While ants can actually help your yard by breaking down organic matter and aerating the soil, they can also be pests once they enter your home to look for food and water. Ants are the most frequent pests to enter the home. You can buy ant sprays and nebulizers to get rid of them, but these products can be detrimental to your health, and it is a hassle to cover your furniture and other objects before using them. These aerosols or sprays can be expensive. However, there is an alternative, and it can be done right at home. By using the following steps you can make your own homemade ant repellent.
- Put 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in a large bowl. Vinegar contains natural compounds that can alter the smell that ants use to communicate. Ants rely on odor routes left by other ants to guide the members of the colony to sources of food in their home.
- Add 4 tablespoons of cayenne pepper to the mixture. Cayenne pepper contains a potent substance called capsaicin that is an irritant to ants. Some commercial ant repellents contain capsaicin as an ingredient.
- Add a cup of grated grapefruit, lemon and orange peels in the mixture. The peels of these citrus fruits contain a potent chemical called limonene that naturally repels ants. Limonene is added to many commercial chemical insecticides. The peeling can also improve the effects of the other ingredients in the mix.
- Add two cloves of chopped garlic to the mixture. Apart from its strong odor, garlic contains an active ingredient called illicit that releases potent compounds that propel insects away. The addition of garlic to the mixture will also act as a preservative and increase the potency of the other ingredients.
- Shake the ingredients together and carefully pour in a large spray bottle. Spray the areas of the house where the ants normally gather, such as kitchen corners, bathrooms, basement floors and any doorway in your room. Spray this mixture around your house once every 2 days.
Tips and warnings
- The strong smell of this ant-repellent home will disappear in about 3 minutes after spraying. It is a safe solution that does not harm small children or pets.