I never had a problem with ants until I moved into an older house in a new climate. I was surprised to see that ants got into my house the minute the weather warmed up. We were reluctant to use pesticides on ants, because they were mostly in our kitchen. It took a few tries for us to get rid of ants without pesticides, but we were able to do it by incorporating a few different ant reduction methods.
Clean up every speck of food immediately
I wouldn’t say that our family was messy before we had ants, but we were a little slow about cleaning up crumbs after breakfast and lunch. Now we wipe down every counter and appliance before a meal is served, and we do a really good clean again after we do the dishes. I’m especially careful to clean the top of my toaster, which tends to attract crumbs that ants love.
Wipe down everything with peppermint soap and water
I had heard from many people that peppermint oil was a good ant repellant, but putting oil all over my kitchen was messy and stinky. Instead, I bought some natural peppermint soap that includes peppermint oil (Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap), and it does an equally good job at getting rid of ants. What I do is clean my whole kitchen with peppermint soap and water as my last cleaning step after every meal. Since ants seem to come out at night, I also give my kitchen a super good clean right before bed. I pay extra attention to the range, countertops, and area around the sink.
Seal up your house as tightly as you can manage
When ants get in your house, it’s too late, and you have to deal with them. However, you can prevent further ant problems by figuring out where they get in your house and sealing up those areas. We have noticed that ants get in via very small gaps left in light plates, cupboards, and household appliances. We seal up everything the best we can with tape and spray foam every year. If you don’t know where your ants are coming in, I recommend watching them before you get rid of them. If you spend a few minutes observing your ants, you will see where they are coming in from. Also, make sure to keep all of your windows and doors tightly closed. Look for gaps in all of your screens as well.