There are different types of ants, but the most common house-invading ants include pavement, carpenter, acrobat, pharaoh and odorous house ants. House-invading ants can get into your food, damage property or cause stinging bites. These tiny creatures can also cause damage to your plants. Dealing with ants can be very frustrating. Pesticides for ants contain chemicals that are harmful to humans and the environment, but there are some natural, non-toxic ways to control ants. These may take some time and patience, but will provide good results.
1. Cinnamon (Karuvappatta)
Cinnamon is an effective household ant repellent. Its smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen. According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, cinnamon essential oil yields positive results in both repellency and insecticidal activity.
■ Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cinnamon essential oil in a cup of water. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and wipe down the areas where ants may enter and dwell. Repeat once daily until all the ants are gone.
■ You can also put ground cinnamon and whole cloves near entry points.
Note: Use the cinnamon oil spray strategically in places of ant infestation; do not put it all over the place.
2. White Vinegar
White vinegar will also send an eviction notice to ants on your premises. They cannot bear its strong smell. In addition, the smell masks their scent trails, making them lose their direction.
■ Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
■ Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
■ Add a few drops of any essential oil and shake the bottle thoroughly.
■ Spray this solution around baseboards and other entry points.
■ After an hour, wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them.
■ Repeat once daily until the ants are completely gone.
You can also use this vinegar solution to clean floors, windowsills and countertops to prevent ants from crawling over these surfaces.
To make your kitchen and other areas of your house ant-proof, try lemon. The smell deters ants and its acidic property masks their scent trails.
■ Rub some lemon juice on door thresholds, windowsills and other possible areas where ants are getting in.
■ Another option is to put a few drops of lemon essential oil on cotton balls and leave them in cabinets and other areas as needed.
■ Scatter small slices of lemon peel around outdoor entrances.
Use these remedies every few days until the ants are completely gone.