How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

If there’s one place in your home that is in danger of an ant infestation, it’s the kitchen. So, before they eat you out of house and home, you need to know how to get rid of kitchen ants.

To get rid of ants in the kitchen, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Point of Entry
  2. Seek and Destroy the Nest
  3. Trap and Kill the Ant Colony
  4. Get Rid of the Remaining Ants
  5. Seal the Point of Entry
  6. Call the Experts

Getting rid of ants in the kitchen isn’t that hard. It’s a matter of blocking their entry point to the kitchen and trailing them back to their nest. And you may even find some effective ant deterrents lying around in your very own home.

Read on to find out how to get rid of ants in the kitchen, what are kitchen ant deterrents, and more.

How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

how to get rid of ants in the kitchen

It is not that hard to get rid of ants in the kitchen. It’s a matter of blocking their entry point to the kitchen and trailing them back to their nest. You may even find some effective ant deterrents lying around in your very own home.

It’s not enough to kill one ant or even just the ones in your kitchen. Ants leave behind pheromones for their kind to follow, so you can expect more to come. You need to know how to get rid of kitchen ants in the kitchen by wiping out their entire colony.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Identify the Point of Entry
  2. Seek and Destroy the Nest
  3. Trap and Kill the Ant Colony
  4. Get Rid of the Remaining Ants
  5. Seal the Point of Entry
  6. If the Ants Come Back, Call the Experts

Let’s briefly discuss each:

1. Identify the Point of Entry

Watch the ants closely to find out where they are coming from. They could be crawling through the following:

  • Cracks in the walls,
  • Tiny spaces along with the doors and window sills, or
  • Gaps between the floorboards.

They are in any small hole or opening that they can pass through. Identify and take note of where these areas are. But don’t seal them off just yet.

2. Seek and Destroy the Nest

Follow the trail of the ants as they exit the kitchen. There’s a good chance that they will lead you right to their nest and the rest of the ant colony. Ants usually build their nests in mounds of decaying leaves and wood.

You can find ants outdoors, specifically on the ground, under stones, in rotting trees, or craters of fine soil. Ants tend to nest in cracks on cement walls, especially moisture-damaged ones.

What to Do If the Nest Is Outdoors

If the nest is outdoors, destroy it using an outdoor non-repellent insecticide. Why non-repellent? Because ants can easily detect the presence of a repellent. This causes the colony to scatter and reconvene somewhere else. They will pass through an area treated with a non-repellent, not realizing that they’ve just been poisoned.

You may also pour half a gallon of boiling water over the ant nest for an easier alternative solution. Doing so will destroy it and kill the colony.

What to Do If the Nest Is Indoors

If the nest is found in an indoor structure, such as a wall void, here’s what you should do:

  • Get a plastic squeeze bottle of boric acid powder.
  • Apply a thin layer directly over the nest to kill the ants inside.
  • The white Boron powder and water solution are deadly to the ants. But it has low toxicity towards humans. Ensure to store any leftover traces of powder from the reach of children and pets.
  • Using a vacuum with a hose attachment, remove the nest from the wall void.
  • Immediately discard the vacuum bag’s contents outdoors.
  • Reapply the boric acid to the emptied area and fix any damage on the wall using the joint compound.

3. Trap and Kill the Ant Colony

It is possible not to find the nest, or you may not want to destroy it yourself. If so, you can buy a store-bought ant trap. Also, you can make a homemade trap by filling a small, sealed plastic container with one teaspoon of borax and a quarter cup of corn syrup:

  • Place the trap as near as possible to the ants’ entry point to the kitchen.
  • Get rid of all other food sources in the trap’s vicinity so that the ants will only focus on the bait.
  • Once the worker ants have entered, they will take the poisoned bait in the trap to the colony. Then, this will kill off the entire colony over the next few days.

4. Get Rid of the Remaining Ants

After you have killed the colony, there might be a few stray ants remaining in your kitchen, still running about here and there. To eliminate them, here’s what you should do:

  • Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with 12 ounces of water.
  • Spray the solution on the ants to immobilize them, and then wipe them off with a paper towel.
  • Alternatively, you may sprinkle a slight amount of diatomaceous earth in their path. Doing so will allow them to dehydrate and die.

5. Seal the Point of Entry

Seal off the entry point to prevent any future ant colony invasions in your kitchen. Use caulk or cement to close up cracks around doors and windows and joint compound to seal off small drywall voids.

6. Call the Experts

Like the carpenter ants, particular ants build satellite colonies. They are independent of the parent colony. So, it can be possible that you may have destroyed a satellite colony while the parent colony is still intact.

If a resurgence of ants does occur, call in a professional pest control specialist to help you deal with the problem of how to get rid of black ants in the house once and for all:

In this video, Bright Side discusses the natural way of getting rid of ants and keeping them out for good.

Why Are There Ants in the Kitchen?

how to get rid of ants in the house quickly

Looking for Food Source

The obvious answer is that ants are looking for food sources, and naturally, they are in the kitchen. Ants are generally drawn to the sugar in food, most especially in sweet and syrupy food.

Need for Water

They also require water, which is why the kitchen, with all the food they can eat and the water from the kitchen sink, is the perfect place for them to congregate.

Of the thousands of ant species globally, those that you can commonly find in kitchens are house ants. These include the following:

  1. Black ants
  2. Carpenter ants
  3. Pavement ants
  4. Odorous house ants
  5. Thief ants
  6. Pharaoh ants
  7. Argentine ants

These ants don’t just pose a threat to your kitchen; they may ruin the foundations of your home too. This is why it is essential to know how to get rid of black ants in the house. 

