Ants are among the most common household pests, invading homes in search of food, water, and shelter. While they may seem harmless, an ant infestation can quickly become a nuisance, leading to unsightly trails, contamination of food, and potential property damage. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies that homeowners can employ to get rid of ants and prevent future infestations.

Identify the Ant Species

Before implementing eradication methods, identify the species of ants infesting your home. Different ant species may require different approaches for effective elimination. Common household ants include pavement ants, carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and pharaoh ants. If you’re unsure about the species, consult a pest control professional for accurate identification.

Maintain Cleanliness to Get Rid of Ants

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to deter ants is to maintain a clean and tidy living environment. Regularly clean countertops, sweep floors, and promptly dispose of food scraps and crumbs. Store food items in airtight containers to prevent easy access for ants. Additionally, pay attention to pet food bowls and ensure they are cleaned after each use.

Seal Entry Points

Ants can enter your home through even the tiniest cracks and gaps in walls, windows, and doors. Inspect the exterior of your home for potential entry points and seal them with caulk or silicone-based sealant. Pay particular attention to areas where utility lines enter your home, as these are common entry points for ants.

Use Natural Repellents to Get Rid of Ants

Several natural ingredients can serve as effective ant repellents. These include vinegar, lemon juice, peppermint oil, and cinnamon. Mix these ingredients with water and spray the solution along ant trails, entry points, and other areas where ants are prevalent. These natural repellents are safe for use around children and pets and can help deter ants from entering your home.


Baiting is a highly effective method for eliminating ant colonies at their source. Commercial ant baits contain attractive food substances laced with slow-acting insecticides. Worker ants carry the bait back to the colony, where it is shared with the queen and other members, eventually leading to its demise. Place ant baits near ant trails and entry points, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for best results.

Diatomaceous Earth Will Help You Get Rid of Ants

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance derived from fossilized algae that can effectively kill ants and other crawling insects. It damages the ants’ exoskeletons, leading to dehydration and death. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in areas where ants are active, such as along baseboards, behind appliances, and beneath sinks. Reapply as needed, especially after rain or moisture exposure.

Professional Pest Control

If, despite your best efforts, the ant infestation persists or worsens, it may be time to seek the assistance of a professional pest control service. Pest control professionals have the expertise and resources to identify the extent of the infestation and implement targeted eradication methods safely and effectively. Additionally, they can provide valuable advice on preventive measures to keep ants and other pests at bay.

Dealing with an ant infestation can be frustrating, but with the right strategies, homeowners can effectively eliminate these unwanted pests from their homes. By maintaining cleanliness, sealing entry points, using natural repellents, baiting, employing diatomaceous earth, and seeking professional assistance when needed, homeowners can reclaim their homes from ants and enjoy a pest-free living environment. Remember, consistency and persistence are key to successfully getting rid of ants and preventing future infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants in the Home

Are ants harmful to my health?

While most household ants are not harmful to humans, some species can contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria. Additionally, ant bites or stings can cause discomfort or allergic reactions in some individuals.

How long does it take to eliminate an ant infestation?

The time it takes to eliminate an ant infestation depends on factors such as the size of the colony, the species of ants, and the effectiveness of control methods used. It may take days to weeks to fully eradicate an infestation.

Are there any environmental concerns associated with ant control methods?

Some chemical pesticides used for ant control can harm the environment and non-target organisms. Consider using eco-friendly or integrated pest management approaches to minimize environmental impact.

What attracts ants to my home?

Ants are attracted to food sources such as crumbs, spills, and open food containers. They are also drawn to moisture, so leaky pipes or standing water can invite them indoors.

Pro Spect Home Inspections offers inspection services in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. Contact us to request an appointment.