How to Handle an Ant Infestation

Let’s be honest: we’re all at least a little squeamish about bugs and other creepy crawlers. Considering how much we like finding them in our homes, it’s easy to understand the horror some experience when their homes become infested with an ant infestation!

Ants can cause illness, structural and cosmetic damage, and more. Learn how to deal with an ant infestation in your home and discover some excellent ant control tips and tricks you can use immediately.

Identifying an Infestation

Scout ants look around for food and leave behind a tiny trail for other ants to follow. If ants appear in one area a few times, it is likely an infestation.

Checking behind the stove and refrigerator is a great place to start in the kitchen. Look in the corners of the pantry and any walls around the food, as ants can often get in through tiny cracks. If ants live outdoors, check around the house’s foundations and close windows, as ants often attempt to enter homes from these areas.

Keep Your House Clean

Start by thoroughly cleaning your counters, floors, and other areas where ants have been spotted. Take out the trash and vacuum around windows and doorways. Ants are attracted to food, so keeping food sealed or stored in air-tight containers will be beneficial. Keep dishes clean and wash them right away after use.

Try to limit the surfaces where food is exposed and clean any crumbs or spills immediately. Use an all-purpose cleaner to spray affected areas. For severe infestations, contact an exterminator to identify and treat the issue. Regular maintenance and preventative measures such as these can go a long way in helping to get rid of and prevent ant infestations.

Eliminate Damp Spots and Rotted Wood

Remove damp spots and rotted wood to eliminate an ant infestation, as these provide a place for ants to nest and survive. Remove any piles of wet leaves, grass clippings, or other organic debris from home.

If any areas of the home have leaks or other water sources, identify and fix the problem as soon as possible. Be sure to eliminate any rotted wood, which can act as a breeding ground and food source for the ants. An ant infestation can be controlled and eliminated by properly removing damp spots and rotted wood.

Set Ant Baits

Place the baits in areas where ants are commonly spotted, like inside and outside the window and door frames, kitchen cabinets, and pantry shelves. Once placed, check the bait traps every 2-3 days and refill them as necessary. Ensure to use gloves when handling the bait traps, as the bait can be toxic in large amounts.

Remember that ant baits are designed to be gradual, and building a lasting solution may take weeks or longer to have a noticeable impact. If the infestation is still out-of-control, contact a pest control professional to investigate the issue and help remove the remaining ants.

Home Remedies for Controlling Ants

If you are dealing with an ant infestation, you can use several home remedies to help control the population. It may be helpful to identify any cracks, gaps, and other points of entry in the home and seal them off to prevent more ants from entering.

Here’s a list of home remedies to control ant infestation:

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder made from silica and algae and works by physically slicing through the insect’s protective exterior and dehydrating them within a few days. Spread a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the location of the ant infestation.


Sprinkle a layer of powdered pepper around the areas the ants are using to access your home. This method creates an ant-repellent barrier that will force the ants to go another way. For spots indoors, you can also spray cayenne pepper mixed with water on surfaces ants are known to congregate.


Detergents help eliminate ants by breaking down the fatty acids and proteins that ants need to survive. Mix detergents to get rid of an ant infestation into warm water and spray them along baseboards and windowsills. It will create an unpleasant, slippery surface that will make it difficult for ants to move around.

Essential Oils

All-natural methods are a preferred option when possible. One of the suggested methods includes creating a solution that consists of two tablespoons of lemon juice and two tablespoons of witch hazel.

Then add ten to fifteen drops of essential oil like peppermint, thyme, or eucalyptus. Spray it around the area where ants enter the home. The smell of the essential oils will repel the ants and keep them away.

White Vinegar

Spray a mixture of white vinegar and water on the ants and their entry points. You can mix vinegar with other scented ingredients, such as almond extract, as ants find strong odors unappealing. Once you spray the solution, the ants stay away, and you can clean the surface effectively. Re

When To Call a Professional

Professional pest control services can determine the type of ant and offer advice on handling them properly. Experienced pest controllers can also apply treatments that are unavailable over the counter. You can call an exterminator for further treatments to help eradicate a large ant infestation.

When dealing with an ant infestation, it is essential to do proper research before attempting it yourself. If you are unsuccessful, it may be a good idea to call a professional to help handle the issue more efficiently.

Prevent Further Ant Infestations With These Tips

Ant infestations can be intimidating, but homeowners can successfully handle an ant infestation by taking proactive steps such as keeping food sealed, immediately cleaning up food scraps, and calling an exterminator for severe infestations. Take control of your ant infestation now and get your space back in order.

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