12 Home Remedies for Ants

Ants are bothersome pests that can be difficult to eliminate once they invade your home. You could use toxic over-the-counter home remedy for ants products like sprays and powders, or you could try hiring an exterminator. However, both methods are costly and expose your home and family to toxic chemicals and fumes. You can treat an ant invasion in your home just as effectively with any of these 12 natural home remedies for ants.

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is one of the more popular and inexpensive natural remedies for ants that effectively keeps these pests away from your home. Ants hate the smell of lemon. When they pick up on the scent of lemon, they are more likely to avoid your home and find shelter elsewhere.

Necessary items

  • Whole lemons or bottled lemon juice
  • A spray bottle to spray the juice around windows, doors, and other entry points
  • Cotton balls to soak in lemon juice and place on sills, corners, and elsewhere to deter ants

You can find fresh lemons year round at any grocery store. You can also use inexpensive bottled lemon juice. Lemon juice is among the safest and most natural among all home remedies for ants without spending a lot or exposing your home and family to harmful chemicals.

Spray fresh or bottled lemon juice around sills, doorways, corners, and elsewhere ants like to hide. You can also leave fresh lemon rinds to deter ants.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another cheap and inexpensive natural way to get rid of ants in your home because these pests hate the smell and feel of it.

But even though cinnamon smells great to humans, it can bother your pets’ eyes and noses. You should avoid using cinnamon where your pets sleep and eat. You should also clean up the cinnamon water regularly so that it does not dry and become sticky, which could actually attract ants instead of deter them.

Necessary items

  • Powdered cinnamon or fresh sticks of cinnamon
  • A grater to grate the cinnamon sticks
  • Cotton balls to dab in cinnamon water
  • A spray bottle to spray the cinnamon water around your home

For this natural ant killer and deterrent, you can use either bottled or fresh cinnamon. You can also sprinkle it or mix the cinnamon with water to create a homemade ant killer that you can spray around your doorways, windows, and anywhere else you have seen ants.

3. Peppermint

Many homeowners have long used essential oils for ants as a homemade ant killer and deterrent. Like cinnamon and lemon, peppermint oil deters ants with its powerful scent and also its oily, filmy texture. Peppermint also dries out ants’ bodies and can even blind them if they walk through it.

While it is an effective ant killer that is inexpensive and easy to use, it also can be lethal to cats. Likewise, it can make dogs sick if they ingest it. If you have pets and use peppermint oil as a homemade ant killer, you are cautioned to apply it in areas where your pets commonly do not frequent.

Necessary items

  • Peppermint oil, which can be found at organic grocery store and some big box retailers
  • Cotton balls to absorb the oil and place in window sills, etc

Apply the oil anywhere you see ants. If you have pets and use peppermint oil as a homemade ant killer, you are cautioned to apply it in areas where your pets commonly do not frequent.

4. White Vinegar

When it comes to home remedies for ants, white vinegar has long been recognized as a home remedy for ants that is cheap and easy to use. You can find white vinegar often for sale for less than a dollar at your favorite grocery store.

As a natural ant repellent, it masks ants’ scent trails and causes them to lose direction as they try to get into your home. Ants also hate the smell of white vinegar, which also makes it a great home remedy for ants. However, despite being one of the easiest home remedies for ants, white vinegar can also hurt your pets’ eyes and noses. The smell can also be difficult for your family to tolerate.

Necessary items

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

Mix the white vinegar with water or leave by itself before spraying around windows, doors, and elsewhere inside your home.

5. Borax, Water, and Sugar

Borax is one of the more widely used home remedies to get rid of ants. However, despite being an effective homemade ant trap, borax by itself can be toxic to not only ants but also your pets and your family if it is not applied properly. When you want to cut some of the toxicity of the borax and still create a useful home remedy for ants, you can mix it with water and sugar.

Necessary items

  • Borax
  • Table sugar
  • Water
  • Cotton balls or spray bottle for application

Remember to clean up this natural ant killer to keep the sticky sugar water from drying out on your home’s surfaces. Also remember to keep your pets and children away from this powerful natural ant repellent.

