Best Way to Keep Ants Out of the House (15 Options)

Having ants in your home can be very annoying.

A colony of ants can do a lot of damage, bring in harmful diseases, and just look unappealing roaming around.

Having ants inside your home is quite unhygienic.

Some species, including Fire ants and Harvester ants, have been known to bite people, while other ants like carpenter ants have a reputation for destroying the integrity of your home.

Best way to keep ants out of the house

A borax solution is the best way to keep ants out of the house. However, if you want to avoid chemicals, constantly cleaning your home has been shown to keep ants out of the house. More natural ways, like mint and bay leaves, can also keep ants away.

Methods to get rid of ants marching inside your home’s

Citrus fruits

Ants do not like the scent of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, or other citrus fruits – but you probably do!

citrus to repel ants

Take advantage of this knowledge, and place these plants near strategic parts of the house.

Cucumber slices

Cucumbers have a foul odor that deters ants, much like citrus fruits.

Their chemical makeup gets rid of the fungi and messes with the ant’s pheromone communication system that ants depend on.


You can use peppermint-flavored essential oil to ward off ants in your kitchen and bathroom.

Place cotton balls soaked with this oil where the ants congregate and pass through. Be sure to also add a couple of drops of water.

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Cinnamon works really well on its own, but It will work much better if you combine cinnamon oil and water in a spray bottle.

Locate where the ants have passed through and spray the different ant trails, windows, doors, and gaps to eliminate the pheromone trail.

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Coffee grounds

After enjoying a hot cup of coffee, remember that the grounds can be helpful to you before you toss them away.

Place the coffee grounds between the gaps, on top of the flowerbed, or even at the base of your house.


While tansy flowers may seem adorable to you, ants do hate them!

Plant it close to your front door, in relatively dry soil with indirect sun exposure, or next to other plants you want to keep ants away from.

A new garden protector. (See More)

Diatomaceous earth

Fine silica powder made from fossilized algae is known as “food-grade” diatomaceous earth.

For people, it’s completely harmless, but for insects, it’s hazardous.

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Since ants cannot move on powdered materials, they literally can not cross a boundary made of chalk.

chalk to repel ants

Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar

Ants enjoy sweets, but they dislike baking soda. They will be drawn to the pleasant smell of the sugar, and the baking soda mixture will destroy their digestive system.


Although cornmeal isn’t the fastest way to destroy an ant colony or keep ants out of the house, it’s perfectly safe for people and affordable.

A great option as it’s normally laying around in the pantry.

Borax, water, and sugar

Mix equal volumes of sugar, water, and powdered Borax laundry booster to make a thin paste. Set the bait by spreading a few teaspoons of it on the lid of a jar.

With its sweet scent, this solution draws all types of ants. This paste is very sticky, and the ants will not be able to get out. This also works great if you want to identify the types of ants in your home – as they’ll be right there in the paste. (Read More)

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Boiling water and dish soap

Ants detest hot water, another secret that ants would want you not to know!

Yes, even something so basic as hot water causes them to quake in horror.

repel ants with boiling water

It also ruins their pheromone trail, which is their main form of communication.

Mini Moat

While most ants seek out food, some also enjoy pots and plants.

Consider constructing a moat filled with water, much like people did when building fortresses in the past, to keep them from forming a home in a garden or other pots and plants around the entrance of your home.

Cayenne Pepper

Ants are deterred by cayenne and black pepper.

Cayenne pepper is vile to ants and will work even better mixed with black pepper.

Find the ant infestation’s source, scatter some of this mixture around it, and if you can, build a pepper mixture barrier to prevent the ants from entering your home.

Maple Syrup

Like people, sweet-loving ants are drawn to maple syrup, and this love may prove to be their downfall.

Maple syrup becomes a potent bait that can attract ants when combined with boric acid, killing not just the ants that consume it but also the ants in the nest as ants will bring this mixture back to the colony.

This has been shown to kill many ants (even the queen).

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How to Stop Ants from Coming Inside Your House

Once it gets started, it’s hard to stop.

Here are some tips:

Identifying Different Ants

The first step to stopping ants from entering our homes is to ensure we are dealing with ants.

Some homeowners have misidentified termites as a potential ant problem, so they’ve employed improper pest control techniques and wasted a ton of time and money on the wrong problem.

