants hated it, the brown powder really looked bad. Today I bought a few 1 oz. bottles of cinnamon extract from the supermarket, poured them into a small spray bottle and sprayed around a bit. (I probably could have stretched it out with some grain alcohol, but I'm not giving them my good vodka!) They absolutely hated it and ran out from their hiding places. I sprayed around my food prep area a bit, and the place surely smells wonderful, but will they actually leave, or are traps required in addition? Some bugs just don't know when the party's over! (05/15/2008)
By Jayne Marzinsky
Share a TipCheck out these tips or, if you have something to add to this page, click to share your own tip!
I found this online doing a search. I tried it, and it worked fast and easily. I took cornmeal and poured a bit of it near the door where the ants were coming into the house. Within 2 days, they were all gone. I didn't have to worry about my nosy dogs getting into something poisonous.
By KatherineC from Reno, NV
Ten years of professional extermination: Don't waste your money on ANYTHING at popular retail stores, it's not what works. Those cool looking traps are for you, not the ants. Find a store that specializes in pest control. You don't need a license to buy what I am about to tell you.
The thousands of ants you see everywhere are looking for something they can take back to the queen ant, like an award. They can't take traps or spray. You need to purchase (and in the long run you will come out ahead) granules. I know, it's not exciting and it seems like a waste, but they can carry granules and they will. Just carrying it will kill the worker but slowly, and they will get it to the nest and eventually it will get to the queen and kill her. Eventually, they will disappear as quickly as they showed up.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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.
Try a product called Terro. You can buy it in a hardware store. It comes in a little bottle and has the consistantcy of fingernail polish. Put a drop on a small piece of cardboard and put it where the ants are. They will carry it back to their nest,and it kills them all. It usually takes about a week to get rid of them.
Hi there! I use ammonia diluted in water in a spray bottle to get rid of ants. (1 part ammonia to 3 parts water). I spray the ants and trace the source of trails and spray that area for a week. i also keep a food-debris-free house. Hope this helps!
I would pour boiling water on the red ant hill, be careful not to fall with the pot of boiling water.
Also, I tried raw grits. I would pour about a cup or so on top of the hill. Supposedly they eat the grits & explode. I don't know if that's what happenes, but it works.
Both of these ideas are safe for the environment.
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
Sprinkle cinnamon around where you have the ants... not harmful although a bit messy. I did this yesterday. There are NO ants in my cupboard this morning, I have heard that uncooked polenta also works. They can't ingest it and they take it back to their nest and die.
I have had a lot of those this year too! The only thing I have found to help is to keep everything completely free of any kind of food. I wipe off everything really well with hot soapy water & they don't seem to like that. I tried cinnamon, vinegar, sweet & low & all the things that usually work to no avail this year. It's a pain to do but is the only thing I've had work on these this year.
I have had a lot of success useing vinegar and Tea Tree Oil in my mop water. I put about 1/2 cup of vinegar and a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil in a bucket of water to mop with and if I use my steam mop I have the same solution in a spray bottle and spray the floor as I go over it with the steam mop. I have really been pleased with the success of this since I have in the past been at war with ants.
I found the only thing that really helped keep them out of my cabinets was cayenne pepper. I put some on a tissue or piece of paper & put it in my cabinets. It really worked. I had tried sprays, and several other things and the ants were right back. I could never tell where they were coming in from, but after I put the Pepper where they had been, they didn't come back. We had a terrible time with them coming in all directions before. Guess the ants do NOT like cayenne pepper. Ha Ha
Mrs Pat. in GA
Who has a recipe guaranteed to get rid of ants and their homes?
Sprinkle baby powder along baseboards and across door entrances. They will not cross over. I stopped them from coming into the kitchen by sprinkling a bit of powder across the doorway into the kitchen.
Ants also won't cross a line of salt. For anthills outside, a relatively safe method is to pour large amounts of boiling water on the hill.
I have ants on my front and back porches. I have sprayed ant killer that I bought at Wal-Mart but the ants keep coming back. Please help.
I ask a professional how to get rid of ants and they told me to buy" TERRO" and use as directed and this works !! I live in the mountain area and have had ants ever summer til now .You can buy this at a local hardware store, Home Depot or Lowe's . Good luck have a nice day !
I read on another board to use pennyroyal, that ants won't cross it. The poster said she put it on the door frames to keep ants out.
I had a terrible problem in my bathroom, and I bought some cheap ant baits (TAT brand, either at Dollar General or Family Dollar) to put out where they were coming in. Within a couple of weeks I saw no more ants. I normally don't kill bugs, but these things were getting into the tub with us, so I didn't have much choice since nothing else I did worked (barriers, sprays, etc).
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?
Mix 1 Tbsp. hot water, 1 Tbsp. honey, and 1/2 tsp of borax. I mixed mine in a jar. Dip a cotton ball in the mix, and place on a lid-I cut the bottom of a yogurt cup. Place in problem areas, if you have a terrible ant problem place at entry points, as well. I got rid of ants in 24 hours, and have not seen another one in over two months.
Another thing I read said to sprinkle cornmeal near ant hills; the ants will take it back and they can't digest it, and die.
*Be aware Borax is poisonous to humans and animals* I looked it up once, and the amount you use in the above mixture should not harm a medium to large dog.
I have a post in tips that we just started using and works! I think its in last week's tip contest. I read an article at my Dr. office went home tried it. Amazed! Now my BF daughter is using it also and no more problems.
Chalk, yes any kind ,color of chalk. Just draw a line around window sills,doors where ever they are getting in. They will not cross over the chalk line. If you have pets you can draw a line around the bowl, they won't cross over it.
A ThriftyFun member put feedback, I learned it is the way ants breath. The powder can't be tolerated. With chalk no harmful toxins left behind and how easy to just redraw a line if needed. Good luck and try this, works well.
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.
How do you get rid of ants?
I have tried instant grits, just sprinkle on the bed and just walk away the ants will eat the grits and before long, no more ants. It really works.
I get ants in the house every spring. I use an milk jug lid or something similar put about 1 tsp of sugar, 2 tsp of borax and a little water. Set it down in a hidden area where you have seen the ants. They are attracted to the smell of sugar water and suck it up. They can't digest borax, so they die. Works for me.
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 can I get rid of ants coming in the house?
By Sharon R
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.
Every year the ants start coming into my home all spring amd summer, how do I get rid of them?
By Lorraine S
We had ants in an old apartment of ours & read that spraying them & their trails with soap would keep them down & it did work.