How to Get Rid of Ants in Kitchen

ant and sunbeams
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While ants may be small creatures, their problem is big enough to ask for help. Once spring comes, the ants return and do not leave your household until the winter. In numerous states, these pests do not get a break at all. They can live in your garden and your home.

These small trouble makers are a hard-working unstoppable force that never sleeps. It is enough for you to leave bread crumbs on a table, and you will see the army of ants marching across your kitchen the next day. I am going to help you to get rid of them using all my knowledge and experience as an entomologist.

Everything You Want to Know About Ants

If you are looking for the best way to kill ants in the kitchen, it means that these insects have managed to attract your attention. I would have never called them parasites, as they are an important part of nature. However, I strongly believe that they shouldn’t be living in your kitchen. And once they appear in your house, you need to take measures immediately.

Let’s start at the very beginning. There are over 22 000 species of ants dwelling on the planet. That does not mean that they all will invade your kitchen one day. On the contrary, there are 5 common types of these insects that may be attracted to your kitchen. They are:

  • Black ants or Monomorium minimum, which are the most common for the US’ households;
  • Pharaoh ants or Monomorium pharaonis;
  • Odorous house ants or Tapinoma sessile;
  • Sugar ants or Camponotus consobrinus;
  • Argentine ants or Linepithema humile.

All of these types are tiny in size, usually hardly reaching 1/8 inch in length. They all live in well-organized colonies, and barely can be seen separated from the group. After getting inside the house, they will quickly form the colony as well.

What Attracts Ants into Your Kitchen

Ants in The Kitchen

You may be wondering why ants prefer to live in your kitchen instead of the bathroom, for example. The thing is ants have extremely good smell receptors. They feel the odor of the food from afar and are immediately attracted to it. In comparison, other insects have five times fewer odor receptors than ants.

These tiny creatures can notice even tiny spots from the spilled juice or crumbs from your birthday cake. And if you believe that the garbage can under the sink may save you, you are mistaken. Ants will crawl inside the can or package in case it is open. Even if your house is perfectly clean, you have to take care of throwing garbage in time.

Small insects need the source of water too. If your faucet has a tiny leak, ants will feel that. I have witnessed ants living under the leaky dishwasher multiple times. So if you need to prevent these pests from invading your house, you have to make sure that it is not only perfectly clean but dry. Don’t forget to clean the sink and remove the food from the table.

Inspection of the House

While ants can easily live indoors and outdoors, we are talking about the housing problem. It is important to find the roots of the issue, so you can act directly. If you can’t find the source of the ant infestation in the kitchen, you have to follow this brief instruction.

The steps to follow:

  • Take a flashlight and check out your sink, dishwasher, microwave, stove, refrigerator, cabinets as well as every dark and hard-to-reach corner of your kitchen;
  • Don’t forget to take a good look behind the refrigerator, below the dishwasher and cabinets if there is a space;
  • Take a jar from honey or peanut butter and place it near the place where you have noticed ants;
  • Place a small amount of peanut butter on one end of the lid and honey on another;
  • Leave this bait for the night. Check out where the traces go, and which bait is more preferable for them based on the marks left by ants;
  • You can follow their marks around the house.

The Most Common Ways to Get Rid of Ants

A little ant

Ants are an easy target. They prefer to live in groups, and once you repel the poison on a few ants, they will bring back and spread across the entire nest. Sounds easy, right? Well, these insects have created an immunity to numerous natural and chemical poisons.

This is why it is important to use not one but several types of the weapon, and don’t forget to take preventive measures as well, including cleaning all your trash, fixing the leaks, hiding the food. The most known ways to kill ants are:

  • Liquid and dry ant traps;
  • Poisonous ant baits;
  • Natural and chemical-based repellents, including organic sprays.

Preventive Measures

If you don’t want to worry about how to kill ants in the kitchen in the future, you have to think strategically. Learn everything about your enemy, including the type of insects that live in your area. Find out whether they are immune to various poisons and don’t like the baits.

After that you have to do the next:

  • Plant the mint around your house. It may sound weird, but mint is the most hateful plant for many insects and pests in general;
  • Get rid of any moisture in the kitchen. Make sure that pipes are not leaking;
  • If you have sweets at home, put them in a jar or box that will be unreachable for ants;
  • Clean the entire house, as ants may feel even the faded odor of the juice spilled on the floor;
  • Get rid of the garbage in time.