The quickest way to tell an ant from a termite is to observe the number of body segments in your targeted pest.

Know that worker ants have three body segments while worker termites have two.

black ant on green leaf

Also, if you’ve spotted winged ants or termites, these are both referred to as alates..

However, know that ant alates have a longer pair of forewings and shorter hindwings, while termite alates have all equal-length wings.

Cleaning Outdoors

Once you’ve ensured you’re dealing with ants, start your prevention outdoors by clearing excess foliage away from your home’s structure.

This includes trimming bushes, cutting down overgrown tree branches, cutting the grass, and making sure shrubbery does not creep or grow along your foundation.

These other overgrown items in your lawn can give ants or insects access to your structure or even hiding spots when invading.

Other things you can do to keep ants from your home are to rake and dispose of leaves, stack piles of firewood as far away from your structure as possible, and keep your outdoor trash bins sealed and kept away from your home.

Cleaning Indoors

After taking care of your outdoor space, it’s time to clean indoors.

Remember, the number one reason ants invade homes is to look for food.

Start by wiping down your kitchen counters, appliances, and trash cans to eliminate any grime, food residue, and crumbs.

Be sure to use water and avoid bleach or other strong cleaners.

Don’t forget to vacuum your floors as well.

Instead of leaving food on the counter, put this leftover food in sealed glass and plastic containers.

Cleaning Indoors for ants

This will stop ants and other pests from infiltrating your pantry and contaminating your food.

Ensure to dry your plates and dishwasher area once the food inside the house has been cleaned up or stored away.

Finally, make sure you check your pipes for leaks.

Barrier Creation & Exclusion

Now that food and water are no longer an issue, it’s time to use several products to ensure ants can’t access your home even if they wanted to.

Wearing your safety gear or PPE is advised before using these products.

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First, you’ll need to create a non-repellent ant barrier in your home with a product labeled to treat ants.

A non-repellent product is essential, so ants can’t detect the chemical’s presence as they pass through it.

It would make sense to use a repelling product to keep ants away; however, when ants sense they are in danger, they can send a signal to the colony that will cause the queen to move the colony, and even in drastic situations create a new backup queen.

This new queen is then sent to start an additional branch of the existing colony, thus increasing your ant problem overall.

Using a non-repelling product will kill ants without them even realizing it.

Other Relevant Ant-Prevention Articles

Other articles that go over the basic early prevention of ants can be found here in these articles:

How to Make a Borax solution

As we know, sweeteners and sweets are some of the substances which generally attract ants.

Scout ants search for food and return to the colony to alert the worker ants with signals and odors.

The worker ants then accompany the scout ants back to the food source and transport the food back to their colony.

How to Make a Borax solution

We will use this attraction towards sweets as a weakness to repel ants.

We start by using 3/4th of a cup of sugar – pouring it into a 500ml bottle.

Pour boiling water into it (250 ml).

Hot water is used to increase the longevity of the solution.

If the water is not insanely hot, it will result in fermentation.

Shake the bottle well after capping till dilution.

Add 250ml of lukewarm water to the diluted solution.

Borax is not poisonous to humans, but it is to insects and especially ants.

We will now use a teaspoon of borax and mix it into the solution.

This approach aims to eliminate the scout ants, the worker ants, and the other ants residing in the ant colonies.

We will use this solution in small amounts as ant bait.

The ants will carry this solution along with them and feed their entire colony, eliminating the territory with a single shot.

It is a slow poison resulting in killing ants.

This approach could take weeks to show results and kill all the ants in an area.

Refill the containers used to store this solution by repeating the steps above.

Keep people and animals away from affected areas until the application has dried.

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Conclusion & Final Thoughts

Ants are unique and fascinating creatures. Their efficiency and excellent strength rival our own.

But still, they can turn out to be unwanted pests wreaking havoc in a minor manner on our lives.

Many will find it intimidating when these pesky ants march from their ant nests into their homes, following the trails of other ants and escaping ant traps in search of food sources.

Some fear getting bitten by these ants, while others fear these ants spoiling their favorite food or their pet food.

But try as much as possible to control and eliminate these ants as fast as possible.

Things still may get out of hand. If it happens, rush to your phone and dial the professionals.

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