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How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally for Under $10!

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diy get rid of ants naturallyA few months after moving into our new home, I discovered we had an ant infestation.

I wanted a way to get rid of ants naturally because my youngest son was barely a month old at the time. I didn’t feel comfortable spraying chemicals in my home that my kids and I would be breathing in.

Mistakenly, I believed it wouldn’t be that hard to get rid of them. After all, there were natural solutions all over the Internet.

Boy, was I wrong!

Nothing Worked to Get Rid of the Ants!

I tried one natural solution after another with no lasting effects. The ants often disappeared for 2-3 days only to come back with a vengeance.

Every week, the infestation seemed to get worse.

If my kids or I dropped any food on the kitchen floor, it was swarming with ants in just a few short minutes.

I don’t know about your kids, but mine rarely go through meals without dropping crumbs or small amounts of food on the floor.

It was a nightmare!

One day I made the mistake of leaving a plate of waffles on the counter. I was going to put them away as soon as I’d fed my son and the ants had never been on the counter before.

Twenty minutes later, I came back in the kitchen and was horrified to see the waffles swarming with ants.

I stared at them wondering where in the world they were coming from!

After a little bit, I noticed my extra long cord for my phone charger was dangling off the table and reached to the floor.

The ants were climbing up the cord to get to the waffles and back down with their stash.

It had taken less than 20 minutes for them to climb the cord, find the plate, and alert the rest of the colony.

I became a nervous wreck at mealtimes and often swept a couple times during the meal to make sure there was nothing on the floor for the ants to find.

If it was warm enough, we ate our meals outside so that no food would drop to the floor without me knowing.

Weeks went by as I tried one solution after another.

At night I started having nightmares about waking up to find ants crawling all over me.

I’d just about had it with natural solutions and was seriously considering an exterminator when I found a surprisingly cheap solution that got rid of the ants for good!

To help you so you don’t waste your time on some of the things that didn’t work, I’ve listed a few of them below.

Natural Solutions that Didn’t Work

I wanted to get rid of the ants naturally so I tried one natural solution after another.

The problem with the some of the natural solutions I tried was, many of them did an excellent job of repelling the ants but not killing them.

These repellers had to be reapplied every 1-3 days to be even moderately effective. The ants found every way imaginable to get around them.

Most of the repellants did kill the ants I could see.

However, if you have ants in your home, you can bet there is a huge infestation somewhere you can’t see.

No matter how many ants I got rid of, there was always more!

Diatomaceous Earth – Did Not Work

Diatomaceous Earth was the first thing I tried.

When it didn’t make a dent in the infestation, I was surprised because just about every website I found recommended it as a natural solution to get rid of ants.

I even remember my mom using it for an ant problem she had when I was 10 years old.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Diatomaceous Earth doesn’t kill ants because yes, it does do that, but I had several problems with it.

  1. I had to line every single wall in my kitchen with it as well as every single counter and appliance to keep the ants away. It made my house look very messy and after two or three days of sweeping the ants were back.
  2. No matter how many times I put some down, the ants always found another way in!
  3. The ants DID NOT like the DE at all and if I put it down anywhere they just avoided it and found food elsewhere. 
  4. I tried putting DE on food the ants would usually go after and they wouldn’t touch the food!

For these reasons, DE didn’t work for me. I wasn’t looking to get rid of only the ants I could see because I knew there was always more wherever the nest was.

I wanted a permanent solution that would get rid of the ants for good!

Essential Oils – Did Not Work

I love essential oils and when I learned they might be able to get rid of the ants, I was excited! I found a couple recipes for DIY Ant Sprays and tried those for a couple days.

The oils I used were, peppermint, clove, tea tree, orange, and lime.

The essential oil that seemed to work the best was clove oil but it was so strong it gave me a headache.

It also yielded the same problems the diatomaceous earth had.

  1. It had to be reapplied a couple times a day! Who has time for that?
  2. Yes, it killed the ants I sprayed, but the other ants just avoided everywhere I sprayed the mixture.
  3. The strong smell gave me a headache
  4. Didn’t make a dent in the overall infestation.

