We’ve all been there before: you open the pantry and are treated to an unwelcome surprise of dozens of six-legged guests. Ants are typically attracted to food, so the kitchen makes for tempting ant bait.

Luckily there are a few simple and safe ant prevention solutions that don’t require harsh chemicals or tearing everything down to the floorboards.

Ant Prevention for Safety

There are thousands of species of ants, most of which are harmless to humans and pets. Some ants, however, can cause damage to your home, as well as spread infections and disease.

Carpenter ants, for example, tunnel through wood, creating structural damage to homes which often remains unseen until it’s too late.

While the chances of ant infestations posing a serious health concern are relatively small, it’s best not to leave it to chance. Even harmless ants can be a nuisance, and after all—who doesn’t want to feel comfortable in their own home?

Ant Elimination and Ant Prevention Methods

Closeup of ants clustered together

Where there’s one ant, there’s usually a colony nearby. While it’s typically best to enlist the help of a professional to remove an infestation, there are a few simple methods to eliminate them on your own.

Ant Prevention by Identifying Entry Points

An important method for controlling your ant problem is finding out how they’re getting into your kitchen. Observe the ants, and look for their entrance point—it might be a crack in the wall, a gap in a doorframe, or a hole in windowsill caulking.

Prevent ants from coming back in by patching the hole or crack. It’s also possible to follow the ants back to their colony once they leave the kitchen. This will allow you to eliminate them directly at the source.

Use Natural Ant Repellant

There are several ant prevention home remedies you can spread throughout your kitchen without posing a health hazard to yourself. Ground red or black pepper or peppermint essential oil have both been found to repel ants.

Spray or sprinkle one of these repellants along windowsills, along baseboards, or behind appliances—anywhere you find the ants will do. Try a few methods, and you’ll soon learn the answer to the question of what do ants hate.

Apply Silicon Dioxide

Silicon dioxide, otherwise known as diatomaceous earth, is a type of silica made of fossilized plankton used to kill ants. Although an effective ant killer, it is relatively safe for humans. Avoid getting it on your skin or inhaling it, and do not apply it to areas your pets might reach.Ants crawling across bread and crumbs on kitchen floor

Destroy the Nest

If you’ve managed to locate the ant colony, it can be effective to collapse it directly. Using an ant repellant may cause the ants to simply relocate, which could then cause issues in other areas of your home or yard. Likewise, ant baits may only kill some of the ants.

The colony usually resembles a pile of dirt, debris, or leaves. Pour a gallon of boiling water, or apply a thin layer of powder or liquid ant killer like boric acid directly onto the nest.

Call an Ant Control Professional

For serious infestations, the best ant killer is a hired professional. Using an ant spray or ant baits can sometimes worsen your problem. The queen will notice her workers are in danger and split the colony, causing the infestation to multiply.

If you feel the infestation is beyond your control, contact an exterminator like Prevent Pest Control. Our experienced professionals are ready to help you with your pest problem, from carpenter ants to raccoons. Serving the Northeast Ohio area for 25 years, we can safely and quickly return your home to its ant-free glory. Visit our website or call (440) 322-0887 today for more information!