Ants are considered the most harmless insects of all that live next door to humans. Only some species can cause serious damage to wooden coatings: windows, walls and furniture. However, seeing arthropods in your own home is not so pleasant. Moreover, when certain individuals are unexpectedly found on food, for example, when they are in sugar. Let’s figure out how to get rid of the ants.
This will be the most comprehensive resource on getting rid of ants the natural way. If you’re into professional treatments for ants, take a look here.
Study the enemy
Ants are social insects that create anthills for their communities. In one colony of different species, from several hundred to several million individuals can live. These insects are distinguished by polymorphism – the appearance of individuals of different shapes within one species, depending on the functions they perform: the queen gives offspring and working ants obtain food and build an ant hill. Some species have special soldier ants for protection.
Although the anthill is small, insects can travel long distances in search of food and building materials. They find their way home by a specific smell, forming stable paths. Food and building material are collected by foragers. At the time of mating, a large number of winged ants appear in the colony. They leave the anthill and fly away in search of new territory for settlement, sometimes flying into houses. Fortunately, ants adapted to outdoor life rarely create anthills indoors.
Ants are omnivores. They feed on plant nectar and sweet fruits, but there are carnivorous species that attack other insects or worms. With aphids, mealybugs and other types of garden pests, ants can organize symbiosis. They “graze” the aphids and ensure its safety, and in return receive the sweet food that they feed on. Less studied is the interaction of ants with sugar bugs or some species of caterpillars.
Ants: friends or enemies?
The fact is that these insects not only harm the household, but are also very useful. This applies to forest and garden species. At a minimum, they well loosen the soil and destroy the larvae of caterpillars, flies, spider mites. Some studies suggest that due to the small holes in the soil, the content of potassium and phosphorus increases. In two and more than ten times – accordingly.
Of course, a spoiled crop of sweet fruits and hordes of aphids in the beds are a good reason to start pest control. Black ants are especially dangerous in this regard. If the insects did not have time to cause great damage to the garden, start with humane methods. According to gardeners, they may well help.
If aphids have already settled on trees and other crops, you need to deal with it separately. It will not disappear if there are ants. Moreover, eliminating aphids can help reduce the number of ants.
Reasons for the appearance
If you suddenly noticed an ant at home, first of all, you should not panic. Perhaps he just got to you from the street along with clothes or shoes.
However, it may be the individual leading the search for food. If it finds food, it will leave an odorous trace, according to which its relatives will find it. But whether they appear in you, depends on several factors:
- Availability of food. Ants are very fond of sugary foods rich in carbohydrates: sugar, honey, bread and fruits. But sometimes they do not disdain to taste paints, gouache or watercolor, casein glue, raw wood and even paper.
- Dirty dishes with food particles attract almost all types of insects.
- The same applies to garbage bags that are in open containers, for example, in a bucket without a lid.
If the case of detection of an arthropod is not the only one, measures should be taken as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult to remove a colony that has chosen your home.
The first actions after the discovery of ants
When there are few ants, in addition to physical violence, you can use improvised means. Almost all of them are in every home.
Noticed a small insect path? Wipe it with a soapy solution or a solution of table vinegar. For convenience, you can take a spray.
While a person does not smell vegetable oil, insects cannot tolerate it.
Therefore, another way to fight, which will force uninvited guests to leave your house, is to “draw” lines with oil in the place of the paths or simply make islands. The only negative is that you have to carefully monitor your movements so as not to slip. Even better reviews are about used engine oil.
Barriers can also be made from crushed chalk, activated carbon or black pepper. The principle is the same – to scatter substances along their routes.
If single individuals are found quite often, but there are no visible paths, look for the baseboards, in the walls and secluded places in furniture. Carefully check the kitchen, after all, this is the main habitat of these insects.
How to get rid of ants in the apartment
If you find a settled colony, you will have to take more serious measures. We suggest starting with folk recipes. They are safer and less likely to cause an allergic reaction, which is especially important if there are children and animals in the house.
Be patient: do not count on the instant effect of the only tried and tested method. In some cases, you will have to use two or three methods for a month or two.
