“Get in line! I’m going to do a headcount,” the ant leader said.
“How do we go in a straight line, papa?” a baby ant asked nervously.
“That’s a silly question, darling! Just follow the smell,” papa ant replied.
Confused? Well, don’t be. Did you know that an ant has a chemical called pheromones in their body?
As they trail off from their habitat to look for food, they leave pheromones behind them. It’s like a scent to direct them back to where they have trodden and helps to keep them in a straight line.
So, what are the ways to get rid of ants in a room?
Yes, it’s a given.
Mop your floor (with a detergent that has a scent) to get rid of the chemical they have left behind. So not only would they not be able to gather in a straight line, they will disperse not knowing where they came from previously.
A sad way to break up the ant empire but we don’t have a choice.
So you get the idea. Or do you not?
Our main aim is to mess up or get rid of the chemicals released when these ants trail from place to place.
Vinegar is a good way to do just that. Mix white or apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray them at places where are often seen.
You’re literally just trying to confuse the ants.
3. Essential oils
These are some scents that interfere with the trail of pheromones:
Peppermint, tea tree, lemon or orange essential oil.
You can either mix it with water in a spray bottle or soak some in a cotton ball and leave it at places where the ants frequent. It’s the same logic as vinegar, just that it smells nicer.
Unless you like vinegar smell lah.
4. Hot Water
Now, this isn’t about the chemical left behind by the ants but more towards something more practical.
Locate the ant nest. Lie in wait while you boil some hot water. Then… pour it into the colony. The main idea is to kill the queen so she stops reproducing.
No right person in the mind would want to burn to death so this method might be extreme and sadistic.
So either you find a way to coexist with the ant empire or you get rid of them mercilessly.
Have some honey to spare? Get some from Winnie the Pooh if you don’t have. But not that you need a lot.
Get a shallow dish and smear some honey on it. Chances are, they will be attracted to the honey and once they land on it, they won’t be able to get off since they will be stuck with the stickiness.
That’s sad…but true.
6. Cucumber Peels
Who eats cucumber with the skin on? The chicken rice stall uncle. So you should have cucumber peels everywhere.
If you’re at home, get mum to remove the cucumber skin and leave the peels in areas where you spot the trail of ants. Ants have a natural disinclination to cucumber because they cannot stand the taste.
Replace with fresh peels daily or once every two days.
7. Liquid Dish Soap
Here’s how to make the magic solution that brings death via suffocation.
Fill a spray bottle with one-third of liquid dish soap and the rest with water. Shake thoroughly to mix the solution.
Then spray the mixture over the areas where ants are seen. Wait for the spell to work its effect. After a few hours, you should be able to wipe up the dead ants with a wet cloth.
8. Baking Soda & Powdered Sugar
Baking soda seems to be the home remedy for everything, isn’t it?
Mix an equal amount of baking soda and powdered sugar on a few shallow lids and place them in different areas where ants are found.
Here’s what it does: The powdered sugar attracts the ants and the baking soda causes an explosion in their body. It reacts with the acidic compounds in their digestive system so… Hmm. Death via explosion. Agar agar lah.
9. Fresh Garlic
This is probably readily available in most homes so just grab two peeled cloves of fresh garlic and place them where needed.
Ants can’t stand the smell of garlic so this is a natural method to keep them at bay.
10. Coffee Powder
Unlike us humans who are addicted to coffee, ants hate it. Sprinkle the coffee grounds around the needed areas to shoo them away.
If you find them meddling with your plants, you can also sprinkle some in your pots along with the soil.
Most of the items listed above can be easily found at home and are probably low-cost (maybe except for essential oils). So why not give them a try and see if it works?
But ultimately, ants are able to thrive because there’s probably something sweet worth staying for. If you want to rid of them totally, then start cleaning regularly and empty leftover food before you hit the sack.
You don’t want to start Googling on how to get rid of cockroaches too, do you?
Featured Image: New Africa / Shutterstock.com