Southern Oregon seems to be built on an ant hill and we consistently get questions about how to get rid of the little intruders. When it rains and when it’s dry they seem to invade local kitchens and certainly those nights when you don’t feel like doing the dishes before bed they take the opportunity to help you clean up.

We Googled “How to get rid of Ants” and found lots and lots of advice and ideas which we re-capped below. There are too many ideas for us to test but we mention in bold at the end of the idea if this is one we at Expert Properties have tested and found to be successful.

Adhesive Tape

Is an army of ants marching toward the cookie jar on your countertop or some sweet prize in your pantry? Create a “moat” around the object by surrounding it with adhesive tape placed sticky side up.

Boric Acid

If you’ve had it with sharing your living quarters with roaches or ants, give them the heave-ho by sprinkling boric acid along any cracks or crevices where you’ve spotted the intruder.  Note: Keep in mind that boric acid can be toxic if ingested by young children or pets. This is one solution we have tried and it has worked.


Keep ants at bay by drawing a line around home entry points. The ants will be repelled by the calcium carbonate in the chalk, which is actually made up of ground-up and compressed shells of marine animals. Scatter powdered chalk around garden plants to repel ants and slugs.

Clean Kitchen

If your kitchen is kept very clean you typically won’t get ants beyond the scouts looking for food and sugar sources. If the scouts don’t find any food they will typically move on. Dog and Cat food can also be a great find for ants so keep those areas clean as well.

Cloves and bay leaves

Find out where they’re coming in and sprinkle ground cloves and/or crushed bay leaves in the area.  Ants absolutely can’t stand cloves and I hear they feel the same about bay leaves, they will run screaming (listen hard, they have tiny mouths).

Colony – Find the Source

Once you see ants try and follow them to find out where they are entering your home.  Once you have done that you can treat that area and try and follow them outside to their colony.  If you find the colony you have it made and can kill the eggs and the queen. We followed a line of ants to a wood pile, lifted up some logs to find thousands of eggs and a mad shuffle as the worker ants tried to carry the eggs to safety, but were quickly stopped by a can of RAID.


You can use cucumber to get rid of ants as they don’t like the taste of cucumber. Placing small piece of cucumber in ants affected area will force them to leave your home.


Sprinkle a line of flour along the backs of pantry shelves and wherever you see ants entering the house. Repelled by the flour, ants won’t cross over the line.


You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Then squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Finally, scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance. The ants will get the message that they aren’t welcome. Lemons are also effective against roaches and fleas: Simply mix the juice of 4 lemons (along with the rinds) with 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water and wash your floors with it; then watch the fleas and roaches flee. They hate the smell.


Apparently ants don’t like mint and if you want another natural remedy, this one was mentioned may times. Pour dry mint or extract on their path, usually they won’t cross the area where the extract is. Keep repeating and usually they will go away.


Get rid of the ants in your garden, on your patio, and along the foundation of your home. In a blender, make a smooth puree of a few orange peels in 1 cup warm water. Slowly pour the solution over and into anthills to send the little pests packing.



Two or three of your annual visitors have invaded your kitchen. Those ants are looking for sugar. Give them some pepper instead. Cayenne pepper sprinkled in spots where the ants are looking, such as along the backs of your countertops or on your baseboards, will tell them that no sugar is ahead.


You will have to do a little work by taking everything out from under your kitchen sink. Wash everything very well with some sort of good cleaning solution, including the items you put back under there in case food or something they like has been spilled on them. Then using “Raid” Ant killer in a spray container – spray around where the pipes come up out of the floor or wall. Then put everything back in the cabinet. Spray along the floor line all the way around this area, including near your refrigerator and around your window. We have used this at Expert Properties and it has worked well.



If ants are beating a path to your home, intercept them by sprinkling salt across the door frame or directly on their paths. Ants will be discouraged from crossing this barrier.


Soapy Water

Spray soap water on the entry points of ants as well as cabinets and other areas. This is another effective home remedy to get rid of ants permanently.


Talcum Powder

For an effective organic ant repellent, scatter talcum powder liberally around house foundations and known points of entry, such as doors and windows. Other effective organic repellents include cream of tartar, borax, powdered sulfur, and oil of cloves. You can also try planting mint around the house foundations.



This is a popular ant killer and it seems to work for us at Expert Properties. You simply set Terro traps our on your kitchen sink or where ever you have ants and in theory the ants not only get poisoned but take the poison back to the nest.



Serve the ants on your premises with an eviction notice. Pour equal parts water and white vinegar into a spray bottle. Then spray it on anthills and around areas where you see the insects. Ants hate the smell of vinegar. It won’t take long for them to move on to better-smelling quarters. Also keep the spray bottle handy for outdoor trips or to keep ants away from picnic or children’s play areas. If you have lots of anthills around your property, try pouring full-strength vinegar over them to hasten the bugs’ departure.


Water Containers

Lastly, if you have a hummingbird feeder that gets invaded by ants each year we have a solution. Pierce a hole in a spray can plastic top, slip it upside down through the string that holds you hummingbird feeder, seal the hole with silicon and fill the cup with water. Ants will not walk through water so the lid will act as an ant moat.

In case you are not satisfied with the results of the above mentioned home remedies, then it is advisable to take professional help and hire an exterminator.


If you have any additional comments or ideas on how to get rid of ants please give us your input on our blog at . Expert Properties specializes in Real Estate Management, Sales and Furnished Rentals.