Keeping Ants Out Of The Kitchen

by Nicki on June 2, 2010

in Saving Money

The Ant That Wouldn't Hold Still
Have you had ants in your kitchen lately? A few weeks ago they appeared in my kitchen. For several days I killed them each time I saw one but I became increasingly annoyed as the number of them grew. My first thought was – I need to buy some ant traps. My second thought was – No I don’t. I bet I can get rid of them with something I already have.

A quick online search led me to a great article from Tip Nut. The article had some really useful information. One thing it cited was that ants leave a trail for their ant friends to find that is undetectable to humans – this would explain why, even though I was killing them, more were appearing.

The first thing the article suggested were a few repellents – one of which was vinegar. Are you surprised? There is very little that vinegar can’t do. They suggested cleaning surfaces with vinegar and that it would repel the ants. As many of you know, I use a lemon/vinegar all purpose cleaner anyway so this was’t tough for me.  I clean the counters at least once per day with vinegar but in-between time I usually just wipe them down with a dish cloth. After reading that article I kept my spray bottle on the counter, and every time I needed to wipe up any food at all – I used the spray. I sprayed around the trash can and all along the floor where I had spotted them. In less than a day – ants gone.

I was all ready to try out the other ideas – especially the bait, to see if they actually worked. Lucky for me, I don’t think I’ll have to bait and kill them in my kitchen. However, I’ve noticed a few in my bathroom lately – and there’s no way I’m walking in there multiple times per day to spray and wipe down with cleaner. So maybe I’ll get to try something else out in there.

Another great resource is the list of natural ant repellents. There’s a list of common items that ants naturally stay away from. The article suggests sprinkling the repellent in cracks or crevices where you see the ants appearing. I was going to try the cinnamon – I love the scent, so sprinkling a little here or there wouldn’t bother me at all. I really like that you can use ordinary things in your home, non-toxic things, to take care of an ant problem.

Have you had ants in your home and you found a way to get rid of them naturally? Please share!

Why I do what I do ~ On my birthday recently my husband gave me a gift that was a little more than I was expecting. As a result of my shock I gave him one of those slaps on the back of the head that wives occasionally give – in love of course, I was very grateful. The next day, Chloe was hanging out with me and we were chatting. She asked me if I liked my birthday present. I told her yes, I liked it very much. She said, “I don’t want you to hit Daddy when you like your present anymore.” She had clearly been thinking about it. Poor thing thought Mom and Dad were fighting. Guess I better cut down on the head-smacking.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catherine June 2, 2010 at 7:53 am

I have had good luck with cinnamon! I just put down a little line of it and they would NOT cross it! Make sure they can’t get around it and they will stay away. :-) I used a old plastic card (great use for insurance cards or expired AAA cards, etc!) to push the cinnamon around until it formed a skinny barrier.
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..Totally Free Things to Do in Juneau, Alaska =-.

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2 Nicki June 2, 2010 at 8:03 am

Catherine – Good to know!! Thanks!

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3 Andrea June 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

We’ve had ants on and off all spring. Vinegar wasn’t cutting it for us but after trying many of the other natural repellants we put down corn starch where they come in and we haven’t had an issue since (well, once when I mopped up the corn starch they came back so I put more down).
.-= Andrea´s last blog ..Sewing for baby =-.

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4 nopinkhere June 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thank you for this! I’ve been battling ants in my trash for the last week!
.-= nopinkhere´s last blog ..Parental Abuse? =-.

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5 Elisa | blissfulE June 3, 2010 at 2:49 am

Vinegar wasn’t enough for me in the kitchen during a rainy spell recently, so I scattered some unpeeled garlic cloves around the edges of my countertop (about one every foot or so since I didn’t know where they were getting in). Their numbers diminished within a day. I left the garlic there a week just to be sure. No more ants!
.-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..June Goals =-.

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6 Bankruptcy Ben June 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I live in the subtropics so ants are a constant issue. Remember they’re actually pretty clean little animals so don’t freak out to much. Still it’s not the nices thing to see a ceiling covered in ants (that’s actually happened to me). I solved the problem it a three fold way.
1. Keep a clean kitchen
2. Keep everything sweet in the fridge or sealed ultra tight (make sure you wipe the outside of the container if you get spills)
3. Give the ant’s somewhere to live that’s dry and hospitable. Basically don’t try and poison them other ants will replace them and sometimes you’ll end up with more ants. Just plant lots of trees and shrubs and they’ll leave you alone.
.-= Bankruptcy Ben´s last blog ..FFJ-2 Changes Made =-.

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7 Kate June 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I got a great recipe from a blog inspirednutmeg@blogspot She made her own bait with 3TBSP Sugar, 1TBSP Borax stir in enough water to make a paste then add 1tsp peanut butter. Put in a container (yogurt works well) with a lid and poke holes in it. They eat it, and then bring the poison to their nest as the commercial baits do. I put on in a cupboard and within 4 hours the ants were going crazy telling all their buds about the new buffet in town. The next day. No ants! Sweet! I do still have ants in other areas of my kitchen so I’m moving the bait around, I really should just make another to leave on the counter. Borax is toxic in larger amounts so don’t let your kids or dogs eat the ant bait- just in case.

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8 Nicki June 8, 2010 at 5:42 am

That’s similar to the bait they suggested at Tip Nut. I’ve got three little girls in my house most days, so I thought I’d try all the natural remedies first! Good idea to put it in a covered container with holes!

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