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Do-It-Yourself Ant Control

There are a variety of do-it-yourself solutions that homeowners can take to attack an ant problem, but in the event of a larger infestation, it is safest to contact a professional exterminator. If the infestation is localized and proactive measures are taken to prevent future infestations, these products can be relatively effective when placed in entry points, near ant colonies, and in any area where ants have been seen:

  • Diatomaceous earth is a widely-sold product safe for humans and pets.
  • Borax, mixed with sugar, creates an effective poison that is harmless to humans in small doses.
  • Boric acid, as differentiated from borax, is sold as a powder and can work as a bait when combined with water and honey. It is toxic to humans and pets as well.
  • Cayenne pepper slices, citrus oil, cinnamon sticks, sliced garlic cloves, mint cloves are natural products that can ward off ants, though they aren’t always effective.

Spraying a residual insecticide or leaving out natural products to kill and deter foraging workers may provide short-term pest removal, but it is not a definitive answer. Locating and completely destroying the ant colony is the most effective way to eliminate an infestation. Though bait products can be somewhat effective at cripping a colony, the services of a professional exterminator are usually required to eradicate the problem completely. 

Following this playbook of do-it-yourself steps can help keep your home free from ants, but should not be thought of as a substitute for professional help. If an infestation becomes too widespread, it’s always safest to get in touch with a professional.