How Do You Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen?

Reviewed on 12/31/2020

17 Home Remedies

Home remedy to get rid of ants
limonene, phenylethyl propionate, thyme oil, hot pepper extract, cinnamaldehyde, neem oil, clove oil, linalool (from mint and citrus plants), and allyl isothiocyanate (a garlic extract) can be sprayed on the ant nest.

Ants are the uninvited guests we have in our kitchens. Those little, pesky creatures invade almost everything and are slow to leave. These ants come and contaminate foods, but the most common species in the United States generally do not cause any health hazards. There are many safe ways to get rid of ants in the kitchen instead of using those harmful pesticides. 17 Natural ways to get rid of ants in the kitchen include:

  1. Sealing all the cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and pipes
  2. Discarding all sources of spilled food particles
  3. Wiping up ants’ chemical trail using soapy water or vinegar mixed with a water solution
  4. Vacuuming the ants trapped in the kitchen and discarding the bag at the end
  5. Repairing leaky sinks and pipes
  6. Removing the trash from the kitchen at the end of each day
  7. Storing food, such as snacks, sugar, syrup, honey, and pet food, in well-sealed containers
  8. Wiping spills and cleaning counters, tables, and floors with a microfiber cloth or paper towel
  9. Regular cleaning of floors and kitchen appliances to eliminate grease and crumbs
  10. Looking for small piles of sawdust and moisture-damaged wood inside walls of the attic, basement, bedrooms, other rooms, windows, and skylight
  11. Using citrus-based cleaners, peppermint soap, cayenne pepper, or cinnamon to remove the invisible chemical scent trail ants leave for other ants to follow
  12. Using aerosol sprays that include naturally occurring substances such as limonene, phenylethyl propionate, thyme oil, hot pepper extract, cinnamaldehyde, neem oil, clove oil, linalool (from mint and citrus plants), and allyl isothiocyanate (a garlic extract) can be sprayed on the ant nest. However, the use of aerosol sprays is generally not recommended because it may cause more harm than benefit to the people
  13. Keeping your pet’s food and water bowl outside the home, making sure that the pet’s bowl remains clean, and always cleaning up spilled food or water promptly
  14. Elevating any potted plants inside a larger bowl full of water and detergent, keeping them above the waterline
  15. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the ants may dry them out by absorbing oils in their skeleton. Follow the package directions before using it as an ant killer or directly sprinkle it on ants. Be cautious while handling diatomaceous earth due to its irritant nature
  16. Pouring boiling water into ant holes will immediately kill many of the ants inside. Boiling water may not destroy all the ants. There is a potential risk of personal injury when using boiling water, so be cautious while using boiling water
  17. Ant baits contain insecticides mixed with materials that attract worker ants looking for food. Ant baits contain carbohydrates, proteins, oils, or a combination of these as attractants along with an active ingredient
    • The chart of common ant bait products 
Chart of the common ant bait products
Active IngredientExample product nameFormulationApplicationBait
Avermectin B (abamectin)
  1. Enforcer AntMax Bait Stations
  2. Raid Ant Baits III
  • Solid
  • Solid
  • Bait station
  • Bait station
  • Protein
  • Protein
Borate-based products
  1. Drax SF Ant Gel3
  2. Grants Kill Ants Liquid Ant Bait
  3. Terro Ant Killer II Liquid Ant Baits
  4. Gourmet Liquid Ant Bait
  • Gel
  • Liquid
  • Liquid
  • Liquid
  • Refillable dispensers
  • Cracks
  • Bait Station
  • Bait containers
  • Sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sucrose solution
Fipronil
  1. Combat Ant Killing Gel
  2. Combat Quick Kill Formula 3
  3. Maxforce FC Ant Killer Bait Gel
  • Gel
  • Solid
  • Gel
  • Cracks
  • Bait discs
  • Cracks
  • Protein
  • Protein
  • Sugar
Hydramethylnon
  1. Combat Source Kill
  2. Amdro Kills Ants Killing Bait
  1. Solid
  2. Dry
  • Bait discs
  • Ant stake bait stations
  • Protein
  • Protein

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References
National Pesticide Information Center. Ants. http://npic.orst.edu/pest/ant.html

Rust MK, Choe D-H. Ants. UC ANR Publication. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7411.html

Loftin K, Hopkins J. Twenty Questions About Fire Ants. University of Arkansas. https://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-7052.pdf

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