Did you know one professional ant control treatment could cost up to $300? That price doesn’t even take into consideration initial consultation fees and routine/follow-up maintenance to make sure your ant problem is good and gone.
Not only is commercial pest control expensive, but the chemicals used are unpleasant and potentially toxic. If you have an ant problem, you don’t need to invest in expensive control services or products. You likely have the ingredients to make your own natural ant repellent in your home!
Keep reading to learn how to to get rid of ants naturally with a few simple steps.
What’s Wrong With Commercial Pest Control?
All pesticides used in the US must undergo a screening process by the EPA to access the risks they pose to environmental and human health before they can be used. During this screening process, data must be gathered on:
- The potential dangers to human, animal, aquatic, and plant life.
- If the chemicals have any short or long-term health risks
- The accuracy and transparency of the label
If the risk assessment shows that pesticide or insecticide does not pose an immediate danger to human health, it is given the green light.
However, some are still justifiably still wary of those chemical treatments.
Ant Control at Home
Before you begin your process of non-toxic ant removal, you should know what type of ants you are dealing with. The most common types of ants in the United States are acrobat ants, argentine ants, and carpenter ants. They have small differences in appearances and in the way they behave that may help you figure out which kind you have.
Look for them in tight, dark places like crawl spaces, around foam insulation, and any exposed wood. Once you find where they are make note of the paths they walk. Ants leave a scent trail for other ants to follow. Understand their behavior, where they are coming from, and where they are going will make it easier to eliminate the problem.
Creating Your Natural Ant Repellent
Once you know what you are dealing with, it’s time to start making your homemade ant repellent.
Essential oils have many purported uses–including pest control. Certain essential oils, in fact, do work well as insect repellents. Similar to the effect of vinegar, the strong scent wards of ants and isolates ants.
Try out these natural recipes:
Cedarwood essential oil is a popular and effective choice for homemade pest treatments. To make a repellent spray, mix 10 to 15 drops of cedarwood oil with a half of a cup of vodka or water.
Shake well before use. Spray this solution in the same places as the vinegar solution to cut the ants off from their food source. Store in a cool dark area between uses.
Another very common choice for natural pest repellents is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil can be used in two different ways to naturally repel ants: as a spray and in its undiluted form.
To make a peppermint oil spray, combine 12 to 15 drops of peppermint oil with a half of a cup of water and one teaspoon of witch hazel or vodka. Shake well before use. Spray solution around the nest and along scent trails.
To use it in its undiluted form, put a few drops on a cotton ball or cotton swab and rub the oil along the trails the ants walk. You can also place the cotton balls in between or around the nest to block the ants from leaving. Change the cotton balls every day or two until your pest problem is resolved.
Store in a cool dark area between uses.
Patchouli oil arguably has one of the strongest scents among popular essential oils. The strong scent is not only an ant deterrent but it also could kill ants in their tracks.
You can use patchouli oil in a spray (using the same recipe as the peppermint oil spray) or in its undiluted form. Store in a cool dark area between uses.
About Essential Oils
Essential oils have a very potent smell and impressive pest control abilities. They are safer than commercial chemicals but could still pose a risk to pets.
Many oils are toxic to pets (cats, dogs, and birds). If your pets rub up against or lick areas where essential oils are applied, it could make them very sick.
For more tips on how to use essential oils effectively and check out this guide from discoverlsp.com.
As a bonus, try out this other natural option on our list. It’s a solution of two simple liquids: vinegar and water.
Combine 2 cups of white vinegar with 1 cup of water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar solution around the nest, along the scents trails they walk, and near your pantry.
While this solution won’t kill the ants directly, it will isolate the ants from their food source and therefore they will starve. You can use this solution around the perimeter of your home or anywhere else you think the ants may be entering.
Do not wipe up the solution immediately.
The intense odor of vinegar is repulsive to ants and will deter more ants from inviting themselves into your home.
Caution: Do not use vinegar on natural stone floors or countertops or hardwood floors.
Skip The Harsh Chemicals
Commercial chemicals used in pest control treatments should be used sparingly and as a last resort. It’s expensive, stinks, and is not all that good for you. Creating your own natural ant repellent is easy to do from the comfort of your own home.
We hope you enjoyed this guide. Check out our blog for more home and lifestyle articles.