There are a number of products on the market for eliminating ants in and around the home. Unfortunately, most are poisonous to children and pets. There are, however, quite a few pet-safe, homemade recipes for repelling ants. Cayenne pepper, black pepper, vinegar, soapy water and citrus oils are just a few pet-safe, homemade remedies. These options will repel ants but will not eliminate them. One of the only homemade recipes for killing ants incorporates the use of sodium borate, which is poisonous to children and pets.
Things You'll Need
- Black pepper
Observe the areas in your home where ants are congregating and traveling to and from. Wipe down all areas the ants seem to be traveling to with a rag soaked with vinegar. Most people experience ant problems in their kitchens, particularly on their counters.
Ensure that all food is sealed up tightly and stored in cupboards and cabinets. Keep your counters and other food preparation areas as clean as possible. Wipe down your counters with vinegar once or twice a week until the ants are no longer seen.
Mix a paste of one part water to one part black pepper. Spread the pepper paste mixture in the areas where the ants are entering your house. This is usually near a door or window. This pepper mixture will deter the ants from entering your home.
Kill any ants as you notice them. This natural ant repellent isn't a bait and kill system. There is no poison that the ants are bringing back to their nest, so it is advised to kill any ants you find in your home. Wipe away any old pepper paste with the vinegar-soaked rag twice a week and apply fresh pepper paste.
Continue this process until there are no more ants in your home.
Tips & Warnings
- If you notice a large number of ants just outside your doorways, you can apply a large amount of pepper mixture there as well.
- If you find a nest just outside the doorway, try dumping some vinegar on top of it--only if the ants are not biting or dangerous ants. The use of vinegar directly on a nest may result in mass scattering of the ants, which may temporarily drive more ants into your home.
- If you are dealing with a biting or dangerous ant species (such as fire ants), a professional exterminator is advised.
- Photo Credit coffee with ant image by henriquefz from Fotolia.com