Ant is one of the insects that’s very common to find in almost all places. Finding ants on our kitchen seems to be a common thing as it’s the place where they will find food the most. However, even though it’s a common thing, but none of us wants share our food and space with ants as it can be quite disturbing and even damaging. Unlike the other insects, ants are not carrying diseases or viruses. They are only attracted to food and they could come in a colony; making our home their home.
Ants are pretty much everywhere. It’s estimated that there are about 1 million ants for every single human being in the world. Its origin found in all continents, which mean they are native in every part of this world. Besides its strength, ants are also known with their smartness and effective work as a colony that makes them very hard to get rid of. How to get rid of ants in the kitchen is not a one night work. This insect is able to swim and survive in the water with their own version of doggy paddle, which surprisingly could last for hours and hours. Ants could also breathe under the water and when they are in a colony, they could build a lifeboat to save them from water flush or even flood.
Ants sound to be unbeatable, but wait until we know that fact that they even have an effective food sharing method that prevent them from hunger. The system goes naturally for ants. They have two stomachs not because they used both stomachs to make them full, but they use one stomach to feed their body and keep food for their future consumption, then use the other one to store food for others when needed. This is called trophallaxis.
Ants have a queen and workers. The workers share will share their food for those who need and left behind in the process of building nest. Ants are also farmers like human. If human have livestocks, ants have a micro insect called aphids, which help them to provide unlimited honeydew and ants give them shelter and protection as an exchange. Therefore, keeping the food away from them will make them invisible from our kitchen, but it won’t make them leave.
Another fact that we need to know is that using pesticide to kill the ants and their colony won’t work. The ants that we see are the workers. They will be the one that take, eat and storage the foods. Therefore, when we put pesticide and see the ants die, it’s the workers that are going to die, not the queens. There are hundreds of thousands others that we don’t see and ready to to work, making their way to our food.
Ants are most probably the oldest insect on earth. They were found in the dinosaurs era and survived Cretaceous Tertiary or extinction that killed dinosaurs and ice age. If ants survive the case of dinosaurs extinction, would it be possible for us to beat them? Killing ants is almost impossible and all we could do is to get rid of them from our house or at least kitchen. Like it or not, we have to live with them and the only thing that we can do is not to attract them to go out of their nest and disturb us. Find these 5 effective ways on how to get rid of ants in the kitchen.
When it comes to getting rid of ants from our kitchen, borax might be the first thing that pops up. Borax has been known as an effective chemical to keep this insect away from our area. In the market, we might be offered boric acid when we are looking for borax. Borax is different from boric acid. Borax is the basic mineral that turns into boric acid after some chemical processing. Try to find borax that’s used for laundry instead.
Borax works as pesticide and it could be toxicating if ingested. Therefore, when storing this, make sure to keep it away from children and pets. One thing we need to know is that adult ants only eat liquid food because they can’t digest solid food. Larvae is the one that eat solid food and process it into liquid. Both liquid and solid foods would be taken back to the colony to feed the others and queen. Therefore, if we want to use borax, its best to use it in both solid and liquid foods.
Use honey or maple syrup as a liquid bait. Warm it in a microwave and mix borax after. Find the ants trail and put some big drops of the bait on the trail. If the trail is on the wall, then just drip the liquid on the wall, it will do the work. Check and repeat the process few times because the bait would evaporate before the ants take them all, especially when it’s hot outside. If we find ants trail on the ground, don’t put the liquid bait on the soil as it might damage the surrounding plants and licked by other insects or our pets. Put the bait on the container to avoid it from touching the soil. Take the container away when we water the plants. Do the same process for solid bait. Use something sweet like cookies or sweet bread. Drop borax on it and leave it on the trail. Be very careful if we have pets as they might eat the bait.
Another safe yet effective ways to get rid of ants is by using Diatomaceous Earth of what we usually call as DE. DE is a white powder made of plankton, which works by compromises exoskeleton insects’ waxy coating. DE can help us with various insects like bed bugs or ants. This powder is family friendly, so compared to borax, DE would be sufficient for us who have kids or pets. DE works for ants trail and help us prevent them to return.
With DE, all we need to do to find the ants trail and sprinkle the DE powder there. Not need a thick coating, just apply them in thin and thoroughly manner. We can also sprinkle the powder in any areas where we can find a group of ants. If we found an ants hole, just sprinkler them around to create a perimeter, so they won’t leave their home. Check the powder every a day or two and apply it again once it’s gone. Put a thicker layer if needed and check around to find if there’s another ants trail.
