When it comes to pests and cricket, the last thing any of us wants is to find unwanted guests taking up residence in the kitchen. While there are certainly more harmful pests, there’s something particularly icky about ants especially when they’re in close proximity to where you store, prepare, and eat your food. They can get into your food containers and pantry, and one ant soon turns into a whole colony. If you find yourself waging war against these tiny but mighty creatures, try some of these creative yet simple (and effective!) ways to keep them away.
Kick Up Your Cleaning Routine
If you have a pretty consistent ant problem, it’s possible that you’re just not cleaning your kitchen as often or as carefully as you should. Make sure you’re keeping your counters and floors free of crumbs, and wipe up sticky messes as soon as they happen. Keep cupboards, drawers, and even your fridge as clean as possible. If there’s a sticky or sweet mess anywhere in your kitchen, ants are bound to find it.
Seal the Cracks
If you have ants in your kitchen, it’s pretty likely that they’re not just coming through open doors or windows, but through cracks and holes around them. Caulk does wonders for keeping critters out of your home, so try to find and fill as many holes in these areas as you can. You can do this easily by yourself, and keep the caulk at hand for any future cracks or holes that appear.
Stamp Out Their Trail
When ants enter your home, they leave a scented trail behind them for other ants to follow. That’s why you usually see ants in groups, and rarely a lone wolf. If you’ve noticed an ant coming into your kitchen, clean the area with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. This won’t kill the ants that are already in your house, but it will get rid of their smell so more ants can’t follow.
Herbs as a Defense
Ants love sugar, and from the biggest container to the smallest spill, they can smell it from miles away. This means your pantry and kitchen cupboards can become a hotbed for a new ant colony, even if you leave the smallest trace of a sugary substance. Herbs like sage and bay leaves can help deter ants from getting into your sugary treats, and you can put the herbs directly in your sugar container or next to your honey to keep ants away.
Draw a Chalk Line
If you have a door in your kitchen that leads directly to the outside of your home, this could be where the ants are coming from. To stop them dead (but not literally) in their tracks, draw a chalk line on the ground on the exterior side of the door. Ants dislike calcium carbonate, so it’s an excellent repellent and they won’t go over the line and into your kitchen.