It is known that ants, like many other insects, are afraid of the cold. If they settled in your apartment in the winter, you can etch them out by opening the wide-open windows. In severe frost, the ants will rush to leave the room. The owners themselves at the time of airing is better to leave the apartment.
If you find an ant nest, you can sprinkle it with boiling water.
Soda and soap – helpers in the fight against ants
There are other reliable folk remedies for fighting domestic ants. Among them is a simple soap. In its composition there are substances that corrode the protective shell of the shell of the insect, without which the ant cannot exist for a long time. It is enough to sprinkle the areas occupied by ants, soapy crumbs, or treat their nest with soap diluted in water.
You can also use ordinary baking soda. It is mixed with icing sugar in a ratio of 1: 1 and the apartment sections are sprinkled with this powder. The ants, attracted by sugar, will eat the composition, after which the soda will react with the acid contained in a huge amount in the body of the ant, which will cause the insects to die.
One of the most effective methods in the fight against pests is boric acid and its salts – borax. They corrode chitin, which makes up the protective carapace of insects.
When preparing apartment lures, be careful, be sure to use rubber gloves and preferably also a bandage for the face.
How to make a trap to get rid of ants?
For the bait, you will need a hard-boiled yolk and a sweet ingredient – sugar, jam or honey. The yolk is ground and mixed with sweet, about 20 grams of boric acid are added to the resulting mass. Small balls are rolled from this mixture, which are placed in the habitats of uninvited guests.
At the same time, not only scout insects are poisoned. They transmit the poison to the nest, so the queen mother also perishes.
Some do not use the yolk, prefer to add boric acid directly to honey. A few drops of this mixture are simply left in the right places.
Another option involves the use of minced meat instead of sweet bait. But this recipe is only suitable if you do not have pets.
Another good method of fighting ants in an apartment is ordinary food yeast. An old recipe is a mixture with small sugar.
It will take 4-5 tablespoons of honey or sugar syrup and one tablespoon of yeast. Boric acid can also be added as desired.
The mixture is poured into the lids and placed in the corners.
If you are ready for pungent odors in your home, try aromatherapy to help keep your home clean. Insects do not tolerate the aromas of mint, the smell of garlic and camphor. It is enough to rub the baseboards with the plants or simply spread the slices or leaves along them. True, this method will work only if the ants come to you for food and live in another place. There are also positive reviews about the use of pharmacy chamomile, lemon, parsley, anise and cloves in a similar way.
Some argue that the smell of coffee repels ants, while others say that the coffee grounds is dangerous to them. One way or another, baits in the form of coffee grounds mixed with sweet syrup or sugar helped to bring out more than one colony of arthropods. Perhaps this method is worth trying as one of the tools.
Of course, any specialist on the question of how to get rid of ants in an apartment will tell you that it is easiest to follow preventive measures. What are they?
Do not leave food leftovers for a long time, especially bread, jam, honey, cookies – any sweets that attract arthropods.
Keep clean. It is very important not to throw unwashed dishes in the sink, as well as wipe the table immediately after eating. This way you will get rid of crumbs, which are also quite attractive from an ant point of view.
Keep garbage in an airtight container or at least use a bucket with a lid for this. Take it out daily! So no type of insect will have access to food debris and litter.
Keep fruits and vegetables, especially cut ones, in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Do not leave chopped apples or melon in the open.
Ants can nest in potted plants. Do not forget to look for insects in them and, if found, place the pots for 20 minutes in a solution of insecticidal soap and water in the proportion of two tablespoons of soap per liter of water.
How to get rid of ants in a garden?
Like other insects, ants cause irreparable damage to the garden, eating plants and fruits. But the main reason to get rid of them forever is breeding aphids. Ants feed on the products of her life – a sticky liquid saturated with carbohydrates. In this case, aphids use them as a dairy cow. But this is only one of the reasons for getting rid of parasites, the fight against ants in the garden is necessary for other reasons:
- in search of sweet nectar, insects often damage plant flowers;
- they damage ripe sweet fruits and berries, for example, poured pears, cherries, currants and strawberries;
- can feast on seeds and young seedlings;
- during the construction of underground passages, they can damage the root system of plants;
- populating hollows, insects gradually turn trees into dust.
