How to Get Rid of Ants Permanently

The Quickest Way to Get Rid Of Ants Permanently Inside and Outside

How to Get Rid of Ants Permanently is a popular question – equally popular to “How to get rid of ants in the Kitchen.” If you are having trouble getting rid of ants, you’re far from alone – as many people find ants moving into their houses as soon as warmer weather sets in.

And, If you’re tired of spotting ants crawling on your floors and walls or getting into the food pantry, you’ve come to the right place.

Don’t Miss the FAQ section (Below) to Find out what Ants Eat – and what foods to NOT leave exposed.

Today, let’s check out the simple instructions for killing ants and getting rid of ants permanently.

Step-by-Step: How To Get Rid of Ants

The good news is – Learning How to get rid of ants in the house is relatively simple, and once you know how to get rid of your current ant problem, you’ll be able to deal with any new ant infestations that pop up later.

Incidentally, summer is a popular time for camping, and you can easily apply these same techniques to Get Rid of Ants in a Camper or RV.

To Get Rid of Ants Inside (and Outside), Follow These Five Steps:

  • Step One:  find and eliminate the Ant Trail. 
  • Step Two:  Set out Ant Bait to kill the ant colony.
  • Step Three: Spray the perimeter of the house foundation, interior baseboards, and all entry points into the house to prevent new ant colonies.
  • Step Four:  Apply Ant Insecticide to Lawn.
  • Step Five:  Apply Ant Granular Ant Killer to Exterior walls and Entry points Quarterly in Warm weather months.

Step 1:   Find and Eliminate Ant Trails

eliminating ant trails - best home gear
Typical Ant trail –

If you’ve observed ants, you may have noticed that they almost always follow straight lines in single-file order. This is because ants leave pheromone trails behind them to lead other ants to food sources.

If you’re seeing lines of ants coming in, the first step you need to take is to remove the ant trail. The best way to eliminate debris is to use a wet-dry vacuum, followed by a wet sponge with dawn soap to clean the entire path of the ant trail, including any ants still left on the trail.

Doing these steps will eliminate the ants and the pheromone trail and make it less likely that other ants will follow behind later.

Step 2:   Set Out Ant Bait to Kill Ant Colony

terro ant bait | Best Home Gear
Terro Ant Bait –

If you see more than a handful of ants in your house, there’s a good chance you have a colony living in it or very close by. One of the best ways to kill the entire colony at once is to set out poisonous baits.

Click here to see the best ant bait to get rid of ants inside, which is Terro Ant Bait; Terro is attractive to ants because of the taste and odor but will ultimately kill them.

When ants come out to gather food from the Terro liquid ant bait trays, they’ll bring it back to the colony, which will then die because of the poisonous food being given to it.

Knowing how to kill ants that have established a colony is arguably the most crucial part of solving your ant problem – and Terro Ant Killer, in our opinion, is the best and most effective ant treatment.

Step 3:   Spray Interior Baseboards, Exterior Foundation wall, and House Entries with Ant Treatment:

Spray foundation for ants - best home gear
Spraying Interior and Foundation Walls For Ants –

If you want to know how to get rid of ants for good, there’s more to it than just killing the active colony. You also need to be able to prevent other ants from getting into your home in the future.

The best way to accomplish this is to thoroughly spray your foundation with a pesticide spray with Home Defense Insect Killer from Ortho.

Ants often enter through holes or cracks in your foundation, and thoroughly spraying it will keep them from accessing your house in the first place. You should also apply the spray to doorways and windows to form a barrier against ants in these locations.
Make sure you use this spray when the surfaces are completely dry.

Applying it before a rainstorm will keep it from sticking and drying properly, limiting its effectiveness, so be sure you use it in dry conditions at least 24 hours before a rain.

Repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3 on a “Quarterly Schedule” – To keep Ants out of your Home Permanently.

Step 4:   Get Rid of the Ants in Your “Yard”

How to Remove ants permanently | Best Home Gear
How to remove ant colonies permanently –

Now that we’ve covered how to get rid of ants inside let’s move to how to get rid of ants outside.

In case you haven’t thought about it, having ants in your house is usually caused by having an abundance of ants in your yard.

A word of caution, If grabbing the Leaf Blower and blasting them off the driveway or sidewalk seems like a good solution, it isn’t.  If you do that, you’ll just be spreading the colony further into your lawn – Think of it as a “free flight” for the Ants :)

To permanently fix the problem of too many ants in the yard and give you added protection against future ant colonies, apply an ant insecticide to your lawn after its next mowing.

