How to Keep Ants Out of Your Home – Naturally and Humanely

How to Keep Ants Out of Your Home - Naturally and Humanely

By Dr. Michelle Kmiec

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Okay, I admit it! County girl I am not! Oh, but I do love to try!

Moving from Colorado to Vermont has been an adventure for me to say the least. I learned first-hand that ants travel far and wide from their custom made hills for food, including inside your home. I also learned, the hard way, that hard-dried honey on the side of the honey bottle inside the kitchen cabinet is free food for every ant including their friend’s family, and believe me… that’s A LOT of ants!

Even deep cleaning the kitchen, and everywhere else in my house, was not quite the ant deterrent I had hoped. They already knew food was somewhere in this house and they were determined to find it. It was war! Me against the army of every size ant ever seen on National Geographic!

As the founder of Online Holistic Health I have strong beliefs in all things natural, holistic, and pure. Furthermore I have cats that have to be everywhere all the time — especially exactly where you don’t want them to be. I have to keep them safe! So what is a newly anointed country girl to do?

Frustrated I grabbed the only thing in my reach that I could use to spray them down. My natural orange air freshener – for when I am tired of long Vermont winters and want “to pretend that I really live in Florida feel!”

And guess what?! It worked! Not only that, I sprayed the border where I thought may be the ants’ port-of-entry, and they didn’t cross the orange aroma. Victory!

As it turns out, ants are repelled by citrus.

So that was last spring and summer. What about this year so far?

This year I began my defense early. Armed with the scent of freshly squeezed oranges, those ants didn’t stand a chance! Occasionally I see the silhouette of an ant scout peering through the window, but I think they have gotten the message.

Moral of this story…

Natural methods work! Obviously I am a big fan of my natural orange spray (and Florida!) but there are many other awesome options for getting rid of indoor pests including vinegar, cinnamon, coffee grinds, paprika, cloves, and garlic! You country people probably know this stuff as second nature but for some of us “less informed” city folks, learning about these easy natural options is such a relief.

Oh… and most importantly, don’t leave dried honey on the honey bottle in the cabinet!!

We would love to hear what has worked for you. Only natural options please! I heard something about pennies?

[For Dr. Michelle’s country-girl tips for getting rid of weeds naturally, check out her article How to Get Rid of Weeds Naturally]

Previous articles by Dr. Michelle:

About the author:

dr michelle kmiecDr. Michelle Kmiec is a licensed chiropractor who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology. She is life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from autoimmune neurological symptoms and anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter, Founder of the natural health website Online Holistic Health and author of Healthcare Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession.

You can follow Dr. Michelle’s work with Online Holistic Health through her website, on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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  • Name Margaret

    last year we had a huge problem with ants so I mixed equal quantities of sugar and borax and left small amounts in bottle lids wherever ants were coming into the house, we traced the line of ants into the next door property and where they were entering big time placed larger containers, it was a mass of black ants until all the mixture had been consumed. I continued replacing the mixture for months but we finally must have cracked it as we have hardly any ants this year. Hope I am not speaking too soon, had a few scouts but deal with them as they come.

    The borax and sugar makes them explode thy are then taken back to the nest and eaten again causing new explosions all round.

    Anyway it worked. for an added treat for ants you can also add honey to make it sweeter still.

  • Ashley OA

    Wondercide Organics- Cedar Oil

  • Enid Knight

    Well done Dr. Michelle Kmiec. My own method is to wait until they have gone home at night then surround their point(s) of entry with a very thick layer of white pepper. I’ve noticed that they don’t try to return that way for years and would be happy to use citrus air freshener if I had any.

  • melly mel

    I used baby powder when my son was young and it works! Follow their trail with the powder and they suffocate. Now I focus on figuring out what they go for and finding ways to keep them out from the get-go! Like air tight containers for animal foods and sugar, which attract ants. Didn’t have any problems with ants this for the first time ever! And our complex was build on an ant mound!

  • melly mel

    Didn’t have any problems with ants this *year for the first time ever!

  • Kcharmer

    Baking soda and powdered sugar mixed together, they get gased up from the soda and explode, bringing it back to their nest also takes care of the rest. Works great!

  • Helen

    any advice to get rid of cockroaches please? I also don’t like to hurt them, just want them to stay out in the garden

  • Holly

    Uh, I think you guys might be missing the point about removing humanely. Deter, not destroy. Everything has a right to be here.

  • ellie

    Which brand of the natural orange air freshener did you use?

  • Missi6

    A few years ago, when our teenagers were children we had just finished renovating our home – new kitchen, new bathroom, new carpets throughout the house etc. and then we started to see the ants trailing in in various parts of the house … the kitchen, a bedroom, and there were alot of them, lol …
    I love all of our Earth creatures – I’m always saving insects trapped or caught somehow in our home, and wasn’t happy about using sprays or toxins to kill anything unless they were really causing a problem.
    Being a spiritual kind of person I came upon information suggesting that Humanity should attempt to communicate with the other forms of life that share our planet Earth with us … to call upon the Devas, or nature spirits and to explain our situation as it stands, and how it affects us – then what we need for ourselves – for our own comforts and sense of security etc., and ask if they could make provision for our needs and our rights to personal comfort …
    So I did this – I envisioned seeing the Ant Queens who may live in a few nests outside or under our home, and I addressed and greeted them … I explained that I understood their needs, but that this was our home. That we had just finished fixing and renovating it for our family, and that their presence – in full view, travelling across our bedroom and kitchen walls, felt invasive. That it was upsetting, and that it made us and our children feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, as if our home was unclean.
    I asked if they could please find it within themselves to view the situation from our perspective and to compromise. I was happy for them to come into our home if it was dry outside and they needed fluids, but that their presence was overwhelming and to please tone it down.

    Within weeks thousands of ants trailing across our walls disappeared … we may occasionally see a well concealed trail making their way along the underside of our kitchen bench for some reason, but it’s all good now…

    IT’S ABOUT CO-EXISTING with everyone and we’re happy, they’re happy too =)

  • joan shalimar

    leave some cornmeal along their path in jar lid or small caps

  • Altha Schellenberg

    Used some peppermint oil and cinnamon oil. The ants packed up and moved out.

  • Tinatena

    Vinegar is not working. So, now I am off to leave a trail of cinnamon. If that doesn’t work I will try then try coffee grinds, paprika, cloves and then garlic!