Simple Solutions to Help You Get Rid of Ants for Good
Kick pesky ants out of your house and back to their colony with these easy, expert-approved tricks.
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Spray a pyrethrin barrier
If you prefer to use a store-bought ant repellent, Sebring says the most effective ones on the market contain pyrethrin. “There are multiple pyrethrin products that could be listed on an ingredient label, so look for products with ingredients that end with ‘thrin,’ such as bifenthrin and cypermethrin,” he explains. Look for an indoor/outdoor ant repellent that has a spray and trigger function, so that you can create a protective repellent barrier in large areas or in tight spots. Ants aren’t your only potential concern, of course. These are the sneaky signs your home may be infested with another type of pest.
Proceed with caution outside
You don’t have to destroy every anthill you see outside your house to keep the little buggers from coming inside. Green notes that ants are scavengers and decomposers, and they actually do beneficial things like prey on other insect pests and drag them away. But if you do want to get rid of an ant mound, proceed with caution if you don’t know the species, Sebring says. A larger mound may indicate a fire-ant problem, and attempts to get rid of it could result in ants swarming out of the nest to inflict painful stings. Fire-ant attacks can be extremely dangerous and even cause anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of ants outdoors.
Attack with soap and water
Good ol’ dish soap and water packs a powerful punch when it comes to how to get rid of ants outside. Sebring says to pour one part dishwashing soap to three parts water in a bucket. Pour the mixture directly into the opening of the mound. “The water will drown the ants, while the soap will coat them so they suffocate,” he says. Here’s how to get rid of the worst garden pests naturally.
Seal up the ant mound
To stop up a mound opening, all you need is some basic Elmer’s glue. Pouring it into the opening of the nest will force the ants to go elsewhere. Just be forewarned, says Sebring, that elsewhere could be somewhere else in your yard—or somewhere closer to your home.
Agricultural diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance that eradicates insects—including ants. It’s essentially made from dead algae that contains microscopic particles with sharp and jagged edges. While it feels soft and powdery to us, it’s the opposite to ants. “The diatomaceous earth cuts the ant’s cuticle and results in desiccation,” says Sebring. For the best results, sprinkle it around the base of the mound. As ants leave the nest to cross the barrier, they will come into contact with the diatomaceous earth and eventually die. While this is a viable and expert-approved solution, you need to stop believing these 9 myths about ants.
Seal up even the tiniest spaces
Keep the ants from marching in by excluding them from all possible entryways. “Many times, ants will come up through cracks in the slab or by way of the expansion joint, so sealing those cracks will help keep them out of our living spaces. As for access points, doors and windows are common because there are often gaps and places that have lighting, joints, and cracks and crevices,” says Green. And don’t forget sealing around kitchen windows, outlets, garage expansion joints, weep holes, and any areas with moisture damage.
Call an exterminator
“Ant species identification is critical to implementing effective control measures. Finding the nest is also imperative. Both of these can be tough to do without the help of a professional,” says Sebring. If you see more ants after trying the above suggestions, it may be time to call in an exterminator to identify the species and help you get rid of those pesky ants once and for all. Look for exterminators who use an integrated pest management method, an approach to pest control that minimizes the risk to people, pets, and the environment. Next, learn 13 secrets about bed bugs, termites, and other creepy pests.