Specific insecticides for ants are available as granules and are applied using a standard fertilizer spreader.

Also available are liquid insecticides that can be screwed onto a standard garden hose for application. However, I think granules are more effective and last longer as they aren’t as affected by rain or irrigation.

Either one of these methods will work, but it’s always a good idea to wait until after mowing to apply the insecticide.

This will help to ensure the pesticide reaches the ground rather than getting caught on the tops of grass blades that will be removed during the next mowing.

Step 5:   Maintain Ant Protection

Best granular ant killer | Best Home Gear
Using Granular Ant Killer –

Once you’ve killed off the ants already in and around your home and used sprays to keep them from getting in again, you must maintain the protection you’ve set up.

Consider using a granular insect killer and spreading it next to the foundation around your house.  Ortho Home Defense Granules is one of the best fine ant killers that won’t wash away like liquid ones.

Many products last for up to three months, but be sure to check the product you’re using, to be sure. It’s also worth remembering that hefty rain can wash away the chemicals faster, so you may want to apply more frequently if you’re having a stormy year.

How To Get Rid of Ants – BestHomeGear.Com

How to Get Rid of Ants “Naturally”

Natural Ant killer options can also eliminate ants (if you oppose spraying insecticides) on or around your house. The following are steps and tips you need to know about how to get rid of ants using natural methods.

Step 1: Use Natural Ant Spray

DIY Natural Ant Spray | Best Home Gear
DIY Natural Ant Spray –

As consumers have become more health conscious, companies have begun offering natural alternatives to more traditional pesticides. Natural sprays can be just as effective as harsher chemical sprays while at the same time being safer for you and your family.

Like standard sprays, you can use these sprays to kill ants directly or to create a barrier at entry points around your home. Another option for killing ants naturally is to apply diatomaceous earth on and around entry points.

This mineral powder dehydrates ants, ultimately kills them, and is entirely non-toxic to humans.

Step 2:   Use Natural Ant Killer – (Alternative to Poison Ant Baits)

Homemade Ant Killer Recipe | Best Home Gear
Best Homemade Natural Ant Killer Recipe –

If you want a natural poison or ant deterrent spray instead of a more traditional one, the easiest thing to do is make it yourself.

  1. Mint Spray repels ants effectively with peppermint oil. It does so without introducing toxins into your household and is easy to apply. We believe the best mint spray on the market (available at Amazon) is the Mighty Mint 16 oz. Spray Bottle.  
  2. Powdered sugar makes the best base for homemade bait, which ants almost always recognize as food and take back to their colonies, with the sugar, mix in borax in a ratio of about one part for every three amounts of powdered sugar.
  3. Add several tablespoons to a jar lid, and set out in high-traffic areas. This mixture will trick the ants into taking borax, which is toxic to them, back to their colonies.
  4. No Borax? Just substitute baking soda for Borax, and mix with powdered sugar as noted above.
  5. Sprinkle baking soda on the ant mound, then douse or spray it with full-strength white vinegar.
  6. Essential Oil: To repel ants in the bathroom or your kitchen, use peppermint essential oil by putting several drops on a cotton ball, then placing them on countertops, cabinets, garbage cans, or anywhere ants are attracted.
  7. Homemade spray – Mix equal parts lemon juice and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray your window sills and around entry doors to the house.  You can also use this formula to spray ants found inside your house.

Step 3: Deter Ants by Overwhelming Their Olfactory Senses

A final component of getting rid of ants in your yard is to find a way to deter them from entering your home in search of food. Since ants use pheromone trails to find previously identified food sources, you can use their biology to your advantage by merely overwhelming their sense of smell.

By coating entry points with a strong-smelling substance, such as vinegar or cinnamon, you can make it impossible for them to pick up on pheromone trails. This, in turn, will keep most ants from entering your home in search of food.

This kind of natural ant repellent will keep ants outside of your home without harming them.

How to Get Rid of “Fire Ants”

Fire ants are those very mean little red ants you usually find in warmer climates, such as the southern states of the U.S.  Like other ant species, once you know how the colony survives, you’ll better understand how to get rid of it.

If you, your family, or your pet have ever been unfortunate enough to step on a Fire Ant colony (As I have in Florida), you know how painful these insects can be – and the scars they leave behind.

