Best Way to Get Rid of Ants In Your House

By HomeAdvisor

Updated January 20, 2021

ant infestation inside on the floor

The best way to get rid of ants is to use a bait that ants carry back to their nests. Getting rid of the nest is key to getting rid of an infestation. You can also use natural products, like diatomaceous earth or try commercial chemical ant spray. For home remedies, try items you may have on hand, like borax, vinegar or cinnamon.

On This Page:

  1. Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in a House
    1. Black Ants
    2. Sugar Ants
    3. Fire Ants
    4. Homemade Ant Bait Recipe
  2. Best Thing to Kill Ants
  3. Best Product to Get Rid of Ants
    1. Safe Way to Kill Ants
    2. Fastest Way to Get Rid of Ants
    3. Pet Safe Way to Get Rid of Ants
    4. Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen
  4. Best Home Remedy for Ants
  5. Prevent Ants from Returning

Twelve thousand species of ants cover the world, and if you have an infestation, you may feel like they’re all inside your home. While they can carry bacteria, the little black ones you see in your kitchen or on the windowsill aren’t usually dangerous, just annoying.

Some ants can sting or bite, though, and others chew through wood in your home. Luckily, you have several options for the best way to get rid of ants in the house.

Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in a House

The best way to get rid of ants in your house is to use ant bait. Bait is the combination of a substance that kills ants mixed with something they’ll enjoy eating.

Buy commercial ant bait traps online as well as in your local grocery store or hardware store. Ensure you place them out of reach of children and pets, as they contain mild toxins. Ant bait traps with adhesive on the bottom will help prevent little hands from picking them up. Place them in areas where you see ants in your home, such as:

  • On windowsills
  • Near baseboards
  • Inside kitchen cabinets
  • Under your refrigerator or stove
  • Near drains
  • Around outlets and pipes
  • Anywhere you see an opening in a wall

Best Way to Get Rid of Black Ants

This is the best way to get rid of black ants and other types of ant infestations because it doesn’t just kill the bugs you see in your home. The visible ants take the bait back to their nests. The other workers and the queen in the nest eat it, destroying the entire colony. This prevents a new infestation from taking over because once the queen is dead, she can no longer produce more ants.

Best Way to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

The best way to get rid of sugar ants in your home is a professional exterminator. You can try spraying insecticides and placing bait traps, but that usually only works short term or may even make them simply move to another area of your house.

Best Way to Get Rid of Fire Ants

Since fire ants live outside, plugging up entry points and baiting near them effectively keeps them out. Most fire ants are incredibly tiny, meaning they can get in your home through even the smallest cracks. You may want to rid them from around your home as well.

Homemade Ant Bait Recipe

You can also try making homemade ant bait. Mix a tablespoon of borax with a tablespoon of powdered sugar with about a teaspoon of shortening. Crumble the mixture, place it where you see ants, and replace it with new bait every day. Just make sure it’s out of reach from children and pets as well.

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Best Thing to Kill Ants

While bait is the best thing to get rid of ants, it’s not an instant fix. Commercial ant sprays kill the insects on contact. But sprays will only kill the ants you see, not the ones hiding in the colony. So it’s best to use sprays in combination with ant bait traps to wipe out an ant infestation indoors.

Available where you buy ant baits, commercial sprays are quick and easy to use. Grab the can and aim at any ant that enters your home. Just keep in mind that it does contain toxins, so it’s not always the best option for homes with children and pets.

Best Product to Get Rid of Ants

Almost any ant bait or spray that you find at a home improvement store works well. Always closely follow the directions on the insecticide. Common brands you’ll find locally that work include:

  • Terro
  • Amdro
  • Ortho
  • Raid
  • Syngenta
  • Advion (DuPont)
  • Bioadvanced

Safe Way to Kill Ants

The safest way to kill ants uses white vinegar. You can make a spray out of 50/50 vinegar and water. However, it doesn’t last as long as chemicals. You can also try these other methods:

  • Glass cleaner (ammonia)
  • Diatomaceous earth (silicon dioxide)
  • Dish or hand soap
  • Orange and lemon oil

Fastest Way to Get Rid of Ants

Hiring a professional gets rid of ants as fast or faster than off the shelf remedies. For the quickest DIY solution, use a combination of a perimeter spray or gel and bait traps.

Pet Safe Way to Get Rid of Ants

Using one of the safe methods listed above won’t harm your pet, except for orange or lemon oil, which can irritate some animals. For an effective solution, simply limit your pet’s exposure to areas with chemical sprays, gels and bait traps.

Best Way to Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen

Use any of the methods listed above to get rid of ants in your kitchen. But, you should also seal up any entry points if you can reach them. Sealing off all food is the most critical step to getting rid of ants in your kitchen.

Best Home Remedy for Ants

If you’re looking for a safer way than chemical sprays to get rid of ants or you’d like to try DIY pest control, dozens of home remedies handle the problem. Home remedies may take longer to work and be a little messier. But they avoid the use of chemicals, and you may already have them on hand. Some of our favorites include:

  • Coffee grounds: Place them at entry points to deter ants from coming inside.
  • Food grade diatomaceous earth: Safe for humans and animals, it dehydrates ants when used as an entry barrier.
  • Spices: Sprinkle cinnamon where ants enter your home or use red pepper if you don’t have pets or children.
  • White vinegar: Use it as a spray in areas ants frequent to kill them and deter them.

Prevent Ants from Returning

Once you’ve solved an ant problem, you can hire an ant exterminator near you to prevent them from returning, or you can take some steps to fix it yourself.

Start by sealing up entry points where possible. You may find that ants enter through a crack in the wall or through a window that needs a new seal.

Next, clean up. Ant colonies send scouts out looking for food. If they find what they’re looking for in your home, they’ll invade. Sweep and mop floors regularly, and keep your counters wiped down. Store food, especially sweet items, in air-tight containers.

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