How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen – 10 Effective Ways

by Nicholas Chew
Published: Last Updated on

Ants can be really pesky at times. They don’t cause any harm to us directly. But, occasionally they start to invade our kitchen, eat our food, leave their waste behind, and stink up the place. Being so small and large in number, they can be really hard to get rid of. If you also find them in your kitchen often, it might bother you and make you feel uneasy.

So, are you planning to have a BBQ this weekend, and you’ve just noticed a large number of ants in your kitchen? Are you having trouble getting rid of them? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we will teach you how to get rid of ants in the kitchen using natural methods.

10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen

When ants invade your kitchen, the last thing you want is a mess. Luckily, we have 10 safe ways to get rid of them without having to call an exterminator.

  1. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth Powder
  2. Sprinkle Pepper or Coffee Grounds
  3. Spray Peppermint Oil Mixed with Water
  4. Spray Tea Tree Oil or Neem Oil Mixed with Water
  5. Spray Diluted White Vinegar
  6. Pour Boiling Water Over Ant Holes
  7. Use Cornstarch
  8. Use Borax
  9. Spray Lemon Juice
  10. DIY Anti-ant Spray

How to Prevent Ants into Your Kitchen

  1. Check Your Kitchen Plants Often
  2. Store Food Properly
  3. Clean Up Regularly
  4. Check Kitchen Walls for Cracks and Holes

1. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth Powder

Diatomaceous earth is a white chemical made up of fossilized diatoms (tiny marine creatures). It is available at most stores and usually comes in granular, powder, or liquid form. Buy food-grade diatomaceous earth powder from your nearest store and sprinkle it near the entrance to the ant’s nest.

This siliceous powder dehydrates the ants and kills them. Be sure to keep an eye on the area where you sprinkled the powder, and if you see any more ants, reapply. Alternatively, you can mix diatomaceous earth with water in a spray bottle. Start spraying the kitchen and leave it overnight. Most likely, after 24 hours, the ants will be gone.

2. Sprinkle Pepper or Coffee Grounds

One way to get rid of ants is to sprinkle black or red pepper near the entry points of ants and behind kitchen appliances. The capsaicin in pepper will drive the ants away, and they won’t be back for a while. This is probably the easiest way to get rid of ants without having to resort to chemical pesticides.

Another way is to use freshly brewed grounds of coffee to deter ants. All you need to do is sprinkle the grounds on infested areas and windowsills of your kitchen. The smell of freshly brewed coffee grounds will keep the ants away.

3. Spray Peppermint Oil Mixed with Water

Our favorite way to get rid of kitchen ants is to spray peppermint oil mixed with water. Ants will be discouraged from foraging and building nests in your kitchen if they’re constantly sprayed with this essential oil.

Just mix 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil in one or two cups of water, and spray it around the edges of your kitchen. The ants will hate the smell, and they’ll go away.  Peppermint essential oil is a really effective natural insect repellent that repels ants and mosquitoes.

Note: Keep all essential oils out of the reach of your pets.

4. Spray Tea Tree Oil or Neem Oil Mixed with Water

Another organic anti-ant spray is diluted neem oil or tea tree oil. Here’s how you can use it to keep ants at bay:

  • Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and add 10 to 15 drops of tea tree oil or neem oil to it.
  • Shake the spray bottle.
  • Spray the area where you see ants in your kitchen.
  • Wait for 15 minutes to let the water dry.

The oil in the spray will kill the ants on contact. It’s a natural solution, so you don’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals entering your food. Moreover, these essential oils are easily available at different grocery stores and health food stores.

5. Spray Diluted White Vinegar

You might not know this, but ants don’t like vinegar. So if you’re having a problem with ants in your kitchen, spray diluted white vinegar around the doorways and windowsills. You can also use a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar to wipe your kitchen counters, tables, and floors.

The smell of white vinegar will prevent the entry of ants into your kitchen. It will also discourage them from coming back. But, if you are bothered by the smell of white vinegar in your kitchen for too long, you may choose another alternative from the list.

6. Pour Boiling Water Over Ant Holes

Here’s a really neat trick for getting rid of ants in the kitchen. Pour boiling water over all the ant holes. This will destroy all ant colonies while killing the majority of the ants.

Be sure to do this early in the morning, before the ants have a chance to get active. And if you see any trails of ants, follow them back to their nest and pour boiling water over that too.

7. Use Cornstarch

You can also use cornstarch to get rid of ants in the kitchen. What you need to do is:

Method 1: Take a tablespoon or two of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add enough water to make a slurry. Then, take a small paintbrush and dip it into the slurry. Use the paintbrush to paint the ant trails with the cornstarch mixture. Alternatively, pour the slurry over the ant holes.

