32 answers

Ants in Our House!

Help! We just discovered we have ants in our house and we are looking for a safe way to get rid of them. So far they are mostly by our sliding glass door that leads to our deck. The surface inside is hardwood flooring. We have a baby that crawls everywhere, so I am not sure if it's possible to spray anything on the floor because she would crawl right on it.
Any ideas?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for all of the great ideas. We are going to try cornmeal to start with and then move on from there. Many of you suggested finding the ant trail. I can't seem to do that. They seem to be coming in from the outside wall by our deck, but I am not sure. The deck is off the second floor. Our dishwasher is right there, and they are around that area on the floor. Our house is only 6 months old, so the sealing should be fine around our slider. Any suggestions on how to find the ant trail?

Featured Answers

Peppermint Essential Oil!! You can get at most health food stores or in the health food section of Fred Meyers). I just put a few drops on my sils or blocking the paths they are taking into the house. Ants hate it, it is safe for kids, it works for me every time I have a problem.

I also like using Peppermint Castile soap to wash my floors (I use Dr. Bronners Brand, also found in the health food section) and it keeps the bugs away, smells great and is safer for kids than any other floor cleaner.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

I googled and found this interesting website:

http://www.grinningplanet.com/2004/04-27/ant-control-ant-...

I hope this helps L..

~Kate
‹(•¿•)›

1 mom found this helpful

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Peppermint Essential Oil!! You can get at most health food stores or in the health food section of Fred Meyers). I just put a few drops on my sils or blocking the paths they are taking into the house. Ants hate it, it is safe for kids, it works for me every time I have a problem.

I also like using Peppermint Castile soap to wash my floors (I use Dr. Bronners Brand, also found in the health food section) and it keeps the bugs away, smells great and is safer for kids than any other floor cleaner.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

Ants are drawn to moisture - you need to check out whether your sliding door has a good seal around it or if water is seeping in. If there is water in the wood around the door, you have other problems that need to be fixed besides the ants. The ants are a symptom, not the actual problem (in terms of damage to your house). Good luck!

We had ants in our basement and had to do lots of sealing to get rid of them. We also did a one-year contract with Terminix so that supply lines and nests would be cut off, that's something to consider too.

2 moms found this helpful

Buy a large container of Cayenne Pepper and make a line of it outside your sliding door. The ants will not cross it. This will give you time to get to the root of why they are living near your door and take care of that without having anything dangerous in your house.

2 moms found this helpful

I read somewhere that ants can be controlled by sprinkling cornmeal where they congregate. The ants see the cornmeal as food and take it to their nest. Unfortunately for the ants, they can't digest cornmeal and it kills them.
This is something absolutely safe to try. It won't hurt anyone bigger than an ant. If it doesn't work, the worst problem will be sweeping up cornmeal.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,
Ceyanne pepper all the way around the house. Just go buy yourself one of those large cans and sprinkle it around the house(right up close) if the cornmeal doesn't do it. If they are those giant ants, they only last for a couple of weeks. They like to come into the house at night when your lights are on. If that's the kind you're talking about just get rid of each one one at a time. Next time I'm also going to try the cornmeal. Sounds like a good plan.

1 mom found this helpful

We had been having the same problem for almost the whole year. My husband was at the local Fred Meyer's buying ant traps when a man wearing a uniform indicating that he was a bug exterminator stepped in line behind him. The man told my husband, seeing that he was dealing with ants, that the best thing is to spray 'Off' or another brand of mosquito repellant around the house inside and out (around the baseboards inside) or anywhere that we did not want ants. He says they don't like the repellant and it's 100% non-toxic and safe for kids and pets. We put it on our skin after all an that goes into our blood stream without any side affects.

We tried it in our pantry and they have been gone since we sprayed.

Good luck,
C.

1 mom found this helpful

L.,
We use Hot Shot MaxAttrax Ant Bait. (they are black bait stations) I hide them in places that even our rabbit can't get into. It kills the queen and destroys the colony. I have seen it in action. It works.
You can get it at Lowe's.
I'm against chemicals especially around small children and pets. I always try to find an alternative. I never use sprays or the exterminator.
An alternative to the bait would be powder borax. Ants don't like it and they go away, but they don't die. The traps are the best.

Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Never spray bug killer in the house. There is actually a combination of indoor chemicals that can cause leukemia. (I forgot what they were). Pesticides are one of the combination. The naturopathic community is aware of this but MDs are not.

You can put out ant traps - the kind where they take the food and bring it back to the nest. they can be put outside near the sliding door. Ants, fortunately, arent' that dirty, so I would be more concerned with the chemicals than with the ants with Baby.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
What kinds of ants. Are they just the little sugar ants or are they the carpenter ants? If they are the little sugar ants, a product called terro works really well, but you need to keep them away from the kids. I have had a hard time with them and this works. If they are carpenter ants you should get a bug person out. These ants are wood destroying organisms and will hurt your home... Good luck. I hate them too. They are annoying..

1 mom found this helpful

I googled and found this interesting website:

http://www.grinningplanet.com/2004/04-27/ant-control-ant-...

I hope this helps L..

~Kate
‹(•¿•)›

1 mom found this helpful

We use Terro. It's this liquid stuff that you put on a piece of cardboard and they eat it and take it back to the colony and tries to kill the queen. It takes care them for a week or so, then sometimes they come back. It's a constant battle. We have been battling with them for months....uugghhh. Anyway - with Terro..it's main ingredient is Boric Acid and I have been told that it is not toxic. I have a 2 year old and if he were to ingest it - it won't do anything to him.

I have also been told, that they don't like windex. And Amonia kills them right off the bat. I want to say honey and vinegar mixed together....I think that was it. Good luck with the great battle against the stupid, stupid, stupid sugar ants.....

1 mom found this helpful

Try Alpha Ecological. Once is spray is dry it is safe for kids to touch etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Vinegar works well. you just put it where you have been seeing the ants. Maybe do it at night for a few nights in a row? That way she won't get into it?

1 mom found this helpful

cornmeal, in small little piles (I put it in the top of a pop bottle lid & place outside, the ants will eat the cornmeal or bring it back to the nest? but then it swells and they die.
works great.
H.

1 mom found this helpful

I moved back into my mom's in Salem, 2 years ago. I swear that Salem and Keizer were built on the largest ant colony known to man. DO NOT USE ANY KIND OF POISONOUS SPRAYS...they will leave a residue and the fumes will linger in the air.

I know this sounds crazy but BABY POWDER is your answer. Safe for children and pets and an enemy to the ants. My mom had the WORST ant problem I had ever seen, when I moved back home. I sprinkled baby powder all around the foundation of the outside of her house and WALLAH!!! No more ants. You can even use it inside the house on the floor and counters. You will want to sweep the area before baby crawls there again though due to the possibilty of dead ants being in the powder. We have seen maybe 6 ants in the house in last 2 years.

1 mom found this helpful

We had a few ants in our newly remodeled bathroom. Apparently ants like moisture and we have lots of moisture in our bathroom (no windows).
We have two small children and I had the same concern with the safety. We purchased Ortho Home Defense Max...kills bugs inside and out all year and it's only about five dollars. It says once it had dried it's safe for animals and children. We only had to use it once. We are happy with the product. Give it a try.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

two easy and non-toxic ant killers are diatomaceous earth (the same thing chalk is only in powdered form available at plant nurseries) and Boric acid sold as boric acid or under the soap brand Boraxo. Both of these things won't hurt you or the kids. You don't want to inhale them though, so where a dust mask when putting them down. Just put them on the ant trail and the ants will get them on their exoskeleton and dessicate. It may take a little longer than toxic ant killers, but less toxic to the humans. I would use whatever you end up using inside the house on the trails and outside around where they are getting into the house. Good luck! A.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.. Ants hate Lemons. Cut lemons in slices and throw it where you dont want them.

1 mom found this helpful

I recently had ants for the 1st time in my apartment, they were crawling out a crack in the wallboard at the kitchen sink, little black ants. I bought some Raid Ant and Roach Killer, the country floral scented one. It kills the ants on contact and leaves a nice smell that doesn't linger long. The one good thing about this spray is that wherever you spray it, it keeps working for 4 weeks.

