Ants in House

Updated on April 07, 2010
L.M. asks from Knoxville, TN
19 answers

Okay, I am convinced that my house is built on a giant ant hill. I have ants coming up my kitchen drain and into my dishwasher. The same problem happened last year and now they are back for the season. Since they are in the kitchen and in my dishwasher, I really do not want to use any type of toxic spray. Does anyone have any natural solutions to my problem?

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So What Happened?

Wow, thanks for all the solutions. So far, I have tried the cinnamon and they walked past it like it was not there. Just put out the Terro gel next to the kitchen sink and pulled the foot plate off the dishwasher and put some under it. Hopefully, I have all the ant bases covered. I hate using toxic stuff in the kitchen, but they had found the cat's food and were everywhere this morning. They are really getting out of hand. Luckily, my daughters are old enough not to mess with it.

I am almost afraid to say that they are gone - just may jink them. After 3 days of having the Terro gel out, the ants seem to have stopped coming in. I am going to leave it out a few more days just to make sure. This stuff really worked. Thanks for all the advice.

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answers from Kansas City on

You know what I use? ...used coffee grounds. Every day, after the coffee is done... I take the grounds and spread them. The ants will not cross them. Therre are a few holes in this plan. A.) You have to be a coffee drinker and 2.) You have to know where to put them :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Goldsboro on

You could use Amdro outside. You sprinkle it all over and the ants eat it and they die usually within 24. I think Amdro is the name of what I'm thinking of. You could use Terro ant killer for the inside. It's a liquid that stays in it's package. They come to it like bees to honey. They take it back to their home and they die. There are no fumes of any kind or anything. It works great. I use it too!! I hope this helps. Good luck!! J. A.

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answers from Tampa on

You are going to have to treat the entire house perimeter and fill any and all cracks/openings - check doors/windows, even where the flooring meets the walls and treat/seal those. As for your drains and dishwasher - do Baking Soda & Vinegar - that might help some
But you are going to have to do the entire exterior of the house, if you have flower beds/mulch treat those as well

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answers from Sacramento on

What worked for me was a solution of sugar , water, and boric acid. Boil the ingredients together to dissolve the sugar. Then put it in small containers near where they are getting in--I used small plastic lids. However, since boric acid is poisonous be sure to place it where pets and kids can't get to it. I ended up putting mine inside a kitchen cabinet near the ants' entry point. The ants are attracted to the sugar, climb into the lid, and never make it out. I don't remember the exact amounts of the various ingredients, but if you do an internet search, you will find it.



answers from Philadelphia on

they sell something at Whole foods and ace hardware called Orange Guard. It's safe to use around food, kids and pets, and actually smells nice too! works great!!!



answers from Charlotte on

I had ants coming into to my dishwasher last year. Called exterminator and got them to spray up under my house and around foundation. I have small children and do not use any toxic sprays in house. Peppermint oil or mint oil is a safe natural ant killer. They also do not like mint mouth wash. after the exterminator sprayed in a day my ants were gone. good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Depending on what kind of ants they are, I would try cinnamon (pure). I have used this for years for the kind I get and it works and "kid friendly" I just sprinkle it (heavily) over the areas they are getting in a leave it overnight for a week. Works for me and might work for you :)

Good luck!



answers from Louisville on

Terro is the most effective ant solution we've ever used. (Granted, we've never hired an exterminator, but we've never had to go that far, either). When you use Terro, you only put small drops of poison in the busiest ant traffic areas (preferably as close to their entrance to your home as possible). They eat it and take it back to the colony, and it wipes them out.

We've got kids and pets, so we don't like the idea of a more intrusive pest control. Usually, our problem is resolved quickly (except for last year when we had difficulty finding the source of the invasion).

Also, treating your yard for pests can help eliminate problems in the house. The years we've done that, we've seen a huge decrease in everything from spiders to ants. (Incidentally, we never got around to it last year, which was one of our worst bug years in awhile!)

Good luck!



answers from Charlotte on

Yep, you live in the South so ants are abundant here. First you have to find out what type of ants they are. If they are carpenter ants, you will have to find the source outside, usually a tree. I would spend the money on a pest control expert. Most OTC sprays only last a few days and the ants are back. Not to mention using these sprays around the kitchen is never a good idea. Good luck to you!!



answers from Wheeling on

I didn't read your responses, but here's a tip I'd saved from the internet:
Ant Control:
Spread some ground cinnamon where you think the ants are coming in to the house.
Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. To deter ants, use catnip. Sprinkle it in their paths.
Make a mixture of 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 2-3 Tablespoons dish soap. Spray where the ants are marching.

