Fresh mint leaves keep bad breath at bay, and they'll do the same for ants. To make a sprayable deterrent, mix two to three tablespoons of peppermint oil with a quart of water. Spray liberally around the ants' points of origin, making sure to hit all the nooks and crannies. As a bonus, your home will smell minty fresh.
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You'd be hard-pressed to find ants crawling around in a cucumber salad, because ants loathe the scent of this crunchy vegetable. Set a few peels or gratings near your ant infestation to shoo them away. Once you're free from the worry of those little pests, place two leftover cucumber slices on your eyes and relax.
Honey and Borax
To an ant, a snack of honey and borax is simply "to die for." Mix one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of hot water, then stir in one teaspoon of borax. Create a trap by spreading a fine layer across a small note card or flat lid, and lay it down near the ants for a day or two. As delicious as the concoction is, not a single ant will make it back for seconds.
SAFETY TIP: Take extra precaution if you have children or pets, because borax is harmful if ingested
Cayenne Pepper and Garlic
Ants who take up residence in garden patches pose their own particular problem—anthills. A spray made from two teaspoons cayenne, a few blended bulbs of garlic, and a cup of water will send ants running from the hills. Spray liberally where the ants reside, and wave goodbye.
Related: 8 Things the Exterminator Won’t Tell You for Free
Apple Cider Vinegar
Ants use scent to follow each other in their infamous marching line. Disrupt the scent with apple cider vinegar. Make a spray of one part apple cider vinegar to one part water, and apply wherever a conga line starts to form. Repeat applications until the ant parade comes to permanent halt.
A sprinkle of cinnamon will spice up your French toast, but don't expect ants to join you for brunch, because they can't bear the scent of cinnamon. Make use of their aversion by sprinkling powdered cinnamon or placing a couple of cinnamon sticks wherever ants congregate. Just be sure not to use too much, or your home might start smelling like Cinnabon!
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Nicotine and Water
Anthills on your property act as bases for ants to stage assaults on your home. One great way to fire back is by soaking those hills in nicotine-infused water. The same pipe tobacco that can be harmful to humans over the long term will instantly dispose of an entire ant infantry. To stage your sneak attack, soak pipe tobacco in water overnight, then pour it over the anthills.
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Caulking and Cement
Natural remedies help combat ants who have already found their way to your home. If, however, you have holes and cracks in your walls and floors, you're leaving the door open to more unwelcome visitors in the future. The best way to prevent infestation is by using caulk or cement to seal up any ant entry points, making it harder for the trespassers to get in.
Powdered Sugar and Baking Soda
It may not be the kindest way to vanquish the ant army in your kitchen, but it is effective. Mix one part powdered sugar with one part baking powder, and leave the mixture in corners of your kitchen where ants are located. The ants will be drawn to the sweetness of the sugar, but it's the baking soda that will kill them when ingested.
The scent trails that ants use to follow each other into your home can be disrupted with nothing more than ordinary dish soap. Fill a spray bottle with water, add 1/4 cup of dish soap, and shake the bottle to dissolve. Spray the mixture liberally near access points like doorways, windows, and other cracks. The sticky mess should deter ants from crossing the line, but if they do manage to make it across, they won't be able to leave a scent trail for other ants to follow.
Humans may like the smell of fresh lemons, but ants, on the other hand, do not. The bright smell of citrus isn't the only reason that fresh lemon juice makes a good ant repellent. Like apple cider vinegar, and dish soap, lemon juice disrupts the scent trail that ants leave for other ants to follow. When applied at key access points around the house, lemon juice can deter ants from entering your home.
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If these creative remedies don't remove your ant infestation, consider using a more powerful solution like diatomaceous earth. This all-natural powder is non-toxic to pets and humans but lethal to ants, roaches, bed bugs, and any insect with an exoskeleton. Opt for food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is just as deadly to ants but safer for you and your household.
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If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!