Late summer and heading into fall comprise the time of year when ants are busiest looking for provisions as they prepare for the lean, cold months ahead. Nature’s and picnickers’ bounties are all about and they can eat like queens.
That can also mean this is prime time for them to show up at your house. While Big Tool Box can provide you a lot of solutions for knocking down colonies outside your home and keeping ants away from your doorstep, they may not be the solutions you want to implement inside where pets and children are.
If that’s true for you and you’ve got crawlers in your cabinets, here are some solutions that can help get ants out of your house and keep them where they belong.
How to Get Ants Out of Your House
- The first step is figuring out what they are coming into your home for and eliminating that attraction. Check the area or areas where you commonly see them for open food, spills, and other items that might attract them.
- Address your findings next. If they’re in cabinets with boxed foods such as cereals, crackers, and pasta, they may be getting into the boxes and carrying off crumbs. If there are a lot of ants inside the containers, throw them out, and start again. If there aren’t or when you bring a new box in, empty the contents into a sealed container the ants won’t be able to get into. Obviously, if it’s a spill or open food, just clean it up and/or throw it away.
- Next, get the ants you can see. Use a rag soaked in a 2-to-1 solution of white vinegar and water to wipe up the ants you see—the vinegar kills the ants and cleans up the trails they leave to direct those who follow to the bounty. Follow the trail all the way to the entry point the ants are using, wiping the whole way with the vinegar solution. If it’s a door or window, apply some of the vinegar to the frame and/or doorstep; it will help repel the ants on an ongoing basis.
- Determine if there is more you can do to close off the space the ants are coming in through. For doors and windows, weather sealing can help do that and provide energy-saving benefits that keep hot and cold outside. If it’s a structural crack, seal it up inside, then figure out what the issue is outside. If you feel confident you can patch the issue and there isn’t lasting damage, go ahead and do it. If it’s a more significant issue, you may need to call in a contractor to fix it.
- Apply ant control to the area around where the ants were coming in and on any visible ant mounds or colonies to further discourage new movement into your home. However, since pesticides can be harmful to animals and people, ensure you follow advice on how to apply it safely.
- Clean your home. While ants aren’t known for causing major health risks, it’s still a good idea to disinfect food storage areas you saw them in. Additionally, it’s a good idea to sweep and mop the floor to deal with any crumbs left there and help eliminate any other ant trails still there.
- Fix issues outside that could invite ants in. From cutting plants back away from your home’s structure to replacing your landscaping groundcover, there are many things you can do outside to reduce ant colonization.