How to kill ants in the kitchen

How to Kill Ants in the kitchen Effectively

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Almost every kitchen has had to deal with some uninvited guests-ants and bugs. These small crawling insects live in colonies, explaining why they invade in numbers. Insects in general are most notorious in the kitchen, from where they get food to feed the entire colony. In this article, we shall look at the common types of ants that invade kitchens and how to kill them off. We shall also look at damages that these ants can cause as well as practices that can help keep them away. Lets we how to kill ants in the kitchen and house step by step.

Common types of Ants

There are three (3) types of ants likely to be present in a house and especially the kitchen. These are;

  • Pavement Ants
  • Sugar Ants
  • Carpenter Ants

Pavement ants

These ants are the tiniest of the three types. They are either black or brown and are mostly found in the pavements and driveways. A place infested by these small bugs can be easily identified from the small heaps of dirt left of their foraging activity.

The pavement ants will only enter your kitchen if they find entry points, mostly near the ground. Once in the house, more of them join in making a mess of the kitchen.

Sugar Ants

Just as the name points, sugar ants are attracted to sugary foods. The name denotes a group of ants’ species including, acrobat ants, Pharaoh ants, or the odorous house ants. The ants are either black or brown as well and their presence is only a sign of exposed sugary foods or sweets.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants get their name from their wood-boring behavior. They are also referred to as ‘wood-destroying insects’ due to their insatiable appetite for wood. Wooden kitchen cabinets are good breeding grounds for these ants. They do not eat wood, but chew it and upchuck it to make pathways through the wooden part.

You may have encountered one or more of the above ants in your kitchen and possibly wondering how you could get rid of them. The good thing is that you can do it from the ingredients already in your kitchen. There’re still other methods you can use, but at a small cost. Let’s explore some of these hacks to keep the bug out.

How to kill ants and insects in the kitchen

Wiping out ants and other bugs from your kitchen has never been easy. You will find at least one of these methods really convenient for you. Read on to find out how your kitchen could be ants-free in minutes.

1. White vinegar

A proportionate mixture of white vinegar and water is a very effective ants’ killer. Wiping up ants with this vinegar solution kills them instantly.

The smell of white vinegar also keeps insects and ants away. If the house is infested by the small bugs, use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar to wipe hard surfaces such as countertops and the floor.

2. Cinnamon leaf and cinnamon essential oil

Cinnamon and its derivatives contain cinnamaldehyde which is a good ant killer and repellent. Whenever ants intrude your kitchen, cinnamon powder and cotton balls soaked in cinnamon oil can be very helpful. Place these on the entry points and windowsills and you might have just bid the bugs goodbye.

3. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has been tested and proven effective in killing ants and repelling them as well. You need between 5 and 10 drops of the oil in two cups of lukewarm water. Spray the resultant mixture on the ants to get rid of them.

Cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil will keep the ants out if placed at their entry points.

4. Silicon dioxide

Also known as diatomaceous earth, this type of silica contains fossilized diatoms. The silica is in practice not a poison but it absorbs oil from the exoskeleton, drying out the ant or insect. Dust from this silica irritates the throat and skin. Avoid direct contact or breathing it in.

5. Boric acid

This is one of the remedies you might have to visit the local hardware store to buy. It is an effective poison against ants by just exposure. The poison erodes the ants’ outer shells and stomachs.

This poison needs to be used with bait, preferably something sweet that’ll draw the ants. A readily available bait is corn syrup or even maple syrup. Place the poisoned on a surface prevalent with ants.

6. Borax

Borax is sodium tetraborate. It’s easily mistaken for boric acid but the two substances are very different. Borax is a poison that just like boric acid, needs a bait. The procedure here is quite simple. You just warm some water with sugar and the poison compound. Pour in small bits on disposable surfaces, preferably plastic or hard papers. Place the bait along ants’ paths.