To get rid of ants in the garden, you need to find out the reason for their appearance. The first signal of danger is the aphid. The presence of these inhabitants of the garden precedes the appearance of garden goose bumps. Aphids are a source of sweet carbohydrates for them. In order to expand the “pasture” they can transfer aphids to other plants, providing them with food and protecting them from other insects.
It can be very simple to get rid of them – sometimes nothing is required except garden tools and the surrounding nature.
Plants and spices to get rid of ants
All plants listed below repel pests with their smell. This does not always work, so it is better to use the method in conjunction with others. Marigolds, calendula, mint, wormwood, tansy, celandine, valerian, cloves, onions, parsley, garlic, mustard, tomato tops help get rid of some individuals. Stems, leaves, bulbs or slices need to be cut and laid out on ant paths or next to the crops to which they bring aphids. Garlic slices are also used to lubricate the trees, and flowers and herbs are planted between vegetable and fruit plantings.
Some gardeners spray trails and habitats with warm infusions of capsicum, onion peel, lavender, or the herbs listed above. It is recommended to do this for several days in a row after sunset. Another way is to pour cinnamon on an anthill or an occupied flowerbed. Or spread citrus peels next to them. These smells are no less unpleasant for ants.
Try to evict them with ash, soda, tobacco dust, soot, ground red pepper. Or mix crushed bark with ash and lime. The components need to be poured onto the tracks along which the ants crawl and onto their nests.
What insects do not like too:
- Smoked fish.
- Dried thick coffee.
- Millet. It is poured in places of accumulation of pests. Ground individuals carry grains inward, and they clog passages, thereby destroying the work process and feeding. Cover the cereal with some sheet so that the birds do not eat it.
How the last method works is not exactly known. But it works this is a fact. There is a version that insects take millet grains for queen eggs. Such a mistake costs them their lives – the grains brought “to their place” in the anthill quickly swell from dampness, noticeably increasing. Further, they act like traffic jams – they block the ant tunnels and prevent air from entering the anthill.
- Dish washing liquid. It is combined with sunflower oil, water and poured into the nest after sunset. So repeat a few days.
In addition, you can make a variety of traps. For example, from yeast. Take raw yeast and crumble them on a saucer. Add about the same amount of sugar and a little warm water. It must not be hot! Mix the ingredients well. The essence of the bait is this: pests carry this sweet mass into the nest, inside it starts to roam and spoils all the stocks.
There are two more options, though not as effective, since the anthill itself is not affected. The first remedy is dishwashing sponge soaked in honey water. Scatter them on the paths and when insects cling to them – throw in boiling water. The second – jars with a small amount of sweet syrup, fruit seed, leftover meat at the bottom.
A good way to deal with ants in the country – traps, based on a powder of boric acid with the addition of something sweet. Such mixtures can be used not only in the garden, but also in the house. Whenever possible, try to close the gaps in the living room so that pests no longer get inside.
Other prevention methods:
- Get rid of moisture sources. Repair dripping taps, leaking frames.
- Clean up the mess around the building and inside it.
- Treat wood with special impregnations from woodworkers.
Boric acid trap recipe
- Pour two tablespoons of warm water into the bowl or dish.
- Add ⅓ teaspoon of boric acid to it.
- Pour one tbsp. Add sugar with a little honey or jam.
- Shuffle everything and leave it near the nest or where you notice the most individuals.
- After two days, change the fluid to a new one, since over time it loses its properties.
This is one of the most effective methods. It is good at helping to etch the entire colony in a few days. Working individuals do not die immediately, but manage to bring the mixture to the nest, poison the uterus and larvae. Therefore, it is very important not to increase the amount of boric acid.
Instead of water and sugar, you can use minced meat or boiled and mashed potatoes. They are combined with 1-3 teaspoons of powder, make small balls and lay out next to the habitat.
Get rid of ants by building a barrier
These methods can be used to successfully control pests in trees.
