How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

Learn how to get rid of ants in the kitchen with our easy pest control tips and tricks. 

Ants crawling on celery
© Deposit Photos / shelby000

When you think of household pests, ants are at or near the top of most homeowner’s lists. When you have an ant problem, you learn to deal with new levels of frustration.

Getting rid of these ants, particularly in the kitchen, can be a massive problem. Fortunately, most ant problems can be dealt with by taking some natural steps.

Rarely is an ant problem so bad that you need to resort to anything else. Before you look at chemical options, learn how to get rid of ants in the kitchen with natural methods.

The first couple of tips are for keeping the ants out in the first place. Prevention is much easier than eradication, so keep these in mind.

If you already have an ant problem, there are tips for getting rid of them as well. Either way, the first two tips are vital once you get the ant problem under control.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen

1. Keep a Very Clean Kitchen.

The kitchen is obviously going to be ground zero when you have an ant problem. That is where all the food is!

Oddly, the biggest food problem in the kitchen is when you leave crumbs and things on the floor, counter tops or table. This gives them nice sized pieces to carry and they will quickly zone in on those hidden crumbs.

For this reason, you must sweep and wipe down your kitchen every time you eat if you have a potential ant problem.

2. Make Getting In Tougher.

Walk the perimeter of your home and think like an ant. Make yourself tiny and look for ways in. This means cracks, open spots around windows, doors that leave an opening at the top or bottom or any other opening that is big enough for an ant.

Because they are so tiny, you have to really shore up the outside of your home and seal up tight. This will give you the added benefits of a lower electric bill.

3. Treat Known Areas with Lemon Juice.

There are countless types of natural ant repellents and some are better than others. In fact, it seems that some types work on certain species better than others too. The bottom line is that you need to try everything until you find the one that works.

Some popular options are lemon juice, peppermint, spices and vinegar. Simply use these things in areas that you know they are entering or hanging out and they will avoid it. Also there is an old remedy of baby powder, but that can create quite the mess.

4. Put Pepper Around the Foundation of Your Home.

One of the most effective methods I have found is to take pepper and sprinkle it around the foundation of your home. This will keep a ton of ants away from your home as they do avoid it.

If you have outdoor pets, they might get into it a little but they will quickly learn their lessons.

5. Blow Up Their Ant Hills.

No, I am not talking about Wile E. Coyote type stuff here. When you see ant hills in your yard, the best thing you can do is take them out.

The most natural and effective method I have found is dish washing detergent. This is rather easy. Simply squeeze some into the hill where the hole is. You may have to repeat this with many ant hills around your property but every little bit will help.

6. Make a Peppermint Essential Oil Spray

Peppermint oil is a natural ant deterrent. Add 20 drops of peppermint essential oil to water in a glass spray bottle and spray the area. The scent should have ants running for the hill.

You can also put a couple drops of oil on a cotton ball and place it where the ants come into the kitchen. It should help deter them from entering the area.

Keeping ants out of the kitchen isn’t really that tough if you use a large combination of techniques and you are diligent. Once you get your home ant free, stay on top of what drew them in the first place.

Ants are smart creatures. If you make it easy, they will come. If you make it tough, they will hunt for greener pastures.

For more tips on household insect deterrents, check out my article on DIY pest control using essential oils.

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