Vinegar Spray – Did Not Work

This can pretty much go right with the essential oils. My house always smelled like vinegar and the ants just avoided everywhere I’d sprayed it. 

PineSol Mixture – Did Not Work

This failed for all the same reasons the essential oils did. 

Though it killed the ants I could see, (just like everything else I was trying), there were always 20 ants to replace every single one I killed.

Borax Mixture – Didn’t Dare Use with My Kids at Home

I found quite a few people recommending a mixture of borax and sugar or some other kind of sweetener to attract the ants.

It actually looked really promising, but after trying it once, I was too worried about one of my kids getting into it.

After one day, I cleaned up the mixture and threw it out so I wouldn’t have to worry about my kids eating it instead of the ants.

I didn’t have it out long enough to know if it would have worked.

will essential oils get rid of ants

Ready to Give Up, I Finally Found Something that Worked Amazingly Well!

Resigned, and ready to give up, I started looking into having an exterminator come out to spray for ants.

I looked into costs, safety, and how permanent it was.

None of the things I found reassured me at all.

I looked one more time for a natural solution to get rid of ants and found a simple recipe with three very cheap ingredients.

This is supposed to work to get rid of ants instead of just repel them because the worker ants pick up the mixture and take it back to the nest.

All the ants in the nest, the queen, the babies, all of them, eat the mixture. When they eat it, the cream of wheat expands in their stomach to several times its original size. 

Their stomach isn’t able to withstand that growth and it kills ALL the ants. Not just the ones you see. 

In a small bowl, I added 1/2 tsp Sugar and 1 tsp Cream of Wheat. Mix those really well and add 2 Tbs Peanut Butter

Mix everything well again and put a scoop everywhere the ants appear to be coming from.

There were three places in my kitchen where the ants seemed to be coming from so I put a scoop in front of each one.

Add a light sprinkling of Cream of What around the Peanut Butter mixture but MAKE SURE there is a clear path to the peanut butter with no Cream of Wheat in the way.

I surrounded mine about 3/4 all the way around with Cream of Wheat leaving a smaller, clear path to the Peanut Butter.

Within minutes, the peanut butter was swarming with ants.

For the next three days, an army of ants came to gather the peanut butter and everything around it. 

I noticed if they had a clear path to the peanut butter, they also took all the surrounding Cream of Wheat. If they didn’t have a clear path to the peanut butter mixture, they wouldn’t take either.

The number of ants I saw in my home over the next little while was enough to make anyone nauseous. At times, there were more than a hundred ants swarming over the mixture in each location.

It was disgusting! But it was working!

Anytime the mixture ran out, I made more and, within a week, I noticed the number of ants was definitely much smaller. 

Within a week and a half there were less than a dozen ants per peanut butter scoop and by the two-week mark, the ants were just gone.

I didn’t see them in my home anymore. 

It’s been over a year now since I used this to get rid of my ants and they have not been back!

My kids still drop food on the floor after every meal but, even we don’t get it cleaned up right away, there are no ants.

It’s been amazing!

I would recommend this to anybody struggling to get rid of ants in their own home. It was one of the cheapest solutions, it wasn’t dangerous for the kids, and it killed the ants instead of just repelling them!


Are you having problems with ants in your home? Have you tried any of these solutions? Which ended up working best for you?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

-Julie

how to get rid of ants naturally

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4 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally for Under $10!

  1. Hi,
    thank you for sharing your experience. A friend of mine has been having problems with ants in her home and she tried all possible things. Several of them were things you mentioned didn’t help that also didn’t work for her. I’ll have her try this to see if it helps!

    1. I know how she feels. I read dozens of websites to find a way to get rid of the ants without spraying chemicals but nothing was permanent. They always came back until finally I tried this! Still haven’t seen them back 🙂

    1. Hi Kimberly,

      Yep, that’s right! On the counter or wherever the ants are coming from. I found that every year as it starts to get warmer I seem to have a problem with ants. Using this, they’re gone in 1-2 weeks and I don’t see them again for another year!

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