FAQ

Ants eating cookies

Why Do I Have Ants in My Kitchen?

There are different reasons why you experience the kitchen ant problem. Sometimes you have nothing to do with the appearance of this problem. For example, they can crawl from your neighbors to you. They can be lured by your plants in the garden and attracted to water in your kitchen sink. The most common reasons for ants’ appearance are:

  • The strong pleasant odor from the kitchen that attracts them;
  • Crumbs of bread or any other pastry;
  • Moisture in the kitchen;
  • Garbage.

What Are Signs of Kitchen Ant Infestation?

If you don’t see ants running in front of you, it does not mean that they are not living in your kitchen. However, numerous insects can be attracted to your kitchen as well. So, how can you say for sure that your new tenants are ants, without seeing them yourself? Here are a few things you have to pay attention to:

  • Leftovers look like they were bitten by small insects;
  • The food in your pet’s bowl is eaten but not by your pet;
  • There are small mountains in the corner of your kitchen, which is the nest.

Sooner or later, you will notice the stray of ants marching across the kitchen. They do not hide. You may also spot a few ants here or there. Even if you see one, it would be better to follow its trace.

Will Baking Soda Kill Ants?

A popular myth that many of us have heard before is that baking soda may kill the entire colony of ants. According to this legend, all you have to do is to sprinkle this mineral, baking soda, right in front of several ants. They will carry this ingredient to their nest, and… kaboom!

Baking soda is eaten by all the ants and exploded in their stomachs. Is it true? There is no scientific evidence of the efficiency of this process. No one has ever seen it before. I recommend using only trustable ant baits and poisons, but if you want to try, nobody stops you.

How to Kill Ants with Vinegar?

Vinegar is considered to be one of the natural remedies from these insects. Some people mix vinegar with baking soda for the best effect. What we know so far is that ants can’t stand vinegar for their reasons. So, if you want a DIY recipe here, just mix the vinegar and water in 50/50 proportion, and put it in a spray bottle.

Spray this substance on the ants, it will kill them, and remove the insects immediately from the surface with a paper towel.

Natural Ways: What Kills Ants in the Kitchen?

Сinnamon

I have already mentioned mint here, which is one of the best ways to scare away ants from your doorsteps. If you don’t have a garden, you can simply use peppermint oil. Several homemade organic recipes may be useful for you:

  • Peppermint extract can be sprayed on the most suspected areas. You can leave the oil on the cotton ball;
  • Vinegar and water is a natural killer for ants;
  • Lemon juice can eliminate the scent of the food that ants are attracted to. So, if you don’t want to get deal with these insects, you can spray the lemon juice and wipe it around the house, especially near the doors;
  • Cinnamon is considered to be a killer of ants. The insect inhales it and dies. You may sprinkle cinnamon around the house, or use the ground cinnamon. If you don’t have one, use the oil. Mix it with the water and spray near the doors and windows;
  • Black and cayenne peppers are a tough mix even for a human. Ants hate them. If you have only one kind of pepper, that’s ok, it will work perfectly. Mix the pepper with the water or use the dry substance. Apply it near the nest;
  • Diatomaceous earth. You have to be careful with it. It kills numerous insects and pests and may irritate your eyes and skin. While applying, use the mask. Make sure that children and pets will not be able to get to this substance before the ants.

Top 5 Best Ant Killers

Product
Best Ant Killer Bait
Syngenta - TRTD11568 -...
Best Liquid Ant Trap
Ant Killer: Terro Liquid Baits...
Best Natural Ant Spray
mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest...
Prime
-
-
Pros
Works over 14 days since applying.
Can be placed in hardly reachable places.
The product is eco-friendly.
Best Ant Killer Bait
Product
Syngenta - TRTD11568 -...
Price
Prime
Pros
Works over 14 days since applying.
My review
Best Liquid Ant Trap
Product
Ant Killer: Terro Liquid Baits...
Price
Prime
-
Pros
Can be placed in hardly reachable places.
My review
Best Natural Ant Spray
Product
mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest...
Price
Prime
-
Pros
The product is eco-friendly.
My review

This is my list of professional ant killers for you. I tried to gather here different types of ant killers, from organic to chemical ones, different developers, and I hope everyone will be able to find the product they were looking for. If not, point out that in the comments.

