How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

My favorite way to get rid of ants – cornmeal :)

Have I ever I told you about the time several of my aunts (which I pronounce “ants”) were in town helping me in the kitchen? We were having a lovely time capping strawberries and telling stories and laughing. Suddenly, a big, fat ant crawled across my kitchen counter and I let out a breath of frustration while exclaiming, “I wish these stinkin’ ANTS would get out of my kitchen!!!”

Well, my aunts hadn’t seen the ants that had so suddenly caused my outburst. They all dropped their knives and looked at me in astonishment because surely I wasn’t asking THEM to get out of my kitchen was I? I mean, what had they done except to help me so graciously with my load of strawberries?

Oh dear.

I quickly realized my mistake, and they quickly realized that I wasn’t talking about my aunts but about the ants – the nasty, little bugs that like to make a trail from one part of the kitchen to the other all while making away with our dinner roast beef. My aunts on the other hand, while they would surely enjoy my roast beef, have never formed an assembly line across my kitchen in order to steal away my supper. Nor have I ever had the urge to scream at them or squish them with my flip-flop. Goodness.

Now, isn’t that a great story? Laura screams at her ants. Laura’s aunts become shocked.  The ants get squished. The aunts have a good chuckle. Laura enjoys her aunts while trying to figure out a good way to get rid of her ants.

All that to say, let’s have us a little discussion about getting the ants out of your kitchen. Regarding the aunts in your kitchen – you’re on your own, but I highly recommend figuring out a way you can all remain together harmoniously.

Recently, Mary emailed this question:

I have a one-year-old and don’t want to use RAID around the house. The warm weather is starting to bring ants around and my little girl loves running barefoot. What do you suggest? Mary

Here is a list of all the “Getting Rid of Ants Naturally” tips I have up my sleeve (if in fact I do have sleeves):

  • Keep your floors and counter-tops clean. Crumbs and stickiness just give ants the incentive to stay. They call or text all of their friends, then they come into your kitchen and have a great, big party.
  • Seal all leftover food very well, or put it into your fridge. There have been too many times I’ve made a lovely baked item for breakfast, only to find that ants have gotten up under the plastic wrap during the night and had their party in my Pyrex. If you think I screamed at my ants when I saw them on the countertop, you ain’t heard nothin’ like when I saw them in my fresh-baked whole wheat cinnamon rolls.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal around doorways and places you normally find ants. They eat it and become bloated and it does them in.
  • Ants don’t like vinegar, bay leaves, peppermint oil, cinnamon, black pepper or whole cloves. You can make a picnic of any of these items for them in various places in your kitchen but their noses (ants have noses?) will be offended and they are likely to refuse your picnic invitation.

What else? Do you know of any natural, non-toxic ways to rid your home of ants?

The aunts, well…we’d like them to stay.


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  1. BellaB says

    Hi everyone! I am an Atlanta girl living in Vienna, Austria. We live in a 6th floor apartment and every spring we get a bad ant invasion in our kitchen. I tried the black pepper and cinnamon, and it works a little bit, but since they come down a wall, I need something that sticks to the wall and is cheap. I couldn’t find that chalk you talk about, but will spray vinegar on the wall where they come in. Let’s see of that will work!


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