Ants are always amazingly fascinating creatures – and out in the wild, you can easily see how almost military-like their attitude is in their community. There are roughly more than 12K species of ants around the world currently. And I am sure there are probably more yet to be discovered out in the more remote regions on this planet. The vast majority of them are almost relatively harmless to people. A fair few of them, however, can bring even the largest animals – humans included – down fatally.
They’re also a VERY invasive species when it comes to large cities. Take California, for example, these ants found in this state have established super-colonies hundreds of miles long. They can stretch from San Diego to the Oregon border – and even beyond. They’re also considered as major agricultural pests – probably even worse than a plague of locusts.
They’re a huge nuisance when they invade homes in rural areas – and also in large cities all over the world.
So how does one get rid of them aside from the “KILL THEM ALL WITH FIRE” approach that pyromaniacs love? Here are a few of them that I’ve stumbled upon in my quest to rid the pests. Here are a few of the more “natural ways” to make your place an ant-free zone on a budget:
- – Pepper: nature’s natural ant deterrent, sprinkle around areas you think ants can get in. They’ll avoid it like the plague due to the fact they hate the smell. Just make sure you don’t sprinkle enough to make YOU hate that smell if pepper makes you sneeze like no tomorrow.
- – Peppermint essential oil: this one, you will need 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with 2 cups of water and put them in a spray bottle, then spray it mixture around the baseboards and windows of your home until it dries. I wouldn’t advise this if you have pets though, especially cat lovers as it is toxic to them.
- – Tea tree oil: you need to mix 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water and use a spray bottle, same as above. You can even also saturate them onto cotton balls and place them around your home where you’ve seen the little blighters. This is another no-go for cat lovers as it is also toxic to them.
- – Lemon eucalyptus oil: this is the same one that is used to produce citronella candles that are used as airborne insect repellents. You need to soak cotton balls into the undiluted oil and place them in areas where ants have been seen. Change them often per week.
- – White vinegar: these kill ants on contact and can also repel them. Try using diluted 50-50 vinegar to clean hard surfaces throughout your home. Even when it dries, ants can still smell them even though the scent doesn’t linger for humans.
- – Cinnamon leaf essential oil: saturate cotton balls like with most oils in this list and leave them where you’ve seen ants. Even their cinnamon in powdered form is a great ant killer and repellent, just sprinkle the powder on windowsills and baseboards where you think ants can get in from the outside.
- – Neem oil: gardeners and green thumb hobbyists use this to keep their plants ant-free. You need to get your hands on non-diluted neem oil as the ones you may find in some stores are of the diluted variety and aren’t as effective.
- – Diatomaceous earth (silicon dioxide): this is a type of silica that is composed of fossilized remains of aquatic organisms called diatoms. It kills bugs like ants by drying them out when they absorb the oils in their skeletons once ingested. They can act as an irritant on humans in powdered form, so avoid breathing it in. You can sprinkle the powder in places where you’ve seen ants come and go.
One good way to prevent ants from coming into your house is to keep it clean. Eliminate their food source by making sure you don’t leave any crumbs on the floor, behind the couch, etc. Then don’t let trash accumulate anywhere near your home, and dispose of them regularly.
The only “lazy” recourse is to use approved pesticides, or call an exterminator when you can’t find where the ants are coming from to help delouse your house.
The absolute LAST thing you want to do is to don a flamethrower and set everything on fire just to get rid of them while laughing like a maniac. It may be cathartic, but arson is still a crime.