DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Ants

September 10th, 2018
DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Ants

Are you among those who spring into action at the very sight of ants? Do you jump on them or spritz insect spray only to have them march back a few days later? It’s hard to get rid of ants. They dwell in a huge colony in dark corners of your home or yard. What’s hard is spotting the specific type because each one behaves differently. The remedies that work for some may not work for the other. You may be surprised to know that there are about 8,800 species of ants with 580 varieties found in North America itself. About 92 species of ants have been found in British Columbia. Here are a few tips to get rid of a few common varieties and keep them away.


If you have a sweet tooth and desserts in your kitchen, odorous ants could be residing in your home with you. They release a chemical pheromone trail wherever they go so if you wage war, their friends and family will simply sniff out the odorous trail and turn up at your door to get back at you. To wipe them out, you need to attack the entire colony.

  • Dip a sponge in soapy water to wash out the pheromone trail.
  • Powdered sugar will attract them and borax will kill them. Mix one part borax with three parts powdered sugar. Fill bottle caps with this DIY bait and place them in strategic places around the house where you suspect they enter from.
  • Alternately, mix one cup warm water with ½ cup sugar and three tablespoons borax. Dip cotton wool balls in the mixture and place them in shallow bottle caps near the ant trails.
  • If they find the sugar feast, they may stop wandering all over the house to look for them. Once they congregate, the confusion begins. They may be unable to detect the difference between borax and sugar and carry back the bait to their colonies.
  • The more bait they carry back, the fewer ants you will see around the house.

House Ants: The best way to keep house ants away is to keep your kitchen neat and clean. Wipe up spills, crumbs and garbage as soon as possible. Store leftover food in ziplock bags. Keep jars of sugar and honey tightly sealed. Wipe of drips around the lid. Another effective way to get rid of them is by spraying white vinegar near the baseboards, cracks, countertops and surfaces several times a day.

Carpenter Ants: In homes made of wood carpenter ants are common. They live in wood and travel through it, creating little tunnels by chewing on them. If you find tiny piles of sawdust near woodpiles, decks, gaps between boards etc., you know they have been there and done that. Unlike many other ants, they don’t carry the bait back to the colonies so you can wipe them out at the source. Carpenter ants live out in the yard but enter your home to look for food and water. Here’s a DIY remedy to deal with them:

Diatomaceous Earth (DE): is a lethal dust for insects that is made from algae-like plants that is completely natural and organic. It has microscopic razor-sharp edges that slice through the insides of carpenter ants. Get food grade for pest control. This can be sprinkled around the home interior and exterior without endangering kids and pets. Use a medicine dropper to squirt it into cracks and crevices where you find them lurking. You may need to apply a few times till they are all wiped out.

Other DIY Remedies:

Cinnamon or baby powder are also effective remedies. Sprinkle them at entry points. Vaseline is another effective remedy as in peppermint oil.


If DIY doesn’t work, just call a professional. Most store-bought ant busters are dangerous for the family and pets in your home. Ants are tenacious, so if your home is infested, just call a reliable pest control company such as Gilpins Pest Control at the earliest. We assess the problem, identify the ant type and use the least-toxic liquid insecticide to bring the best results. Treatments in the Greater Vancouver Area carry a one-year warranty.