Method 2: Simply sprinkle excess cornstarch all around any areas of your kitchen where you see ant activity. Once the ants notice the cornstarch and begin to pick it up, spray them with water. In both methods, cornstarch and water mixed together will clog their spiracles (the holes through which the ants breathe), resulting in their death.

8. Use Borax

Borax (Sodium tetraborate) is a naturally occurring mineral that’s often used as an insecticide. It’s poisonous to ants and will kill them pretty quickly. Just be careful not to get the chemical on your skin or inhale it. Since borax is toxic, avoid using it around pets and children. It’s also a good idea to test it on a small area of your kitchen first to make sure it doesn’t damage the finish.

To use borax to get rid of ants:

  • Mix borax with water and sugar in a container (1 part borax and 3 parts powdered sugar in one cup of water).
  • Mix the solution thoroughly until the ingredients are dissolved.
  • Soak cotton balls in the solution.
  • Place the saturated cotton balls in ant holes or areas where they’re congregating.

9. Spray Lemon Juice

If you’re looking for a safe and simple way to get rid of ants, this is definitely it. Lemons are natural ant repellents. The citric acid in lemon juice will kill the ants. You can squeeze lemon juice over the ant nests to kill them.

Alternatively, you may spray the infested areas with lemon juice. For this purpose, mix lemon juice and water in a spray bottle, and spray the solution directly on the ants. Then, wipe the lemon juice with a cloth to clean up any residue left behind by the ants.

10. DIY Anti-ant Spray

Here’s a very effective DIY anti-ant spray that you can make with things you probably have lying around your house.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid detergent
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • Water (as needed)

Instructions:

  • Mix liquid detergent and baking soda with white vinegar in a container. Stir thoroughly.
  • Pour the mixture into a large spray bottle and fill it up with water. Shake well.
  • Spray the mixture directly on the ants, ant trails, or where you’ve seen them congregating.
  • Let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 hours and then wipe down the sprayed area.

How to Prevent Ants into Your Kitchen

The most important way to prevent ants is to find and get rid of their food source. The following are a few other things you can do to prevent ants from coming into your kitchen:

1. Check Your Kitchen Plants Often

Do you have plants in your kitchen? If you do, you need to check them often for ant infestations. Ants love plants, and they’ll use them as a bridge to get into your kitchen.

Make sure you’re monitoring your kitchen plants closely. If you see any ants, spray the plants with organic ant repellants right away. Discard any plants whose roots have been badly infested by ants.

2. Store Food Properly

Ants love to snack, so make sure you’re not leaving any crumbs or food particles lying around. If you have bread crumbs or coffee spills on the kitchen floor, the ants are going to be drawn to your kitchen. In order to prevent ants, keep your kitchen clean and free of food particles. If you keep their food source away, the ants will eventually go away on their own. Food is what they are after in the first place.

Moreover, you must make sure all of your food is stored in airtight containers or jars. If you’re not using airtight containers, then put your food in the fridge or the freezer. Ants hate the cold, so this will help keep them away.

3. Clean Up Regularly

It’s important to clean up your kitchen cabinets regularly if you want to prevent ants from entering. Keep the countertops and floors clean and free of crumbs and spills. Wipe your counters and shelves after cooking. Vacuum regularly and wipe down all of the surfaces with a disinfectant.

At least once a week, sweep or mop the kitchen floor. Make sure that your trash can is sealed tightly so that ants can’t get inside. Take the trash out as soon as possible. All of this will eventually help to reduce the number of ants in your kitchen.

4. Check Kitchen Walls for Cracks and Holes

Another way to get rid of ants is to seal up any ant entrances. Check your kitchen walls for cracks or holes. These are prime entry points for ants, so it’s important to seal them up as best you can.

If you do find any cracks or holes in the walls, use a sealant to fill them in. This can also be done by caulking or painting the areas where ants are entering and leaving the kitchen. Lastly, don’t forget to close any gaps in your kitchen windows and doors.

Final Thoughts

There are a few things you can do to prevent ants in the kitchen. No matter which prevention tips you choose to follow, always remember to be vigilant. Keep an eye out for any signs of ants entering your kitchen. If you do see ants, take swift and effective action to get rid of them. One is to make sure that you keep your counters and floors clean so the ants have nothing to eat.

If the ants have already gained entry into your kitchen, try using natural ant repellents like vinegar or essential oils to drive them away. Ants hate their smell, so they’ll steer clear of your kitchen in no time. If that doesn’t work, you can try using an insecticide like diatomaceous earth powder or borax.