A fire ant bite or sting can quickly become infected and lead to permanent scarring.

How to kill fire ants | Best Home Gear
Best Way To Kill Fire Ants –

How to Get Rid of Fire Ants:

Fire ants are highly territorial and attack anything near their nest.  To kill the ant colony, you must treat it with a specific fire ant insecticide.

Step 1:  Spread “Granular Fire Ant treatment”:

Scott’s, Ortho, and Martins make granular powder treatments, which you sprinkle over the fire ant mound.  The Queen usually dies in about three days, and the treatment lasts up to 6 months.

Note: Be extremely careful when using insecticides; some can be harmful or fatal to plants or animals if ingested.

Step 2:  Buy the Best “Fire Ant Bait”:

“Ortho” granular ant bait is designed to spread on lawns and acts as bait or food that the workers carry back to the queen and, in the same way, kill the queen, and the colony is doomed. Without the queen to lay new eggs, the colony fades away. 

“Orthene” by Ortho – is another fire ant bait that works similarly but is sprinkled directly on the “ant mound.”

You can experiment with either of these “Ant Baits” and attack fire ants where they are most prevalent on your property.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:  What Do Ants Eat?  

A:  Ants are omnivores who eat almost anything but prefer sweet and fatty foods. They are also attracted to protein and moisture.

Foods that ants are most likely to eat (and not leave exposed) in your home include:

  • Sweet foods: Honey, syrup, jelly, fruit, candy, and even pet food
  • Fatty foods: Oil, butter, bacon grease, and other cooking oils
  • Protein-rich foods: Meat, cheese, eggs, and pet food
  • Moist foods: Spilled drinks, pet food, and even garbage

Q:  What are the Best Natural Methods for Removing Ants?

A:  While not as permanent or effective as insecticides, many of the Best Natural Ant removers can be Household solutions found around the House – which include:

  • Diatomaceous earth (silicon dioxide)
  • Glass cleaner and liquid detergent.
  • Ground black or red pepper. 
  • Peppermint. Oil
  • Tea tree Oil
  • Lemon eucalyptus Oil.
  • Oil of Eucalyptus
  • White vinegar.

Q:  How Can I Remove Ants from My Kitchen and Home?

A:  Concentrate on Removing ants’ food sources and blocking their entry points to eliminate ants from your home. Here are some Tips:

  • Clean up any spills or messes immediately. Wipe up any spills or messes immediately, including food, drinks, and pet food. This will help to prevent ants from finding food sources in your home.
  • Store food in airtight containers. Store all food in airtight containers, including pet food. This will make it difficult for ants to access food.
  • Seal up any cracks or holes in your home. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal up any cracks or holes in your home, including around windows, doors, and pipes. This will help to prevent ants from entering your home.
  • Use ant baits or traps. A variety of ant baits and traps are available at most hardware stores. These products can be effective in killing ants, but they may not eliminate the entire colony.
  • Call a professional pest control company. If you have a serious ant problem, you may want to call a professional pest control company. They will be able to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action for getting rid of the ants.

Q: How Can I Prevent Ants from Getting in the House

A:  These are the Best Tips to Keep Ants from Getting Into Your House:

  • Keep your home clean and free of clutter. Clutter can provide ants with hiding places and food sources.
  • Avoid leaving food out overnight. Cover food tightly or place it in the refrigerator if you must leave it out.
  • Keep your garbage cans in a clean, dry location. Garbage cans can provide ants with food and water.
  • Remove any standing water from your yard. Standing water can provide ants with a place to breed and lay eggs.
  • Plant mint around your home. Mint is a natural ant repellent.
  • Use citrus peels. Citrus peels can also be used to repel ants. Place citrus peels around your home or where ants are a problem.

By following these tips, you can help to keep ants out of your home.


How To Get Rid of Ants - Best Home Gear


Whether you use traditional pesticides or more natural methods, getting rid of ants isn’t particularly difficult. With just a little know-how and a few materials, you can eliminate ants in your house and keep new ones from coming in.

If you use toxic chemicals, always read the instructions and handle them appropriately. Home pesticides can be perfectly safe when used properly, but you should still be cautious and follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Thanks for visiting!  Have some other tips on getting rid of Ants permanently?  Please send us a comment or suggestion below!

References & Additional Resources

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

Thanks for Visiting Best Home Gear - Your One-Stop-Shop for Expert DIY Guides, and the Best Products and Equipment Reviews for Your Home.

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Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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