34 answers

Ants in the Kitchen

All of a sudden I have ants in my kitchen, it is not terrible but today i found 2 on my counter. I scrubbed the place down and think they are entering from a crack in the foundation just outside my kitchen door. With small children in the house and constantly in the kitchen I really don't want to use Raid or similar smelly, poisonous sprays. Anyone have a 'natural' way of keeping ants out of the house. I am looking for something that I can use as an indoor/outdoor kitchen perimeter barrier.

thanks

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks, my husband found both products and we are using them once all the kids are in bed.

Update # 2. We sprayed the Terro around the foundation by our kitchen door where we found some cracks and then after 24 hrs we silicone sealed the cracks. I also used a white vineger and water solution to clean the floors and counters and also the cabinet where we have the garbage. It hs been 48 hrs and so far not a single ant by the kitchen door or in the kitchen....not sure what worked but i am HAPPY!!!

My 5th grader is interested in the chalk, baking soda and pepper/tobasco theories, so we have found his Science project for next year. And we are planting some mint this weekend, if nothing else we can use it for Mojito's this summer.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to give me their ideas. blessings to you all and have a safe and happy summer!

M.

Featured Answers

Hi there -
We have the same demographic - I have 9n yo boy, 5 yo girl, 3 yo b/b twins and an ant problem! I was told yesterday that sprinkling Borax around the perimeter of the house works. I also know that they do not like mint. I put mint oil on a sponge and in the mop bucket when I clean (which I will now add borax to as well. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

If they are sugar ants, and you know where they are coming in, use cinnamon or ceyanne pepper. We've always had luck with the cinnamon and it's super safe for the kids and pets.

Hi M.
Ants don't like cinammon nor do they like chalk. Line the doorway with either and they won't croos it!!
Good Luck!!

More Answers

Hi,
I'd heard that planting mint around the perimeter of the house keeps all sorts of ants away. It spreads nicely, so a neighbor should be happy to clear some out of her/his garden for you. Could also make a cayenne mixture (cayenne powder w/ water - you'd have to look up proportions) to spray either outside and/or inside. Not where your kids crawl around, though! Not toxic, but super hot/spicy. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

M.,

I can sympathize....the last two years we've been getting invaded by the little buggers as well, as soon as it starts to get warmer outside.

One thing that we've found that really works is a product called Terro Carpenter Ant and Termite Spray, which you can spray along the foundation of your house, where it meets the ground. That will cut down a lot on how many actually come into the house. Supposedly, once the spray dries it is harmles to children and pets. We have 3 dogs, who have the run of our yard, and have had no problems with the dogs while using it. It is also odor free, once it dries.

Terro also makes a plastic ant bait, which is filled with liquid for the ants to feed on. These can be placed under things on your kitchen counters, such as your microwave or dish drainers. The ants that show up on your counter will enter the bait, feed on the liquid inside, and take it back to the nest for the others to feed on. Within 3 or 4 days, the ants are gone!

If you need to treat somewhere that its impossible to keep your children or pets away from, such as in window sills, or under pet food dishes, another thing that works and is harmless to kids or pets are Bounce Dryer Sheets. Ants hate them, and will not crawl over them, not even to get to a full dish of pet food. They can also be placed between your indoor windows and storm windows, which will keep the ants from coming in the cracks in the window sills. We also fold them up and thumb tack them on the bottom of our front and back door, and have had good results with that.

I hope this information helps. Good luck with getting rid of the little pests. They drive me nuts every summmer!

D.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there -
We have the same demographic - I have 9n yo boy, 5 yo girl, 3 yo b/b twins and an ant problem! I was told yesterday that sprinkling Borax around the perimeter of the house works. I also know that they do not like mint. I put mint oil on a sponge and in the mop bucket when I clean (which I will now add borax to as well. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I use ant traps. They are small squares that you put in the corners of your kitchen. There is no smell! I also have ants stakes outside my doors. They go right into the grass so you can't even see they are there. Good Luck!

I just saw on the show "The Doctors" that you can put salt (they eat it, get thirsty and then drink themselves to death) or draw a chalk line - apparently they hate chalk.

My Mother-in-law had told me about using Boric Acid. You get it in the pharmacy section of the stores. Sprinkle some where your doorways are. I have used it by my sliding doors and it has worked.

Hello M.,
Ive been through the same problem, it seems between april to mid June, they come out and then disappear till next yr. Try the ant houses. I beleive raid has them, they are little houses with 4 entrances and are safe for kids since nothing spills out of them and the holes are to small for fingers. Here is the link. Good luck!!
http://www.killsbugsdead.com/fop_ab.asp

Wipe your floors, counters, etc.. with white vinegar.

M.,
I'm glad your problem is solved. However, if you see any more creeping around, just spray some 409 or Windex on them. They die instantly, and you can clean at the same time! Enjoy your summer.
M.

If they are sugar ants, and you know where they are coming in, use cinnamon or ceyanne pepper. We've always had luck with the cinnamon and it's super safe for the kids and pets.

try pouring garlic powder in the crack where they are. this works great.

I've heard that mint planted nearby will keep ants out. Good luck!!

M.,

It only works if you follow the directions. :) :)

Good luck!
M.

