How to get rid of ants cheaply and naturally?

Do you have ants? We’ve got you covered with an easy-to-follow pest control recipe that doesn’t involve a trip to the hardware store, and it’s non-toxic!


  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Granulated sugar
  • Jar lids (or something similar to hold the bait in, although a container is not necessary)


  1. Mix 1 part baking soda with 1 part powdered sugar. I used 3/4 tablespoons of each of these ingredients and mixed them right into the jar lid. From what I’ve read, ants can’t tell the difference between baking soda and powdered sugar because they are similar in size. The sugar attracts the ants, and it’s the baking soda that kills them: it reacts with the acid in their digestive system and they explode.
  2. Place the mixture in strategic places and wait for the baking soda to take effect. You can use a jar lid or something similar to keep the bait contained, or you can place it directly on the surface where ants are prevalent.

Baby chalk/powder

Draw a chalk line in front of where the ants enter your house. This will act as a barrier that they cannot cross. Update your chalk line periodically to keep it working.

Why does it work? Nobody is really sure. Some think it’s because ants don’t like the calcium carbonate in the chalk. Others think it’s because the chalk line interrupts their scent trails. Whatever the reason, this seems to work.


Mix one teaspoon of borax and 5 ounces of syrup or jelly (borax and sugar work too). Then place the mixture where the ants will find it. If you have small children or pets, be sure to put the mixture out of their reach. It may be natural, but it is still toxic.

Why does it work? Once consumed, borax is a slow-acting poison that damages the digestive system of ants and spreads through the population, causing death.

Herbs/spices and essential oils

Sprinkle cinnamon, mint, chili, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, or garlic where you saw the ants. Then treat your home’s foundation in the same way. Placing bay leaves in cabinets, drawers, and containers can also help deter ants.

Some essential oils have also been shown to be effective against ants. Put a few drops of peppermint, citrus, eucalyptus or cinnamon oil on cotton balls. Then stick them on the problem areas. Replace them as the odor dissipates.

Why it works: Many plants, including those listed, have a strong scent to repel ants and other insects in the wild, and they’re just as effective in your home. If you have pets or small children, use something other than bell peppers. Capsaicin contained in peppers can irritate mucous membranes. Essential oils should also be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

the coffee grounds

Are you a coffee drinker? If so, get in the habit of sprinkling used coffee grounds around the garden and outside your house.

Why does it work? The ants are repelled by the smell of coffee grounds. This makes pomace an excellent form of pest control. Since coffee grounds contain minerals like potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium, they are also great for your garden soil.

Cucumber/citrus peels

Leave cucumbers or citrus peels in areas of known ant activity to send home.

Why it works: Citrus peels have been shown to have antifungal activity, inhibiting the growth of one of the main food sources for ants. If you’re fighting ants in your kitchen or bathroom, opt for lemon-scented cleaners. For best results, look for products scented with real citrus oils. Synthetic fragrances will not have the desired effect.

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