I used it the first day and it killed the ants on contact as the can said. Then the 2nd day I think the 1st group of ants notified their "ant buddies" of a possible party, so I used the spray on them too and they too were killed on contact. This was about a month ago and they have not been back since. So now I have a full can of this spray waiting for any other ant they may want to come around. So far, no takers. Hahahaha.

But seriously, the stuff works. I bought it at Kmart for $5.99. Great product.

Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey L.-
We had a horrible ant problem in our old house too. I would google what type of ants they are because what kills one kind of ant will only make another multiply (we learned that the hard way)or will make the ant aggressive. We had the odorous house ant in our home and the cornmeal idea did not seem to work,(just made them come out of the woodwork! There were so many!) nor did the cayenne and vinegar thing. We finally just gave up and moved out. So please let me know if you have these ants what kills the little buggers! Thanks and Good luck...

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had ants allover her yard and in her house, especially the kitchen (whichshe keeps very clean) and her bathroom.
She put bay leaves under her counters and onthe floor near her mop boards andit helped alittle bit...but she still had them. Someone gave her these stakes that you put around your house....I think they got themat Lowe's...they reallywork. All the ants are gone in her yard andherhouse. I thik they were just called "Ant Stakes." You poundthem into theground...but they do the job without you having to put anything in your house. You might want to look into them. L.

I've heard that you're supposed to spray a half vinegar/half water solution where you experience the problem, but haven't had to try it myself yet. Good luck!

Ir ead in better homes and gardens that chalk around your doors and windows help keep them away as well. They dont like the chalk for some reason.

Try following the ant trail back to its source and deal with the problem there, otherwise they will just keep coming back.

Hello L.,

I remember those days all to well .. I heard that cinnamon works but sprinkle that on the outside of your doors on a non rainy day.. other than that try borax and water on the anthill or try those ant traps outside as well as behind furniture where the baby can't get to them.
Good luck
A.

I just bought a couple of ant killers that you stick in the ground outside your house where they are entering. We have the same problem, but I haven't used the ant traps just yet as it always seems to be raining since I bought them. ;-)They are stakes that go in the ground and you can buy them at Lowes.

Believe it or not the Off insect repellant that you use for mosquitoes actually works for ants. We found this out from a guy who works for a pest removal company and he uses it at home. Just spray it along the edges of cabinets or walls to block all entrance points, wipe off the excess but leave a little residue in the cracks so the smell will stay. Works really good, and since you are supposed to put it on your skin its not bad for around kids like the regular ant sprays. We had a what seemed a whole nest of them in our garbage can, nothing worked, the ant traps were walked around, spraying in the can had a temporary effect, and now no matter what is in it, they are nowhere to be found.

Clove oil works wonders - they won't cross that line of smeared oil (available at health food stores and Market of Choice). If they are entering through doorways and electrical outlets and the like, you can smear a perimeter line around that space, or if they keep getting into a plant or the dog dish, you can smear a line around that too.

Good Luck!

-Sarah

I don't know what its called but there is this stuff that comes in a granule and the ants grab it and take it back to their nest and it poisons the whole nest. Check out your local feed store.
You can put this stuff out for a few hours and then sweep it up, along with a bunch of dead ants. You will need to keep the baby away for that period of time, but then you won't have to worry about ants in your house anymore.
Don't use any sprays inside your house!

Hello. My name is J.. I have an ant problem here at my house and I used to have one at my old job. I use cornmeal, I just leave a few pinches by where the ants are, then they take it to the hill and can't digest it. It seems to work for me maybe it will work for you too.

We personally love the terro ant traps that contains the liquid within and is in a see through container...you could probably put it on the outside of the door so there is less risk to your child...but for indoors...white Vinegar or cinnamin disrupts the trail and finding the source of the entrance and caulking it may help... good luck!

In addition to the other suggestions, a temporary fix is to try to find the ant path outside the house, all the way to the door or window or crack in the siding where they are entering, and spray the whole area (outside) with something like Raid ant spray.

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