Team of ants playing football with pepper seed

10 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Pesky Ants

If the heat of summer is bringing ants into your home and yard, don’t panic. You may not require toxic pest control products or a professional service to take care of the problem. In fact, chances are good you already have everything you need to do it yourself.



Here are 10 ways to get rid of ants using ordinary things you have around the house or in the garage.

Soap and water

If you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50/50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture. Provided you really saturate those little critters, the soap actually breaks down their exoskeletons, and they die almost immediately. Cheap and easy cleanup, too.

Mop and vacuum

To get rid of sugar ants, start by mopping the floor at least once a day. Mopping and vacuuming help to remove the ants’ pheromone trails. Cleaning and mopping will also rid your home of the food and crumbs that attract the ants. Make sure you don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink and empty the trash bin regularly.

Black pepper

To deter sugar ants, sprinkle ground black pepper around the home’s entry points to keep the ants from coming inside.

Vinegar and water

A 50/50 ratio of water and white vinegar can also deter ants. Spray this mixture on countertops, window sills, and high traffic areas.


Spray any areas where ants are feeding or accessing your house with WD-40. The spray will kill ants and also serve as a deterrent from further access as long as residue from the spray remains. Not sure where they’re coming in? Spray WD-40 along the outside perimeter of the house. They will not cross it because ants hate the smell of WD-40. (So do rabbits!) Repeat as necessary.

RELATED: For Every Problem, WD-40


Keep ants at bay by drawing a line around your homes entry points using ordinary blackboard or sidewalk chalk. The ants will be repelled by the calcium carbonate in the chalk.

Boiling water

If fire ants plague your yard or patio and you’re tired of getting stung by those tiny attackers, a flowerpot can help you quench the problem. Place the pot upside down over the anthill. Carefully, pour boiling water through the drain hole and you’ll be burning them and their house for good.


You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First, squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance.

MORE: What Would You Do with 35 Pounds of Lemons?


Sprinkle your used coffee grounds in the garden and around the outside of your house. Ants are repelled by the scent given off by the grounds and as a bonus coffee grounds are good for your soil and plants.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is my first line of defense because it’s non-toxic, readily available and it just plain works! Make sure you’re using food-grade diatomaceous earth (NOT swimming pool DE, which has been chemically altered).

Sprinkle the food-grade DE outside around the perimeter of your home. You can also safely sprinkle it inside where you see the ants—as long as it is food-grade, it is totally non-toxic.

If the diatomaceous earth you select does not come with a powder duster, make sure you have one so you can strategically distribute the DE exactly where you want it. DO NOT wet the DE or it will not work.

Once the ants (or any kind of crawling bugs) walk in the fine powder they’ll die because the DE quietly destroys their exoskeletons.

PREVIOUSLY: How to Use Home Chef Meal Kits to Cut Food Costs

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8 replies
  1. Sabrina Addams says:

    It’s so interesting to read that ants are repulsed to the calcium carbonate found in chalk, as well as the scent of coffee grounds. One of my younger daughters just called me and said she found a rather large infestation of ants in her crawl space. These tips may be helpful for the future, so I’ll give her these and tell her to call a pest control service.

  2. James Borst says:

    I like your recommendation to mop the floors every day if you have ants. My wife noticed ants in our entry way about two days ago and we are trying to figure out how to get rid of them. We may consider finding pest control professional or someone like that to help us take care of it.

  3. crafty says:

    When I lived in Texas, I sprinkled cinnamon across each entryway to the house. The cheap cinnamon from the Dollar store prevented any more ants from coming inside. After a rainstorm, just sprinkle more cinnamon to create a barrier that the ants won’t cross.

    • Busymom says:

      I add cinnamon to my grandsons sandbox and to the play area in my yard (there is pea gravel in this area) it keeps the ants away all summer long!

  4. Mark A Wrigley says:

    Flowers of Sulphur sprinkled at the entry point for ants works every time. Not sure if you can get it in the USA but if you can it’s a safe and very effective method.

  5. Michele P. says:

    Boric acid sprinkled near entry points never fails. Kills fire ants. Safe for pets. Spray solutions of boric acid and water work too. Google for proportions.


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