There’s an ant. There’s another ant. And another. And another. And another. And another…
I could go on all day.
The point I am trying to make is that you very rarely see just the one ant. There is usually a big long line of the pesky little things all making their way across your kitchen cupboards and all over your food.
Then there’s another great big line of them leading the opposite way taking with them all that food you spent your hard earned money on.
Dirty little thieves!
So what is there to do? Do you need to fumigate the place? Seal shut your kitchen and never return? Burn the whole house to the ground?
No, nothing so dramatic as that. All you need to do to get rid of ants in your kitchen is to get rid of their food source, get rid of the ants and take measures to prevent their return.
And that’s what we are here to discuss. We will look at some reasons why you might have ants in the first place, then we will run through the things you need to do to get rid of them (naturally and without killing them) and finally we will discuss how to stop them from returning.
How Do I Identify What Ants I Have In My Kitchen
Here is a handy video that will let you identify what type of ants you have. If you are not bothered and just want to get rid of them scroll down and we will get started.
Why Do I Have Ants In My Kitchen?
Ants are looking for 3 things. Pretty much the same as any other animal, including us. These 3 things are:
Food – Ants gotta eat. If the scout ants find a food source they will leave a trail of pheromones which will alert the worker ants to were the food is located. Soon thereafter a trail will appear going to the food source and returning to the nest.
Water – Ants gotta drink. This is less likely to be the reason you have ants but if you are in a particularly hot climate ants might be looking indoors for their water source. Ants only need a tiny bit of water to nourish them for a long time so the ants will be in and out in no time.
Shelter – Ants gotta stay safe. If you are experiencing inclement weather with heavy rainfalls washing out your garden and other surrounding areas you might see ants taking refuge in your home.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants In My Kitchen Without Killing Them?
Getting rid of ants is a relatively simple process. Once you cut off the reason for the ants being there you will see their numbers fall dramatically.
Let’s break it down into steps:
Step 1) Find out why they are in your kitchen and resolve the issue.
Follow the trail of ants to where they are going. Are they congregating at a food spill or maybe a small drop of water? Whatever they are going toward clean it up.
Step 2) Replace the source with something ants hate
Now that you have gotten rid of the ants food or water source you should replace it with either white vinegar or black pepper (cayenne pepper or similar will also work). This will discourage the ants from returning to the same spot.
Step 3) Lead the ants away from your kitchen
Remember how we said ‘Ants gotta eat’. Well lets give them something to eat. Just this time far away from your kitchen. Try and locate the source of the colony, it will likely be in your garden. Leave a piece of fruit (opened oranges are best) close to the colony but on the other side to your house. Watch as the ants forget about your house and move over to the fruit!
How Do I Prevent Ants From Coming Into My Kitchen?
If you followed my advice above your kitchen should be free from ants. Now you need to take steps to stop them coming back.
In order to do that you need to do a number of things.
Find out where they were getting in and seal it. Ants will come in from the tiny little holes in your walls. If you see where they gained access seal it off.
Leave a trail of pepper along the boundary and where they previously were. Ants travel using pheromones so you need to mark the areas they know and deter them from returning.
Clean all spills immediately. Ants will come back for any food or water source so make sure any spills are dealt with immediately. Same for your garbage. Make sure it is taken out frequently or ants will get in.
Ensure all food is covered. Do not leave any food out in the open, make sure any food that you have is in air tight packaging. Consider using Tupperware boxes for any foods you have taken out of the packaging.
Be ever vigilant. Ants are tricky little buggers so you must always be on your guard. If you see lone ants in your kitchen they are likely scouts. Make sure they don’t find anything and leave pepper in their trails so they report back a non-friendly environment.
Getting Rid of Ants – Frequently Asked Questions
Follow them! Ants will take a direct route from their nest to the food source and then back again. If you see a trail of ants just follow them back to their home. You will be able to see exactly how they got into your house this way.
Yes, but they will kill in the ants in the process and it does not happen quickly. The ants will take the coffee grounds back to the nest and then die once they have eaten it. This might take a few days during which time you will still have ants.
It depends on what ant species you are looking at. The most common ant that you will see in your home in the UK are the black ant which is nocturnal. Meaning while you are sleeping they will be skulking about your house looking for some food