It happens to basically everyone, every year, without fail. One day, you walk into your kitchen and there they are... The ants.
They appear as if out of nowhere and it's always so annoying. Here's the thing though, you can get rid of them super fast if you know what to do.
We've got some tips to help you send those ants marching one by one out of your house, and hopefully they won't come back!
First step is to ID the type you're dealing with
There are a lot of different types of ants out there, but if you want to be able to get rid of them for good, you're going to need to know what kind of ant it is.
Sometimes you can take pictures and send them to local universities to find out what kind of ant you're dealing with, or you can try to search it online.
That way you can find out what kind of nest it has, making it a lot easier to place traps to get rid of them even faster.
Second step is to clean everything
Ants are obviously attracted to all the food that gets left behind when you cook, so if you want to control the population, you need to get cleaning.
Wipe down your counters, making sure two sweep up all of the crumbs. That should already reduce the number of ants you see in a day.
But what this really does is help them focus all their attention on the traps you set.
Third step is to place the poison where you have seen them before
Ants are likely going to revisit places where they have found food before, so put the poison in those high traffic areas that always seem to be crawling with the little pests.
Whether you use a natural poison or one you bought at the store, it will work best if you let them access it easily.
Don't be annoyed if you see more than before though, because as they start to find the new "food" they will all come rushing, but over time the poison will do its thing.
Important: Don't squish all the ants as you see them. If you do, they won't be able to bring the poison back to the nest.
Fourth step is to get rid of the trail they leave
There is actually a scented trail that ants leave that we can't smell, that helps direct other ants to the locations of their best finds.
Once you've got the ants taking the poison, you want them to stop leading other pests into the house, so using a mix of 3:1 water to vinegar, clean up the floors or counters to get rid of that secret trail.
Fifth step is to maintain an ant-free home
Now that you've gotten rid of them, you've got to keep them away. There are a few ways to do this if you don't want to keep ant poison on your counter all the time.
If you can find the nest, even if it's outside, you can get rid of them at the source. Pouring boiling water into an ant's nest will destroy it, and hopefully make them rebuild further from your house.
To protect your house, something as simple as lemon juice can keep them out. Ants hate the acidity and the smell, so if you squirt lemon juice on doors and windowsills, they are much less likely to come in through those spaces.
Bay leaves are a good deterrent for your baking goods. For example, you can keep your flour in a container with a bay leaf stuck to the lid to keep ants from jumping in. You can also use cinnamon sticks, cloves, or sage in your pantry. All of these things smell great to us, but to an ant, it's a nightmare.
So not only will your pantry smell great, but it's going to be ant free!