7 Natural Remedies To Deter And Repel Ants

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Coffee grounds, pepper and white vinegar have been named in a list of seven of the best natural remedies to kill ants safely.

Outdoors experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk have revealed seven methods of eradicating ant colonies from homes and gardens without the need for expensive chemical solutions.

Ants use a pheromone trail to ensure the safe movement and transportation of a colony, so chances are if you’ve seen a few on your property, hundreds more will follow. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you kill the ants and destroy the pheromone trail.

Black ants are the species you’re most likely to find in UK gardens, and they’re also regularly seen indoors.

Ant's Hill made from sand on the ground,ant nest soil and sand digging from the ground;

Pic: Shutterstock

Although they’re not explicitly dangerous as they don’t bite, carry disease, or cause any real damage to your home, they’re a nuisance as they can quickly build up in numbers.

A spokesperson for Gardening Express said: “Despite being harmless, black ants will happily nest anywhere and have a taste for sugary substances, so will quite happily forage for food in your kitchen.

“If you want to get rid of them, there are plenty of ways to do so without having to rely on chemical solutions.

“Coffee grounds, glass cleaner and white vinegar have all proved to be effective in killing ant colonies.

“But sometimes it’s as simple as pouring boiling water on the nests.”

1 Coffee grounds

2 cups of coffee with latte art on top

Pic: Shutterstock

Brewed coffee grounds have been known to keep ants away. Try sprinkling the coffee grounds on disposable surfaces, and around pet bowls and plants. You can also place them on windowsills.

2 Glass cleaner and liquid detergent

Woman cleaning and polishing the kitchen worktop with a spray detergent, housekeeping and hygiene concept;

Pic: Shutterstock

Combining spray-on glass cleaner with liquid detergent or dish soap can help deter ants from entering your home. It does this by removing the scented pheromone trail they leave behind when they walk. Mix together and spray on areas where ants seem to congregate or originate from. Wipe down the area after spraying, leaving a light residue.

3 Pepper

This remedy to ant infestation is completely natural and safe. Anecdotal evidence suggests that sprinkling pepper around baseboards and behind appliances may help keep ants at bay, as they find the smell irritating.

4 Tea Tree Oil

Mix between 5-10 drops of tea tree oil with two cups of water and use as a spray – this will repel and kill ants. You can also saturate cotton balls and place them around your home where you’ve seen ants. Like most essential oils, you should keep tea tree oil out of reach of pets, especially cats, who can become very ill if exposed.

5 Peppermint

Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that may be very effective at repelling ants and other bugs, such as mosquitoes. Mix 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil with two cups of water, then spray the mixture around the baseboards and windows of your home.

6 White Vinegar

baking soda vinegar and lemon on the white background;

Pic: Shutterstock

If you see ants, wipe them up with a solution of 50-50 vinegar and water, or straight vinegar.

White vinegar kills ants and also repels them. If you have an ant problem, try using diluted vinegar to clean hard surfaces, including floors and counter tops, throughout your home.

7 Boiling water

Transparent electric kettle with boiling water on table in kitchen;

Pic: Shutterstock

If you notice ant holes near your home, pour boiling water into them. This will effectively and immediately kill many of the ants inside. Anthills may appear small, but the colonies underneath them can be huge in comparison.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!