May 16, 2022

Ants in the house: everything you need to know

You see a couple in the dishwasher, on the kitchen counter, in the trash, in the compost under the sink, and then suddenly they’re everywhere—you’ve got ants. Take a deep breath: we have some advice on how to get rid of these common pests.

Red alert: ants in the house!

Rest assured that household ants can’t harm you, even in large numbers. They pose no threat to your health, nor to that of your pets. But they’re still an unwelcome pest, and it’s a good idea to find out how they found their way into your home!

Have you brought in firewood or anything else from outside recently? You may have accidentally carried in some ants. In spring and summer, ants seek out food and warmth inside, though their nests may be elsewhere. Should you come across a large ant with wings, however, that’s the queen, which is bad news. If she’s in the house, that means her nest is, too.

Important: watch out for carpenter ants, which can cause structural damage to your home’s framework. Contact an exterminator to rid your house of them immediately.

How to get rid of ants in the house

Though tiny, ants are unwelcome guests. Here are a few all-natural ways to keep your house ant-free.


  • Vinegar: a multi-purpose, all-natural product. Clean your counters with it and apply some around the edges of window sills and door frames to help keep ants away.
  • Lemon: this classic gin-and-tonic garnish can repel ants. Sprinkle lemon juice around window sills and door frames, and scatter a few peels. Your house will smell lovely, as a bonus.
  • Borax: sprinkle a few spoonfuls of borax where the ants tend to lurk. You’ll be rid of them in no time. Warning: borax is toxic not only to ants, but to animals, too. Don’t use this method if you have pets.


  • Chalk: go back to your childhood drawing board for chalk! A thick line drawn in front of doors and windows can prevent ants from coming inside.
  • Coffee grounds: brew a cup and fight off ants. Spread damp coffee grounds around the ants’ nest to eradicate them.
  • Boiling water: flood the nest with a mixture of boiling water and black soap.

Anti-ant tricks and tips

  • Never leave food where they can find it. Store food in the fridge or in well-sealed containers.
  • Keep counters clean and free of all traces of food.
  • Vacuum frequently to clear away crumbs.
  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink.

Planting a garden this summer? Check out our article on gardening with homemade products.

Check out our article on how to keep pests out of your garden.

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See also:

How to keep mosquitoes at bay in an environmentally friendly way?

How to keep pests out of your garden

How to deal with ants, millipedes and other insects

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