Is it possible to get rid of ants at home yourself?

Anyone who has ever had to deal with an ant invasion will tell you they’re a pretty smart bug! Their talent for finding food and inviting all their pals to the party puts even the most accomplished dumpster divers to shame, but sadly, like the very worst of house guests they simply don’t realize when you are ready for them to leave.

When you first notice ants in your home it’s natural to start looking for a local exterminator to come deal with the problem, but it’s not really necessary. With some effort, perseverance, and patience it is entirely possible to get rid of ants yourself. Here’s how:

First – identify the type of ant you are dealing with

There are lots of different ant species, and some need special treatment before they can be eradicated. Here we look mainly at house ants and carpenter ants.

House ants – they love sweet goodies and kindly leave a scent trail behind them for their friends to catch them up later. You need to kill the entire colony because otherwise that trail will attract the ants regardless.

How to get rid of house ants

  • Initially soapy water will help, but you need to figure out how they are getting in pretty quickly and lay some bait to finish them off.
  • An easy homemade poison just needs powdered sugar and Borax (3:1 ratio) mixed together and left in small quantities around the area where you think they are getting in, and where they are hanging out. Give it a few days to reach its full effect. (Not recommended if you have pets or small children round.)

Alternative ideas

Put some white vinegar in a bottle and spray around any possible entry points and areas inside where they seem to be following a trail.

Carpenter ants – these ants prefer to be outside and close to a wood source, but they can decide that your decking or wooden floors are worth a visit. They build nests where they have their current food source, so if you are seeing sawdust appear in unexpected places they could be in your home.

How to get rid of carpenter ants

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the most effective non-chemical way to get rid of these ants, and it’s natural as it is made from plants. Be sure to buy the version labeled as food grade for pest control, as the other type won’t work. Simply add the dry DE to a suitable dispenser and sprinkle it into the spaces around their suspected home., or mix it with water (2 tablespoons of  DE to 1 quart of water) and spray the mixture liberally around suspect areas.

There are lots more ways to clear your house of ants without going chemical crazy. You can read more about this topic here, and pick up some tips on how to have an ant-free home with some help from everyday products that most of us have lying around.

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