- Oil. Coat the trunks with vegetable oil. The insect is prevented by the smell.
- Double sided tape. Wind it down and no one can crawl onto the leaves.
- Moat. It can be very small – 10 cm wide and deep. Build a ditch around the trees with a backing made of waterproof material and fill it with water.
If there are not perennial anthills in the garden, take a shovel and move them away from the site. Usually they are built in sunny places. If you shade this part of the garden, then the anthill will quickly empty.
Two more tips from gardeners:
- Clean the area from old stumps, boards, logs, fallen branches, fallen leaves. In all this, pests can create a nest.
- Dig the soil as deep as possible in spring and autumn. In the process, add ash, sunflower oil or any other repellent from the first part of the article to it.
Some shed nests with boiling water, but this is of little use, since most of the colony will remain at a depth. You will kill some part of it, but it will not give a sustainable effect.
Few additional methods to get rid of ants
You can scare away pests with a pungent odor. It is necessary to prepare in advance the infusion of onions or garlic. A folk remedy for ants in the garden is prepared as follows: the fruits are chopped and poured with water, covering the pieces, then tightly closed with a lid or corked.
After 7-10 days, the product is ready, but it must be used with water, in a 1: 1 ratio. The resulting infusion is sprayed with all plants to repel aphids and other unwanted guests.
Trees and shrubs are also at risk. Folk remedies from ants in the garden are also suitable for a fruit garden. Plants are treated with the same infusions and solutions.
Another effective way is garden glue for insects. The stamp is wrapped with a film and an adhesive solution is applied. Goosebumps, in an attempt to transfer aphids to a new place, get stuck in glue and die. Also, the usual foil will help in the fight against insects: tree trunks are wrapped with foil, raising the edge and forming a skirt. Ants are not so flexible, and will not be able to overcome the sharp edge of the foil.
Many gardeners prefer to fight with the anthills themselves: dig them out and transfer them to the site, fill their tunnels with special gels. But if there are aphids on the territory of the garden and garden, the insects will return.
Citrus Peel or Celandine
Pests often populate flower beds. Most often, flower beds are sprayed. You can scare away pests without harming the plants using citrus peel infusions with a strong aroma, or celandine (a bunch of flowers insist 2 days on the water).
Potted flowers on the veranda can be protected with tobacco smoke: the plant is placed in a plastic bag and fumigated, left overnight. Aphids die, and ants leave.
A simple way to remove ants from the garden with folk remedies and not harm them is to install a sweet bait. Just dilute the old jam with water or make sugar syrup, and leave in several places on the site. Insects will regale themselves with refreshments, and there will be no need to breed aphids.
Ammonia is often used in pest control
In 10 liters of boiled water, 1 tablespoon of ammonia is diluted, 2-4 tablespoons of sugar are added. After half an hour, the mass will become homogeneous, and it will be possible to process plants by spraying with it. Crops themselves will not receive any harm due to low concentration, and insects will die.
Water and Kerosene
If insects wound up in the garden, you can water the anthill with a mixture of water and kerosene. To prepare it, you need to dissolve 10 tablespoons of kerosene in 10 l of water. Usually one such treatment allows you to get rid of ants.
Processing with lime, tar and peat
It is believed that the ants living at the roots of young trees do the most harm to the garden. Usually, ordinary or chlorine quicklime is used to etch insects. The product is scattered on ant heaps and watered on top with water.
A solution of carbolic acid 20%, which is also poured on top of anthills, repels insects, forcing them to leave the nest.
To obtain a better result, the lower parts of tree trunks should be treated with tar.
Peeling of trunks also gives a noticeable effect. After applying these measures, ants usually do not return to their old habitats.
Despite the complexity of fighting ants in a garden, garden or home, getting rid of insects is still real. Often, it is folk remedies that turn out to be the most effective in this matter.
In the fight against ants, it is necessary first of all to get rid of the cause of their appearance – aphids. Protecting the garden and the garden from pests is a long and laborious process, so it is easier to prevent. To do this, it is necessary to apply preventive measures against the re-colonization of insects, using gentle methods and alternative recipes.