6. Diatomaceous Earth

When it comes to knowing how to get rid of ants naturally, sometimes you need to think of products that kill these pests on contact. Diatomaceous earth is an extremely effective home remedy for ants that costs very little to invest in yet still gives you the results you want. Despite being lethal to ants and other pests, it is relatively safe for you, your pets, and family to be around at home.

Necessary items

  • Diatomaceous earth, which can be found at grocery or hardware stores
  • A spray bottle with a nozzle for application

As one of the more effective home remedies for ants, however, it is important that you apply the diatomaceous earth in strategic places in your home and yard. This method of how to get rid of ants naturally dries out and tears apart the ants’ bodies as they walk through the diatomaceous earth.

7. Chalk

Ordinary white chalk is one of the cheapest and most effective home remedies for ants at your disposal. Ants hate the scent and feel of chalk and will avoid it if they come into contact with it. Chalk is also safe to use around your children and pets.

Necessary items

  • White chalk
  • An emory board or grater if you want to apply powdered chalk

Drawing a line of chalk on your window sills, in your doorways, and elsewhere is a simple home remedy for ants that can keep these pests at bay for days.

8. Coffee Grounds

Using coffee grounds is one of the natural home remedies for ants that lets you recycle while also keeping annoying pests out of your home. Just like the case of lemon juice, cinnamon, ways to get rid of ants, these pests do not like the way that coffee grounds smell or feel. Coffee grounds can also be a messy tip for how to get rid of ants naturally if your pets or children track the grounds into your flooring or carpeting.

Necessary items

  • Coffee grounds
  • Cotton balls or a spoon for application
  • A paper filter or container for storing the grounds

Spread wet coffee grounds outside your home under windows, around bushes, and in your garden to get rid of ants and keep them out of your home.

9. Corn Meal

Corn meal is one of the more cost effective and environmentally friendly home remedies to get rid of ants today. The corn meal dries out ants’ bodies as well as throws off their scent trail as they try to invade your home. You can find corn meal at any grocery store. Corn meal can dry out and cause a caked mess that can be difficult to clean up if you do not sweep it up regularly.

Necessary items

  • Corn meal
  • A shaker or puff bottle for application

You should apply it as a dry powder around your home and in places like your window sills, doorways, and elsewhere to deter ants.

10. Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar

Baking soda and powdered sugar can create a great natural ant repellent that keeps these pests out of your home for good. Mix the soda and powdered sugar with water to create a paste.

Necessary items

  • Baking soda
  • Powdered or confectioner’s sugar
  • Water
  • Cotton balls

Dab cotton balls in the paste before applying to sills, doorways, and other places to kill ants. The paste dries out ants’ bodies and blocks their sense of smell.

11. Boiling Water and Dish Soap

Boiling water and dish soap is a powerful and cheap ant killer that can be used both inside and outside of your home. It is only effective, however, when the water is boiling. If the water cools below a boiling point, it will not be as powerful in killing ants. Likewise, you could burn yourself if you are not careful with the boiling water ant killer.

Necessary items

  • Dish soap
  • Boiling water
  • A spray bottle or container to apply the remedy

The combination of the soap and boiling water kills these pests on contact and can also be poured over ant hills to kill hatchlings and eggs.

12. Equal or Sugar Substitute

One of the more curious if not innovative natural home ant killer remedies is a sugar substitute like Equal. Sugar substitutes contain neurotoxins that kill ants that come into contact with them. Ants that take the sugar substitute back to their nests likewise poison their offspring as well as other ants in the nest.

Necessary items

  • Equal or another sugar substitute
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

You can apply the sugar substitute as a powder or make a sugar water out of it before spraying it inside and outside of your home.


Getting rid of ants no longer calls for you to spend a lot of money or expose you and your loved ones to harmful chemicals. Rather than buy toxic over-the-counter products or hire a professional exterminator, you may have as much success using a home remedy for ants.

You can get rid of these pests effectively by using any of these 12 natural home remedies to kill ants. These natural ant killer tips are simple to use and spare your ant extermination budget.

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