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Ants: how to make them stay outside?

Ok, im sure i could google this, but i wanted to ask for someone who has experience with a method of getting the little red ants to stay in their natural home outside. with all the fruit ive been consuming lately, they are starting to take up permanent residence in my kitchen and living room. i dont mind all that much, only when they are crawling over me to get somewhere it gets a little annoying. any tips?


  • baby powder

  • Ah, just pop them in your smoothie like my partner does!! Mind, you, not sure about the red ones, never seen those.lol


  • i heard peppermint works.. like use the essential oil or sprinkle tea around.. havent tried it.. borax also i’ve heard.. but i pretty much prefer to just sit and watch them.. they are fascinating!!

  • your house sounds like mine. I haven’t been able to get rid of them. I’m there with you and curious to hear any suggestions. It’s particularly annoying when you have guests over bc it gives the impression that you have dirty house.

  • my mom uses dr. bronner’s peppermint soap. works like magic. mix a little in a bowl with water. wet a towel and rub your surfaces with with. you can even squeeze a little of it into holes.

  • also: a preventative measure: make sure to clean knobs and sides of drawers and cupboards regularly because if we aren’t washing our hands diligently some of the sugar from our food will invite them in.

  • I’ll give it a try :-)

  • They stay out of my garden now, but only because they moved into my house! I have peppermint oil but it is living oil and it seems almost wasteful. Hmm I do have peppermint tea though. Maybe I will try that.

  • I just read a magazine on that. It said vetiver with olive oil for ant repellant. I don’t know what vetiver is… I just took the note on it to research later… when I needed it. No ant problems here… just a few crickets.

  • If they are getting in your house and you aren’t leaving the doors and windows open for them, then there is a hole or crack that they are using to get in somehow. I used to have this problem in my apartments with black ants.

    You have to figure out how they are getting in and than block up the hole with chaulk or something. You might have to do several passes to get all the holes.

    The last place I lived in had so many holes and cracks because the house was so old I couldn’t get rid of them – they seem to come from the wall near the bathroom and they liked water – they kept going after any bread I had or nuts I had to keep all that stuff in the frig or they would get in it. I am so glad I moved from there.

    Other than that things lemon or citrus is supposed to work too.

  • queen, i always suspected something like that. now i must follow them to the source….the problem is they arent marching single file like they do in the cartoons. ;)

  • I’ve used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap as well. It works great. I used a recycled plastic spray bottle, add some soap & water, and I added a few drops of peppermint oil. Spray the area where they are, and any “entrances” that you see. (window sills, door cracks, etc.) Works like a charm, and smells minty fresh. :)

  • It’s fruit flies we have bother with in the summer. We have to meticulously tidy up everything and not leave out any fruit or juice on the board etc. We also just put up one of those sticky fly catchers as well.


  • evergreenevergreen Raw Master

    hi…i use white vinegar wherever i have seen ants indoors.i heard a long time ago that it destroys the scent they use so the other ants follow the “trail”.pour some on a damp cloth and wipe anywhere you see them,door frames and window sills, too…..edit:make that raw apple cider vinegar!

  • www.invisiblegardener.com has a resource to teach you how to train your ants to stay out of your house.

  • I once read that ants will not walk over lemon juice. I’ve tried using this as a deterrent in areas where I can tell they are entering the house (to some positive results). Also, a good cleaning can be helpful. Whenever, I’ve had ants, it is usually because there is a sugary spill in a cupboard that I was unaware of (like when my agave spilled).

  • Bay leaves. Spread them sparsely on areas you see ants coming from, especially around cracks in windows and counters. Takes about a day but they just leave. I guess they don’t like the smell?

  • RawK – Yes, maybe the red ants don’t do that – the black ants do – the would go straight for my cats food bowl on the floor – a big line from the hole in one room to the kitchen several rooms away. It wasn’t a perfect line but once I spent a little time studying it is was quite obvious and easy to spot. There would be more ants at the bowl area than at the point of entry – of course, they go back to to bring food to the nest.

    Here is what you might try: leave something that they really like in a bowl on the floor in the kitchen and wait a day or two for them to find it than take close look to what direction they are coming from.

    The only thing I hated was once I plugged up the hole how to get rid of the ants on the floors. I felt so guilty that I had blocked up their home. :( They were confused that they could not get back in. At the time, I ended up vaccuming up the left over ants. I felt really bad about it.

  • Wow, so many ways to get rid of ants. Let us know what you try and what worked! I too heard about the ants leaving a trail/scent. You have to wipe that out.

  • i’ve heard they don’t walk over black pepper

    so… what with lemon,vinegar, pepper, bay leaves and peppermint at least our kitchen surfaces will taste good

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