Terro is also a valid remedy. It's simply boric acid in syrup (which you can make yourself or buy. At least I assume it's still available to purchase. Haven't needed any for a few years, thankfully!) They carry it back to their nest and feed the whole troup and the whole nest/anthill inhabitants are killed.



answers from Wilmington on

Google "natural ant repellents" and you'll find all kinds of suggestions... cinnamon, talcum powder, vinegar, cornmeal, etc.
Good luck!



answers from Charleston on

we had to actually go outside and find the nest which took a lot of searching but we did find it under a huge rock. My husband poured gas on it and lit it and burned them up and our ant problem has practically gone away. When He flipped over that rock thousands scattered everywhere so we knew we found the nest its unmistakable when you find it. Good luck



answers from Honolulu on

Terro Ant Baits work well. For all kinds of ants.

Here is the link:

You can find it at any garden store, or Home Depot too.

I would suggest using it for indoors, and outdoors (using the outdoor stakes) at the same time.

Ants like moisture areas... and food areas.

good luck,


answers from Dallas on

Are they tiny little ants? I was wiping mine away with vinegar but gave up and called the natural pest control man. He said that was the wrong thing to do because they lose their trail and spread out. He said leave them alone so that he could watch and figure out where they were coming from and then he put out some ant gel on their path. He said don't touch it for several days. The ants came in a neat little line and fed on the stuff. A lot of ants came! but I didn't touch it or wipe them away. I used the other counter and just didn't cook for a day or two. The idea is that they take this back to the nest and it poisons them. By golly it worked. The ants fed like crazy and then disappeared.

Stop trying to wipe them away yourself and call a natural pest control service. They won't be totally natural on everything, but this stuff is okay. He put it right on the kitchen counter.


answers from Lexington on

Weekly or more often if necessary, sprinkle baking soda down your sink drain followed by vinegar and put one of those little screen things in the drain, this can help keep them out of your sink as well as capture particles of food from going down your drain for them to get to. I know ants (and other insects) hate Borax as well so you might sprinkle that around the perimeter of your home. As for you dishwasher maybe an empty, vinegar wash cycle will help keep them out. The acidity is unappealing to the ants who are in search of either food or water. Make sure your drains and filters are clean in both the sink and DW. If you have any ant mounds or "crater holes" created by in ants in your yard, make a circle of grits around it. They will take the grits down to the queen and she will eat it, swell up and die. The colony will either die as well or move away. Works with fireants too.



answers from New York on

I have ants, too. It seems that this time of the year they want in! We have had a lot of rain and snow this year so maybe that has something to do with it...I am not sure. But, I do have ant baits on my grocery list. I put them in the corner of my rooms...I try to find the "safest" ones. Some of them are apparently safe around animals...I hope. Good luck...I step on them (sorry) one of my daughters brings them outside to be saved, I think that she is finding it difficult to catch them all without running outside every 5 minutes...yuck...maybe it is not PC but yuck!



answers from Raleigh on

I don't have a natural solution, but we have a house at the beach and we get bombarded with ants every year. We use the little ant bait systems that you can buy at the grocery store. I don't know the brand name but they are black, octagon shaped about 2inches across. The ants take the bait back to their hill and it kills them. This stuff is great! Just put out a couple in the infested areas and in about a day they will just disappear. Good luck!


answers from Fresno on

L., the same thing happened to us about 2 months ago! They were everywhere, and I mean everywhere. My kids' closets, the shower, my entry hall - we'd vacuum them up and they'd reappear somewhere else.

I was so fed up that I called a pest control company to see what could be done. He came by the house and explained that they spray some kind of thing (he compared it to a virus, maybe it was a fungus or something) that only kills ants (not children, pets, etc). He sprayed a thin layer of it just around the side of our house where they seemed to be coming from. I guess the ants track it back to their ant hill and they all die - it took about 3-4 days for them to stop coming into the house, and we haven't seen a single one since. He did not need to spray inside our house or in the back yard where the kids play. (Even though the stuff is not supposed to affect humans, I still didn't want it to be where the kids could get into it - you just never know.)

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