There are some other means of keeping the ants out of your kitchen without even killing them. these follow next in our list.

How to repel ants from the kitchen and the house

You do not have to actually kill the ants in your kitchen. A few things can make them leave in minutes. Below are some substance and how you can use them to keep ants at bay.

i) Peppermint oil

10 to 20 drops of essential peppermint oil in 2 cups of warm water make an excellent ant’s repellent. The mixture should be sprayed at those points where ants are likely to gain entrance through or inhabit.

ii) Neem oil

Neem oil is extracted from the neem tree, that is native to India. Saturate a piece of cotton with the oil and place at entry points or near substances that attract ants. Neem products also work as well at repelling ants and insects.

iii) Lemon eucalyptus oil

OLE is extracted from the gum eucalyptus tree, which is found in Australia. The oil contains PMD which is effective against ants and insects, just as any commercial repellent. Some ant types do not survive this compound once exposed.

iv) OLE (oil of lemon eucalyptus)

OLE is extracted from the gum eucalyptus tree, which is found in Australia. The oil contains PMD which is effective against ants and insects, just as any commercial repellent. Some ant types do not survive this compound once exposed.

v) Glass cleaner

Glass cleaner mixed with any liquid detergent or dish soap makes an excellent ant’s repellent. The mixture should just be sprayed near the points of entrance and substances likely to attract ants.

This mixture tends to remove the ants’ trailing pheromones. Without pheromone in their trails, ants cannot communicate and thus cannot converge in the kitchen or any other source of their food.

Hand soap alone works similarly and can be used alone, without the glass cleaner.

vi) Coffee grounds, orange peels, and lemon

These three ‘waste’ substances can serve to keep ants from your house. Fresh coffee grounds can last a few days before losing their potency. They should thus be changed or hydrated to keep them effective. Orange peels tend to also repel flies from the house.

Squeeze a half-cut lemon in water and use it to wipe the floor and kitchen countertops to keep ants away

vii) Table salt

Ants dislike table salt as much as they dislike pepper. Spread a pinch of table salt around colonies and entry points and ants will immediately clear from the premises.

If these methods do not work, you might need to use chemical insecticides. These are available from any local agro-vet shop.

Having known how to control ants from the kitchen, you might be in doubt if ants are that bad in the kitchen. So, how exactly are insects harmful? Let’s find out.

Why you should not let ants in the house

Having known how to control ants from the kitchen, you might be in doubt if ants are that bad in the kitchen. So, how exactly are insects harmful? Here is how;

A. Home damage

carpenter ants are especially destructive of wooden structures. Through their boring action, they weaken wooden structures and if they bore for long enough, the structure may crumble without warning

B. Heath risks

bites and stings from ants and other insects can cause pain, swelling, and allergic reactions in some cases.

C. Food contamination

Insects crawl in and out of the house and through the floor. These tiny insects collect germs on their way and if they land on food, the germs contaminate the food making it unsafe for human consumption

D. Other pests

Other pests that feed on ants will make their way into the house if it becomes a hotspot of ants.

Ants do not just come into the house. Some things attract them. To ensure they do not become a bother, there are some measures you can take forehand.

Practices that deter ants and insects from the house/kitchen

Before thinking of how to kill them, you must have been wondering if there are things you’re doing wrong. Below are some things you can do to minimize ants’ infestation, so you do not have to kill them in the first place.

  • Keeping sweets and other pantry items in properly sealed containers.List Element
  • Throwing wastes from the house within two three days
  • Wiping off any food spillages from the floor and kitchen countertops
  • Repairing any sources of unwanted moisture in the house
  • Covering any leftover foodstuffs
  • Keeping shrubs near the house trimmed

Wrapping it up

Ants can be a nuisance in the kitchen especially. If you try the above methods to kill and repel ants, you should be guaranteed some peace of mind. All the methods discussed here can be done without expertise but if the problem is quite big or recurrent, contact professionals in the field.

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