The ants go marching one by one…hurrah!
No, not hurrah. Ants can be anywhere, marching through your pantry or burrowing through your garden. Though most types of ants in Texas are harmless to human health (other than being potential carriers of bacteria and disease), that doesn’t mean you want them around.
In fact, ants are about as welcome as a porcupine in a nudist colony — especially the fire ants we often see here in North Texas.
The good news is there are plenty of effective DIY ant removal strategies you can easily implement at home. Let’s look at a few!
Safe and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Ants
Below we outline eight surefire ways to eliminate ants in your home or business using household items you can find at a supermarket or hardware store. You don’t need any specialized ant control products to stop Texas ants from infesting your space.
1. White Vinegar
White vinegar both kills and repels ants. It also works great as a natural cleaning agent. Try slipping it into your cleaning routine for any control that doesn’t require any extra work.
Wipe down countertops, floors, and other surfaces with a diluted vinegar solution mixed in a spray bottle. Spraying ants with vinegar will kill them and though the sharp smell dissipates quickly for humans, ants can smell it and will stay away from it for a while.
Note: because vinegar is acidic, you should not use it to clean certain surfaces. For example, it can damage granite countertops. Check to make sure it can be used on the surfaces in your home or try using it on a small, inconspicuous area first.
2. Boiling Water
Removing ants from your yard doesn’t need to be complicated. If you notice a lot of ant holes in the ground, you have a perfect opportunity to take out a few hundred of them with a simple pot of boiling water.
Pour the water down as many ant holes as you can find. This method is unlikely to finish off the whole colony or make it to the queen, but it can cut down drastically on the number of foraging ants roaming about your space.
If you find the ant mound, try dousing it with a couple of gallons of boiling water and you have a good shot at eliminating it altogether.
3. Glass Cleaner/Dish Soap Solution
As the ants go marching one by one, they leave a trail of scented pheromones behind. That’s how they navigate and communicate to other ants where to go. Disrupt the pheromone scent trails leading into your home or business and the ants are less likely to find their way back.
You can do this with a simple solution of glass cleaner mixed with dish soap. Spray the mixture anywhere you see ants congregating or milling about. Wipe with a cloth, but make sure to leave a slight residue behind. This will clean away and disrupt the pheromone trail.
Don’t have glass cleaner on hand? You can try it with soapy water as well. Pretty much any type of soap should be strong enough to wash away the pheromones.
4. Boric Acid/Powdered Sugar Mix
Boric acid is not technically a pesticide, but it will kill ants if they ingest it. Plus it’s inexpensive and readily available.
To get the ants to eat it, mix three parts powdered sugar with one part boric acid. Adult ants prefer a liquid diet so add a little water and mix it all up. Place it near the area where you see ants traipsing around.
Note: boric acid can also be dangerous to humans or animals if ingested. Be careful where you leave it sitting if you have children or pets in your home.
5. Baking Soda/Powdered Sugar Mix
If you don’t like the idea of leaving boric acid lying around, try making the same mix with baking soda instead. It won’t be as effective as the boric acid, but you don’t have to worry about kids or pets accidentally harming themselves with it.
6. Black or Red Pepper
Have you ever taken a big breath after shaking pepper over your salad? It probably burned a little and you started sneezing up a storm.
Whether black or red, breathing in ground pepper can really tickle or even hurt your nasal passages. And that happens at the size you are, imagine what it does to a tiny little ant.
Sprinkle a bit of pepper near ant entrances or areas where you notice ants congregating. This method won’t kill them, but the irritating scent of pepper will help to drive ants away.
7. Peppermint Oil
A more pleasant-smelling option is to use a few drops of peppermint oil. Mix 10-20 drops with 2 cups of water and mix in a spray bottle.
Spritz the mixture around the baseboards, windows, or any other entry points where ants might be entering your home or business.
8. Cinnamon Leaf Oil
Another more pleasant option (at least for humans) is to use cinnamon leaf oil. This type of essential oil is effective both for repelling and killing ants.
To use it, simply wet a few cotton balls with undiluted oil. Leave them in areas where you see ants entering or congregating. Replace the cotton ball once a week with a new one freshly saturated in oil.
The Best Way to Exterminate Ants
All the ant removal home remedies that we’ve talked about here are effective. Whatever method you choose, it will either repel ants or kill them on contact.
However, all these methods have one major flaw — they don’t go to the source. You can keep killing ants all you like but until you take out the queen, the colony will survive, and your ant infestation will recur. Unfortunately, the queen stays tucked away safely deep within the ant colony so finding her is a challenge.
The cool thing about this societal structure is that by killing the queen ant, the rest of the colony will start dying off. Within a few months, the colony will be wiped out.
What’s the best way to kill a queen ant? To be honest, professional pest control services.
Schedule Your Ant Removal Today
Contact Buckaroo today for fast and dependable removal of sugar ants, carpenter ants and fire ants in Texas. Not to toot our own horn, but the methods we use here at Buckaroo Pest Protection come with a 9-month guarantee. Say goodbye to those marching ants for good with regular treatments that address your whole ant problem.