Homestead Hack: Deter Ants Naturally

by Texas Homesteader

I hate ants.  H-A-T-E.  But when you plant your new home right smack dab in the middle of a cow pasture ants are what you’ll often get.

Recently I was on the front porch tending to my edible landscape garden and I saw a line of ants marching across the porch.  As I followed the line I was dismayed to see that they were entering our home through the weep hole in the brick.  I knew that meant it was only a matter of time before they started showing up in the house.  Oh the horror!

Maybe they’ll show in the cupboards, maybe the bathrooms.  Maybe even the master closet crawling on our clean clothes!  (yes, they frequent all those places!)  But I’m about to share a helpful homestead hack with ya that helped me deter those ants naturally…

Ants are coming into our home, I don't want to lay out poison. What's a crunchy-green country girl to do? Check this Homestead Hack! #TexasHomesteader

As I stood there looking at that line of ants I pondered what to do.  Hummm…  I don’t want to lay out poison because I don’t want to take the chance with our mini-Schnauzer Bailey. Plus  we have free-range chickens that circle our house scratching for bugs several times a day. So I certainly didn’t want them to accidentally ingest poison either.  What’s a crunchy-green country girl to do??

Ants are coming into our home, I don't want to lay out poison. What's a crunchy-green country girl to do? Check this Homestead Hack! #TexasHomesteader

I know that certain powders are effective in repelling ants. So I wonder if I can use baking soda to keep these tiny beasts out of the house?  I always have baking soda since I purchase the stuff in bulk. And I store it in this big repurposed shaker container that someone saved for me quite a while ago.

Ants are coming into our home, I don't want to lay out poison. What's a crunchy-green country girl to do? Check this Homestead Hack! #TexasHomesteader

So I take it outside and shake baking soda liberally along the line the ants are marching in as well as around and even a little into the weep hole in the brick. Then I sat back & watched.

Sure enough they didn’t want to walk in the baking soda.  I can just hear mama ant fussing at them now, “Who’s tracking in this baking soda after I just swept the mound??”  LOL

Ants are coming into our home, I don't want to lay out poison. What's a crunchy-green country girl to do? Check this Homestead Hack! #TexasHomesteader

At first the ants just wandered around confused but at last they gave up the ghost & moved on.  I checked this area several days later and there was still no sign of the ants.

Now mind you I realize I’ll need to be watching for other points of entry, but by golly this entry is now closed to them!

The magical powers of baking soda continue to amaze me.  Cheap, readily available and oh-so-gentle.  Score another one for environmentally friendly, inexpensive homestead solutions!

~TxH~

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26 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: Deter Ants Naturally

  1. a spirit of simplicity

    We don’t have much of a problem with ants…although I hesitate to say that very loudly. But, now I know how to deal with them if we get them…which i hope we don’t. Thank you for joining Tuesday Afternoon link up last week at Spirit of Simplicity.

    Reply
  2. Melinda

    Baking soda? Timely post! I just had ants last week. I kept washing them away with Dawn. Nice to know I can lay the powder down, and have to stand guard 24 hours a day!
    Here from Merry Monday.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve used baby powder successfully in the past Chelc but the cinnamon has only been marginally successful – perhaps because I was afraid it would stain something and didn’t use enough? Thankfully baking soda is cheap and plain white so I feel comfortable using more. It sure worked like a charm here! ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. angie

    ants are a hazard that I do not care for either thanks for sharing the useful information
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I know different ants are after different things Linda (like carpenter ants, sugar ants, etc) so maybe different methods of control work for different types? I’ve tried the grits on the mound before, it didn’t work for me. I’ve tried sprinkling various things like cinnamon and it didn’t work for me either. But this baking soda hack, IT WORKED! And it worked quickly and poison free. Not sure if it’s because of the specific type of ants these were (ants look like ants to me, I have no idea which is which) but by golly it worked! ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. Carol

    Peppermint! I use it to spray directly on ants in my house, it kills on contact the tiny ‘sugar’ type ants. the larger ones take a bit more spray and time, but it kills them, too. I figure the scent takes away their pathway scent. Dilute 1/2 & 1/2 with water, and spray liberally. You can also spray a cotton ball and place it where they enter, it will stop them.

    Reply
  5. ColleenB.

    Being you have found the point of entrance you can place cucumber slices or peals, as ants have a natural aversion to the crisp veggie. Other things ants hate include cayenne pepper, citrus oil or lemon juice, cinnamon and coffee grounds. You can also try placing mint tea bags, dry crushed mint or cloves in the area where they are in full force.

    Attempt to confuse the ants by disrupting their foraging patterns. Do this by placing a night-light where they seem most active, which can discourage them from coming back.

    Cornmeal, flour, cornstarch and of course baking soda works. Windex also works well. Make sure to get the whole line/path that they follow because they are following the smell themselves, and will stop doing so if it is covered up/cleaned up by the windex (or any other cleaner with a strong smell).
    If you have gutters outside the kitchen make sure you’ve had those cleaned out. Ants love building nests in them when there are lots of leaves and then they inevitably find a way into the house. Good luck.

    Reply

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