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How to Kill Ants without Spraying Pesticides or Chemicals

Updated on August 8, 2017

When the weather warms up or gets very wet and cold ants may invade your home in search of food, water and shelter. If you have young children and pets, you may not want to resort to pesticides. You need to find out how to get rid of ants using chemical-free or natural methods. These are a few things you can try before calling the exterminator.

Inside the House

Keep your house spotlessly clean. This can be very difficult if you have small children. You may want to have strict rules about only eating at the table to limit the area where food is being dropped. Vacuum the kitchen and any other area food is eaten every day. Wipe down counter tops and tables. Keep foods that ants are attracted to in airtight containers or in the fridge. They love sugary foods and flour. Empty your trash can every day. Keep your dishwasher door tightly closed, if you have unwashed dishes inside. Spray a mixture of vinegar and water on your countertops every night. Put talcum powder in areas where ants often enter the home. You can buy botanical pest sprays, which are safe to use inside the house.

Outside the House

Leave ant traps in various locations around the outside of the house, especially in locations where ants usually enter your home. Put them in areas small children won’t likely find them, otherwise they will probably pick them up. Similar options include Grant’s Ant Stakes, which last about six weeks and Combat® Source Kill Max Gel.

You can make various mixtures with borax and then place them around the perimeter of the house to kill ants. Borax and honey is one option. Borax is a poison, so only put it where children or pets cannot reach. If ants regularly climb walls and enter through windows, you could place some on second floor windowsills.

You can put cream of wheat or cornmeal in various locations around the house. Cream of wheat and cornmeal should kill ants.

Some people put out nontoxic foods that ants like, such as sugar or honey. The idea being if they can get food outside, they have no reason to come in. Ants will enter a home for water as well as food, so it may be a good idea to put out water too. However, I've always been wary of trying this. I'm concerned that it may attract even more ants. But many people swear by this method.

Putting citrus peels, cinnamon, ground coffee or baby powder around the perimeter of the house may keep ants away. You can also spray vinegar around windows, doors and other entry points. These are dry weather solutions, since rain will wash your perimeter away.

Ant extermination is quite a challenge because ants are very resourceful. If you block one entrance to your home, they may very well find another. So, you may have to resort to calling the exterminator if nothing else works.


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