How to manage ants in your home

Best tips for getting rid of ants fast and permanently!

July 2023 | By Fall Real Estate | 7 Minute Read | Tags: Guide, RentLifestyle

In this article

  • We reveal why ants are typically entering your household and want to stay!
  • A helpful video that shows you how to find where your ants are coming from.
  • We look at whether ants are dangerous and what type of ants are likely to enter your home.
  • 8 helpful and practical ways how to manage ants and to get rid of them both safely and chemical-free!
  • A FREE simple cleaning hacks printout!
  • Fall is here for you! For other helpful articles and tips for looking after your home, check out our resource page here.

It's never pleasant to see small insects invading your home, no matter what time of year it is. To prevent future invasions or eliminate them entirely, it's essential to understand why ants are entering your home in the first place, what natural things they don’t like, whether they are dangerous to our health and how to manage ants once they are in your home.

What causes ants in the house?

Ants typically enter a household in search of food, water and shelter.

In search of food

If you have crumbs in the pantry, food left out overnight or water sitting on the counter, ants love an easy meal and will find your kitchen the perfect place for a feast. Ants are also easily attracted to greasy residue left over from cooking.

 

How regularly do you empty the garbage or clean out your garbage bin? Sticky, sugary spills from the garbage bag often get left behind in the garbage bin, and those ants will find a way to nose dive into that sugary goodness!

 

If you've thoroughly cleaned your kitchen and bathroom but still have ants, check your pantry for containers that haven't been properly closed, old potatoes, cereal boxes, rotting apples, or dried fruit that may have fallen out of a container.

In search of water

If you see ants in your home despite having a clean kitchen, spotless bathroom, and organised pantry, it's possible that you have a reliable source of water for your ants.

 

Ants require a steady water supply to survive, so it’s worth checking any sources of moisture. You may find that you have pipes or faucets leaking or some damp, decaying wood in the house where certain ant species like to make their permanent home.

In search of shelter

Your ant infestation could be due to the weather. Ants tend to seek refuge indoors during extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, floods, frosts, and extreme temperatures. They search for a safe and secure place to shelter themselves from inclement weather.

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Will ants go away on their own?

Ants will most likely stay as long as there is good food, plenty of water and a shelter that protects them from the weather! Therefore, your only hope of eliminating the ants so they do not return is finding the source of why they are staying.

 

Whether it be a rotting window seal, a leaky pipe, or a rotting apple in your fruit bowl, they will only leave once you find it. Hence, learning how to manage ants is the best way to permantely rid them from your home.

How do you find where ants are coming from?

Here is a helpful video to guide you to find where the ants are entering your home.

When should I be worried about ants in my house?

You should be concerned about ants in your house when you have also spotted ant nests, also known as ant hills, near your buildings or on walls. Ant nests are mounds of soil that suggest where ants have dug underground to create their nest.

 

If you have observed ants inside and outside your house, it is best to seek professional advice and assistance to address the issue. You. may find that a professional will have targeted advice on how to manage ants in your home and particular circumstance.

Are ants dangerous?

There are around 140 ant species in Tasmania, but only a few of them cause problems in homes and gardens. Among these species, some Myrmecia ants, such as jack jumpers, jumpers, inchmen, bulldog ants, and bull ants, can trigger severe allergies that require immediate medical attention in certain people.

The Tasmanian Government states that:

“The only effective way of controlling inchman or jumper ants is to treat their nests with a dust or sandy formulation of a registered insecticide. Because inchmen and jumper ants do not form trails, their nests may be hard to find.”

For more information about inchmen and jumper ants, click here.

Which type of ants are likely to enter my house?

There are several types of ants that may enter your home, including white-footed ants, Argentine ants, seed-harvesting ants, and tiny black ants. The method you use to eliminate them may vary depending on the type of ant present, as each requires a different approach.

 

If one method is not effective, it may be necessary to adjust your strategy. Below are 8 different natural deterrents to stop ants from wanting to enter your home. And will leave them running if they are already there!

How to get rid of ants safely and without toxic chemicals

Having ants living in your house is not healthy, as many ant species carry bacteria. If you spot a few ants, it's best to eliminate any potential reasons why they are entering your home, such as food, water, or shelter.

 

You should also try to find where they are coming from. Once you locate their ant nest, you can use a eucalyptus oil solution or a concentrated garlic spray to saturate around and inside the hole of the nest.

 

After taking care of the outside invasion, you can move on to using things that ants hate to send them running from the inside of your home. Below are 8 known substances ants hate!

1. Citrus

If you're having trouble with ants in your kitchen, a simple and natural solution is to wipe lemon juice on your counters and place lemon rinds in your cupboard. This will help to discourage the ants from making their home in your kitchen.

2. Ground black pepper

To keep ants away, try sprinkling black or red cayenne pepper along their path, as they dislike the smell. This natural deterrent can make your home ant-free without harming them.

3. Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate is the main component of chalk, formed by carbon, oxygen, and calcium. This substance is strongly disliked by ants. To deter them, draw a line with chalk as a barrier to the entrance of your home to prevent them from entering.

4. Peppermint

To get rid of ants in your home, simply create a peppermint solution by combining 8 to 18 drops of peppermint essential oil with two cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on any ant-infested surfaces, such as window seals and skirt boards. However, ensure that you keep the peppermint oil away from your pets to avoid making them ill.

5. Coffee grounds

Do you love coffee? You can use freshly brewed coffee grounds to keep ants away from food sources, such as the food in your dog's bowl. Simply place the wet coffee grounds on a paper towel next to the bowl and replace them as needed since they lose their potency when dry. This will help discourage ants from returning.

6. Fresh herbs

Do you enjoy the refreshing scent of herbs like mint and parsley? While it's delightful for humans, ants find it repulsive. Growing these herbs in your garden or indoors can effectively repel ants. Additionally, keeping fresh cuttings in a jar of water on your kitchen counter can help keep ants away, or learn how to grow your own in our article 'Which herbs to grow in Tasmania and when'

7. Vinegar

White vinegar is an effective and cost-effective way to kill and deter ants. You can mix equal parts vinegar and water and use it to clean surfaces where ants are likely to travel. What's great is that even after the vinegar dries, ants can still smell it, while the smell won't be noticeable to humans.

 

Check out our simple cleaning solutions article with other safe and chemical-free solutions that will clean your home and also keep those relentless ants away!

8. Cornstarch

If you notice a large number of ants in one spot, like your kitchen bench, you can use cornstarch to get rid of them. Just sprinkle the cornstarch over the ants and then pour or spray water over it. After that, you can wipe the dead ants off the kitchen bench with a paper towel and dispose of them.

To ensure the safety of you and your family, it is recommended to use natural and safe methods for eliminating ants.

We are committed to you succeeding in your goals for you and your property, and that includes getting rid of ants quickly and permanently.

If you want to learn more about which herbs you can grow in your Tasmanian garden to keep those pesky ants away, read our helpful article: Which herbs to grow in Tasmania and when!

Everyday household items such as lemon, salt, and vinegar can be so handy when cleaning around the house!

 

Download and print our handy PDF document to stick on the fridge so you are prepared for any mishap in your next cleaning emergency! Our download includes a list of all the must-have staple items to ensure you can easily tackle any mess anytime!

 

You can also read our helpful article 7 simple cleaning hacks when you have nothing but what is in your pantry.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not legal or professional advice and is general in nature; therefore, the editorial content or articles on this website are intended as a guide only and do not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. For more information, please read our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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