Ant Bait from Organic Farming Magazine

1. Make a 1% boric acid solution & 20% sugar solution.

In a clear jar, dissolve 1 teaspoon boric acid, and 6 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cups of water. Soak some cotton balls in this solution.

2. Make bait dispensers by using old margarine tubs and lids with holes poked in the sides.

3. Place the dispensers by the areas where you see ants.

4. Clean the containers weekly & freshen the bait once a week.

5. Be patient! Let the ants take the acid back to the nest.

6. After a few weeks, weaken the solution further for long term control. A weaker solution ensures that more ants will make it back to the nest with the acid.

Giant black carpenter ants
ghost ants
yellow pharaoh ants
red fire ants
Argentine ants

I have put Boraxo around my foundation, it's a powdered laundry detergent, it worked for me.

I don't use any herbal type remedies for this, but I do use the traps, as opposed to sprays.
Good luck.

Hi M.,
I feel you.
Each spring my kitchen gets invaded. It took me 3 years to get a good product you can use with no risk to your little ones. TERRO: The Liquid Ant Killer.
Good luck.
L..

Hi M., Same problem here... every spring. I was told to put some baking soda down. They eat it ,can't digest and die. Harmless to our children. I still see a few slip by. My husband just got something to spray outside. Have not used it yet. They don't last forever but very annoying.They do not pay rent either:-) My best, Grandma Mary

try a row of boric acid at the outside of kitchen door, of course after a rain you have to replace...as long as you don't have an animal who will lick it it should work.

sprinkle their trail with baking soda, cayenne pepper, paprika, or borax. You can also plant mint around your house. Apparantly ants detest and avoid it. Just be aware that mint can be pretty invasive!

Thankyou for your posting. I have the same problem and it helps.

Hi M.
Ants don't like cinammon nor do they like chalk. Line the doorway with either and they won't croos it!!
Good Luck!!

I have had success with red pepper.
God bless
K. --- SAHM married 38 years -- adult children

Gosh, I don't understand why so many people get freaked out by a couple insects! I do understand your concern though. I would think that filling the crack in the foundation would help. Try using some foam spray and file it down flush with the foundation. I would also check to see if you have any water pooling in the area or condensation on the foundation wall. Water attracts insects too. Check out the plantings that you have around the foundation of your house. There should be a good amount of space between the plants and your house. Plants too close to the foundation cause all kinds of problems and attract all kinds of critters to the area.

Dishwashing liquid worked for me... I just squirted some in and along their entry point into my home as well as washing down all surfaces that they had trod upon with it.

Red pepper flakes sprinkle in the area that you saw them and near any cracks or door crevices won't harm the animals or children just unpleasant from the heat of the flakes

try putting bay leaves outside where you see them. it kills them but isn't harmful to people

Hi M.,

Buy one of those empty bottles from $1 section at the store. Put vinegar and water I think half and half. spray on counter they do not like the vinegar. I would spray Raid along the trimming on the floor and this worked for me. I would spray just before you go out so you don't have to smell that. Good Luck, I hope this works. :)

If you know exactly where they are coming in, then you can douse the area (very thick layer- fill hte crack) with baby powder (cornstarch). We used it when we had a problem one night and it stopped them immediatly. Apparently the powder gets into the ants so they can't breath and stops them from coming in. We left the powder there for a week to be sure they didn't come back and we haven't had a problem since.

I have heard that ants despise oatmeal. Try sprinkling it around where you see them.
Take Care,
V.

How funny you asked this question!! My son just did a science project on "What can we use to repell ants?" However, we used mainly liquid ingredients. And the winner was tobasco sauce! However I'm sure you don't want tobasco sauce all over your home, so I would second the red pepper idea.

You can use food-grade diatomaceous earth as an organic pesticide. It's also called fossil shell flour and in a way it is like ground glass. You sprinkle it around your foundation and in problem areas. When the ants walk through it, it slices through their exoskeleton, they dehydrate and die. It is safe to use around pets and children, just be careful not to inhale too much of it when you're applying it.

You must be sure to get the food-grade kind.

Hi M.. I have heard 2 natural things that are supposed to work (I personally have never tried them but...) One is peppermint oil and the other is baking powder. I do know that peppermint oil can be pricey so maybe try the baking powder first. Good luck with the little buggers!!

M.,
Go to the store and pick up Borax(o) and sprinkle it all over your dry counters and floor, especially under the baseboards. Let it sit for a few hours then vacuum/sweep it up, everything but under the baseboards. Also if you have ants in your cabinets then put some on the floor and place a cup with some in it and leave it in the cabinet. The Borax is safe for pets and kids. I learned about this from my vet as well as the state of Connecticut when we had ants and fleas and it worked wonderful. He had me put it under the mattress and leave it there. You will see results within 24 - 48 hours. Also if you ever have a chipmunk, squirrel, etc. problem outside all you have to do is let a ferret walk or place their droppings around out there and the problem will be solved, trust me I know which is why we have 2 loving (and smelly) ferrets now. Let me know how you make out with the ants.
Hugs,
T.

HI M.,
Line coffee grounds around where you see the ants. You won't see them anymore.

Good Luck
J.

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