Syngenta TRTD11568 Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box – Quick Way to Eliminate Ants in Kitchen

Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box by Syngenta kills different types of ants, including Argentine, ghost, and carpenter ants. It does not kill pharaoh ants, so you have to check out what types of ants are messing with you. The pack includes a syringe with poisonous bait. The little amount is enough to kill the whole colony.

This bait works well not only on workers but kills queens and brood. You can apply it both indoors and outdoors. The main ingredient is Thiamethoxam. Apply the small amount of gel close to the nest. Ants will carry it to the colony and infect others.

Pros:Cons:
  • the powerful formula kills the insects immediately;
  • savvy product;
  • kills multiple types of ants;
  • works over 14 days since applying;
  • destroys the whole nest.
  • it does not kill pharaoh ants.

Ant Killer: Terro Liquid Baits – Liquid Trap for Killing Kitchen Ants

Ant Killer: Liquid Baits by Terro include 3 packs with 18 baits in total. It kills various household ants. Each trap contains Borax. They are already gathered, so you don’t have to prepare traps by yourself. The main actions of the user are to find a place that is unreachable by children and pets and put these baits there. Once the insect feels the bait, it carries it to the nest.

This product usually kills the entire colony of ants. To make sure that all the insects are killed, you can place one more bait at the same place. The bait attracts ants immediately. The odor of the bait is strong for these insects, and it has a long-lasting effect.

Pros:Cons:
  • there are 18 baits in the pack;
  • easy to install;
  • can be placed in hardly reachable places;
  • kills the entire colony of ants;
  • extremely effective.
  • it contains chemicals.

MDX Concepts Organic Home Pest Control Spray – the Best Natural Spray for Ant Extermination

Organic Home Pest Control Spray of MDX Concepts is a natural solution to your problem. It is safe for children and pets. Besides, this spray can be used not only for ants, but fleas, roaches, bugs, spiders, mites, and even scorpions. Although I have never tried this item on scorpions, I checked it out on ants and roaches. It was created from non-toxic ingredients and passed all the quality controls.

The spray has a long-lasting effect. It helps not only to get rid of ants but actually to keep them far from the house. There is a guarantee of money back in case the spray turns out to be ineffective. The main ingredients of the spray are peppermint, rosemary, and spearmint oils.

Pros:Cons:
  • the product is eco-friendly;
  • it is safe for children and pets;
  • the spray helps to prevent ants;
  • the spray kills other insects as well.
  • the spray is more expensive than similar products on the market.

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer – the Long-Lasting Solution for Those Who Look For Getting Rid of Ants in Kitchen

Home Defense Insect Killer by Ortho is a 1.1 GAL pack of liquid poison. It does not have any disturbing strong odor and dries really quickly without leaving stains. Apart from ants, it kills fleas, cockroaches, ticks, and spiders. This product acts for a year after applying. It creates some kind of a barrier that prevents insects from getting into your house.

There is a wand for easy application. Decide where you want to apply the substance and spray it there. Make sure this place is unreachable for children.

Pros:Cons:
  • affordable price;
  • it does not have an odor;
  • the effect lasts for 12 months;
  • the pack is savvy;
  • it kills numerous insects.
  • must be kept away from children and pets.

Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait – the Savvy Leader Among the Best Ant Traps for Kitchen

Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait by Home-Outdoor offers an effective killing mechanism. It contains Abamectin 0.01 percent and is considered to be extremely powerful. This product works on various types of ants, including pharaoh, little black, argentine, thief, fire, carpenter, acrobat, bigheaded, fields, and harvester species.

You can use the bait both indoors and outdoors. However, you have to be cautious when applying the bait in your home. You have to keep away the bait from children.

Pros:Cons:
  • affordable price;
  • effective components;
  • kills all the possible household ants
  • acts immediately.
  • the bait must be kept far from children and pets

Which Bait to Choose

I recommend you to take a good look at all the products from my list. I have chosen some of the most affordable propositions on the market, which I have personally tried. I hope I have managed to explain to you how to prevent ants in the kitchen with both DIY baits and professional items.

If you have more questions, you can ask them in the comments below. I believe that you are able to buy several items from the list, depending on your own preferences. If you have children and pets at home, pay attention to my warnings.

Once you have used a particular item from the list, tell me how do you like it? Which one is your favorite?

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Nicholas Martin

About Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years.

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