Kitchen Ant Deterrents in the Kitchen

how to get rid of ants in the kitchen home remedies

Are you looking for easy but efficient ways to get rid of ants in the kitchen? You might be surprised to find out that you may already have some effective ant repellents stocked at home. They may even be in your very own kitchen.

Here’s a grocery list of these anti-ant ingredients:

  1. Powdered Sugar and Baking Soda
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper and Garlic
  4. Lemons
  5. Oranges
  6. Cucumber
  7. Vinegar
  8. Peppermint
  9. Cinnamon
  10. Honey and Borax
  11. Chalk
  12. Diatomaceous Earth
  13. Nicotine and Water
  14. Dish or Hand Soap

1. Powdered Sugar and Baking Soda

Ants may be naturally drawn to sugar, but you can use that to bait them:

  • Make a mixture of equal parts powdered sugar and baking soda.
  • Then, apply it in the corners of the kitchen where the ants are located.

While the sugar will attract the ants, the baking soda will kill them once they eat it.

2. Salt

Among the best and cheapest methods of getting rid of ants is using plain ordinary table salt:

  • Just spread some salt near the nooks and crannies from where the ants enter. Make sure that you are using table salt and not rock salt.
  • You can also mix lots of salt into boiling water and stir until it dissolves.
  • Then, spray the solution onto the points of entry.

3. Pepper and Garlic

Just as ants are attracted to sugar, they have a natural aversion to pepper. They particularly hate Cayenne or black pepper, but pepper, in general, irritates them.

  • You can sprinkle some pepper around baseboards and behind appliances.
  • Or you can make a solution of two teaspoons of Cayenne pepper and a few bulbs of garlic mixed in one cup of water.
  • Spray it near the ants’ entry points in the kitchen to keep them from coming back.

4. Lemons

Ants can’t stand anything sour or bitter, making the lemon an excellent ant repellent:

  • You can place lemon peels or squeeze a lemon around the ant’s entry points.
  • You can also wash the floor with a water and lemon juice solution. Ensure that there isn’t anything sweet in the area that could attract the ants.

5. Oranges

Similar to lemons, oranges are another natural ant deterrent:

  • You can use them to ward off ants by placing orange peels on a kitchen slab or anyplace they may enter from.
  • You can also mix a few orange peels with one cup of warm water to make a paste.
  • Spread the paste around the entry points, and then wipe it afterward.

6. Cucumber

Another vegetable that ants particularly dislike the scent of is the cucumber. Merely place a few cucumber peels or gratings near ant-infested areas to make them go away. 

7. Vinegar

The strong smell of vinegar disrupts the scent of the ants’ pheromones, which they use to follow each other while marching in line. Using vinegar alone is effective enough in repelling and killing ants.

But you can also make a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to spray around the kitchen, doorways, windowsills, and other areas where ants could enter. The ants will still smell the vinegar even after it has dried.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint makes a good insect repellent in general, which makes it effective against ants in particular. Ants are averse to the intense fragrance of peppermint and will avoid any area in the kitchen or home that even has a whiff of it:

  • Prepare a mixture of two to three tablespoons of peppermint essential oil and a quart of water.
  • Then, liberally spray it around the ants’ entry point. Not only will you have gotten rid of the ants, but your kitchen will smell minty fresh as well.

9. Cinnamon

The robust and earthy scent of cinnamon is a natural ant repellant:

  • You can sprinkle powdered cinnamon or place cinnamon sticks to block their entry point.
  • You may also add a bit of essential oil to the ground cinnamon. This will heighten the smell and keep the ants back.

10. Honey and Borax

  • Mix a tablespoon of honey with a tablespoon of hot water, and stir in a tablespoon of borax.
  • Spread a fine layer of the mixture across a flat lid or a small note card.
  • Place it down near the ants’ location and leave it there for a day or two. The sweet honey will draw the ants in, but the borax will do them in.

11. Chalk

Another ant deterrent is simple chalk, which contains calcium carbonate that helps in repelling ants. You can spray some powdered chalk or draw chalk lines around the entry points. This will keep the ants from entering.

It isn’t clear why ants won’t cross a chalk line, but it works. Just make sure that you keep the line out of the reach of a child.

12. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural powder consisting of the fossilized remains of aquatic organisms. Non-toxic to people and pets but fatal to ants, it kills them by absorbing their oils to dehydrate them. Be sure to purchase food-grade diatomaceous earth, safer for your kitchen and home.

13. Nicotine and Water

Nicotine is deadly enough to humans in the long term, but it can instantly kill an entire army of ants:

  • Just soak pipe tobacco in water and leave it overnight.
  • Then pour the resulting solution in the cracks of your kitchen or outside over the anthill.

14. Dish or Hand Soap

One of the most common items you can find at home that you can use to get rid of ants is ordinary soap:

  • Mix a 1/4 cup into a spray bottle filled with water and shake it to dissolve, whether dish soap or hand soap.
  • Then, liberally spray the solution along with the ants’ entry points.

The soapy water will block the scent of the ants’ pheromones. It will prevent them from communicating with each other and cause them to disperse.

Conclusion – How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

To get rid of ants in the kitchen, follow these tips:

  1. Identify the Point of Entry
  2. Seek and Destroy the Nest
  3. Trap and Kill the Ant Colony
  4. Get Rid of the Remaining Ants
  5. Seal the Point of Entry
  6. If the Ants Come Back, Call the Experts

It is not that hard to get rid of ants in the kitchen. It’s a matter of blocking their entry point to the kitchen and trailing them back to their nest. You may even find some effective ant deterrents lying around in your very own home.

Using a few everyday kitchen items, getting rid of ants is pretty straightforward. The trick is preventing them from coming back. Remember that the key to eliminating them permanently is to block off their entrance points. Finding out where they live and wipe out the whole ant colony.