A list of natural, simple, and cost-efficient methods of stopping ants and other pests from entering homes without the use of pesticides
Home pest control: natural ways to stop ants (without pesticides!)
When warm weather comes in the spring and summer, it brings with it all the beauties of nature: blossoming trees, fresh green grass, blooming flowers in every color. Yet many homeowners know it also brings a very unwelcome guest into their home: ants. These tiny scavengers come in a seemingly endless procession, searching through pantries, over counters, into kitchen cabinets – in every conceivable nook and cranny – for food. And while a solution to keeping the pests out might seem as simple as keeping things tidy, the smallest tidbit or crumb can bring on a flood of the tiny insects.
Of course, pest control companies offer a variety of products and services to help rid your home of ants. However, there are some objections to these methods. Some people frown upon the idea of killing the tiny invaders, no matter how bothersome they may be, and desire a more humane solution. Some worry over the potential harm that pesticides may do to the environment over time as they seep through the ground into water supplies. Others simply cannot use pesticides in their homes, either because of their objectionable odor and its affect on sensitive noses or because they have young children or animals in the home and cannot have toxic chemicals on floors, windowsills, or countertops. Thankfully, there are other methods of deterring ants from one’s home that are totally natural, environmentally safe, and nontoxic.
The following natural substances are known to be repellants to ants (as well as other insects). Many are organic materials and most have only a faint smell or none at all. Simply apply them outside of the house, wherever you suspect ants are finding entry. Some common places include doors, windows, along the ground at the base of the house, and also under sinks and inside cabinets. Many people, for example, make a practice of sprinkling certain types of pepper in cabinets to prevent a variety of insects from entering.
1. Dry mustard and water, mixed into a paste
2. Red Chili powder and water, mixed into a paste
3. Salt (the regular table variety)
4. Eucalyptus leaves and whole cloves (*Essential oils of these plants may also be used, but they can be harmful to the skin and should only be applied with gloves on and never inside the home.)
5. A stick of unwrapped wintergreen or peppermint gum
6. Cinnamon powder
7. Black pepper
8. Red pepper
9. Coffee grounds (used work fine)
10. Orange peel
The following suggestions have also been known to deter ants, and sometimes kill them.
1. Orange oil or cleaning products containing it
2. A line of chalk (an old proverb, but proven)
3. Solution of dish detergent and water, sprayed at entrances
4. White vinegar, wiped over countertops and on windowsills
All of these natural methods of getting rid of ants in the home have been circulated between friends and families for generations. Most of them work because of the fact that they have strong and distasteful odors which repel insects. An inspection of your spice rack might yield other potential natural deterrents. And you may never need to buy another pesticide again.