DE is safe for the family, but unlike using borax, we won’t be able to get rid of ants in permanent manner. If we are happy just to find our kitchen clean of them, then DE is a good solution.
3. Lemon Juice or Orange Essential Oil
Lemon is a lifesafer when it comes to getting rid of ants or other insect. These insects don’t like the smell and taste of acidic fruit. Therefore, whenever we find ants on our kitchen, lemon or orange oil would be a quick solution. To use lemon juice, we just need to squeeze lemon and put it on an empty spray bottle. Spray wherever there’s ant trails.
The same thing goes to orange essential oil. The essential oil won’t kill the ants, but it’s strong enough to keep them away, out of our kitchen area. Orange essential oil works in a similar way to DE. It’s taking off the waxy coating on the insects’ exoskeleton that will cause dehydration and kill them in a snap. We can use them directly or dilute it with water.
Lemon Juice or orange essential oil is seen to be the most effective natural way on how to get rid of ants. It’s so easy to find and use. Apart from that, the liquid also beneficial for various things, making it a must have item in the household.
4. Peppermint or Spearmint Essential Oil and Baby Powder
Similar to lemon or orange essential oil, peppermint or spearmint essential oil is a must have item to get rid of insects, including ants. Another worth- knowing benefits of peppermint essential oil are as anti viral, anti fungal, anti parasitic and natural disinfectant. It helps a lot to avoid viruses and definitely unwanted insects. To use peppermint essential oil to kick ants out of our kitchen, we just need to soak a cotton ball into the oil and place it on the ants trail. Spearmint essential oil work the same way as peppermint essential oil. It get rids of insects including months and flies.
Baby powder or chalk. There’s not proof that baby powder or chalk would get rid of ants, but it works in some cases. Ants tend to stay away from these materials because of the calcium carbonate in chalk. Another possibility is because chalk and baby powder interrupt the trails scent.
5. Herbs and Vegetables
Apart from citric fruits and peppermint, we can also use some herbs on our kitchen to get rid of ants.
Vinegar is definitely on the top list. Ants don’t like the smell and taste of vinegar. It can be the regular white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. All we need to do is to wipe down the countertop with 1:1 vinegar and water ratio. Repeat the process everyday and make it as one of our cleaning routine. One thing we have to remember if we want to use vinegar to wipe down the countertop is that it won’t be safe for natural stone countertop. If we have marble or granite countertop, then regular spray cleaner would do the work.
Some herbs on the kitchen that have strong odor would work perfectly to get rid of ants. Some of the herbs are on our kitchen cabinet. Check if we have chilli pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, or cinnamon. We can sprinkle the ants trail with cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Having bay leaves inside the cabinet can also keep the ants away as they don’t like the smell of it. Check if we have coffee grounds as it neutralize various scent, including ants trail scent.
We might think that ants eat everything, including fruits and vegetables, but actually they avoid some fruits and vegetables like cucumber. Cucumber is toxic for the fungi that ants eat. Therefore, ants see it as a threat and will avoid it. Use cucumber juice or buy products with natural cucumber oil and simply spray it on the ants trail. Don’t buy products with synthetic fragrance like cucumber scented freshener as it won’t do the work.
Ants are very clean and they will always around. Therefore, if we want to keep them away from our area, especially kitchen area, we need to make sure not to attract them with exposed foods. Make sure to put all foods in the closed containers or sealed plastics. Always keep the kitchen area clean wipe everything after we cook. Make sure to clean not only the countertop after cooking, but also the kitchen floor. Many of us forget about it, but small ingredients or bread crumb could fall and invite ants.
Our cleaning job to avoid ants won’t stop until we throw the garbage away out of our house. Therefore, it would be very helpful to have a sealed bin on the kitchen, instead of the regular opened bin. Not only does open bin invite ants, but also many other insects like cockroach and even rodent like mice. Clean kitchen would save us a lot of time and energy because once ants coming, it would be quite hard to get rid of them for good.
When it comes to ants, sometimes we have to be patient, especially when we want to get rid of the whole colony out of our kitchen. If we use borax bait, we might need to wait for several days as the ants will need to take the bait and trail back to their colony. If the colony has several queens, then it might take few weeks. It is indeed take some time, but remember that we could have an ants- free kitchen for good. Using natural spray would give us an immediate effect, but we have to act fast by cleaning the kitchen thoroughly to keep them away for good.