Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
April 10, 2024 ·  5 min read

How to get rid of ants as pest control expert says warm weather is making them enter your home

The National Wildlife Federation reports that there are over 12,000 species of ants worldwide. Most of them are harmless to humans. However, it is worth noting that ants have the potential to carry bacteria. Making them potential carriers of diseases or infections.

For instance, a small animal study that took place in 2019 revealed that Monomorium ants can carry pathogenic bacteria, posing a potential risk to humans. Additionally, an earlier study from 2005 showed that the pharaoh ant, a specific type of Monomorium ant, could potentially contribute to bronchial asthma and respiratory allergies. These findings show the importance of understanding the potential risks associated with certain ant species and taking appropriate measures to mitigate them.

As summer arrives, a sense of dread often accompanies the invasion of ants into kitchens, dinner tables, and conservatories. Despite using ant powder, sprays, and various other methods to deter them, their persistence during the warmer months appears unstoppable.

However, Jonathan Nicholls, an expert in pest control, shares valuable ideas on how to keep these not so welcome guests away. According to him, ants tend to appear in larger numbers during summer as they are drawn to areas where food is present.

Black ants following each other
Image Credit: Andre Moura / Pexels

Dining outdoors and leaving doors and windows open in warmer weather, ants find ample opportunities to infiltrate our living spaces.

In addition, Jonathan says that ants experience an increase in their metabolic rate during the summer. This leads to a surge in their activity precisely when they invade your barbecue. Furthermore, this season marks their peak breeding period. Jonathan explained, “During this time, ants have higher resource requirements, pushing worker ants to venture out in search of food sources. Consequently, this can lead to a larger presence of ants in your garden or within your home.”

So how do we combat the problem?

Jonathan further emphasized that eating outdoors and the presence of ripe fruits are major attractions for ants. He advised keeping ripe fruits refrigerated or properly covered to deter them. Additionally, he recommended cleaning up any food sources that may emit scents attracting ants as soon as possible. Even stray utensils or pieces of fruit left on countertops should be attended to, especially to avoid black garden ants, which are particularly drawn to sweet food pheromones.

Ants crawling all over an apple core
Image Credit: Edwin Rucci / Pexels

“Merely killing the ants may not prevent their return,” Jonathan warned. He stressed the importance of keeping kitchen bins covered and regularly emptied, making sure there is no food residue left inside. Furthermore, he suggested sealing any gaps beneath doors or cracks, such as plumbing entry points.

Since ants leave trails, it is possible to follow them to identify the source of the pheromones that attract them. However, simply sweeping the ants away is not enough to break their trail. Jonathan recommended using a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water and spraying it in any areas where ants have been seen. This solution can effectively destroy the trail.

Read: How to get rid of fruit flies and gnats

Jonathan also provided some natural repellent suggestions to keep ants out of your home altogether

Ants dislike the scent of lavender and peppermint. Create a solution by mixing either lavender oil or peppermint oil with water. Then spray it on entry points like windows and doors.” He also suggested using the scents of citrus fruits, cinnamon, eucalyptus, or garlic. However, it’s important to note that peppermint, cinnamon, and citrus oils can be toxic to dogs and cats. So its best to avoid those altogether if you have any pets.

Here are a few more useful ideas to try if you’re struggling to win the war against these invaders

Diatomaceous earth is a form of silica composed of fossilized remains of diatoms, which are aquatic organisms and a type of plankton. It is important to note that diatomaceous earth is not a poison. Instead, it works by absorbing the oils present in the skeletons of ants and other insects, causing them to dehydrate. However, due to its irritant nature, it is advisable to avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth or allowing it to come into direct contact with your skin.

If you are interested in using diatomaceous earth to eliminate ants, you can buy food-grade diatomaceous earth online. Follow the instructions provided on the packaging or simply sprinkle the powder in areas where ants are present, as directed.

Black or red (cayenne) pepper can be utilized as a natural deterrent for ants, as they find the scent irritating. To employ this method, simply sprinkle pepper around the baseboards and behind appliances where ants are commonly found. While evidence suggests that this can be an effective and safe way to repel ants, it is important to note that results may vary depending on the ant species and the severity of the infestation.

Brewed coffee grounds have been discovered to be effective in deterring ants. You can try sprinkling freshly brewed coffee grounds on disposable surfaces, such as index cards, and place them in areas where ants gather, such as near pet bowls. Another option is to place the coffee grounds on windowsills, as ants tend to avoid the scent. It’s important to note that the effectiveness of coffee grounds diminishes as they dry out, so it’s recommended to change them frequently to maintain their potency.

While poisons are frowned upon, if you are really struggling, there are options

Options such as bait traps and commercial repellents are available. It’s always important to read the labeling and strictly follow the instructions on the packaging, though. These poisons can be extremely harmful to your family and pets. It also poses a risk to other wildlife. So take into consideration what harm may come from the products you choose to use.

Harmful chemicals are no longer needed to rid your home of ants
Image Credit: Davide Baraldi / Pexels

Exterminators are a valuable resource and may offer safer or more organic or eco-friendly options. They aren’t all just scary folk dressed in hazmat suits with huge canisters of poison anymore. Seek out the one who’s most committed to preserving wildlife while assisting you and your family.

Keep Reading: Boxelder bugs: A Household Pest You Should Never Squish


  1. How to get rid of ants as pest control expert says warm weather is making them enter your house.” Wales Online. Susie Beever. May 29, 2023
  2. How to Clean: Tips for Keeping Your Home Healthy.” HealthLine. Jandra Sutton. July 29, 2019
  3. How to Get Rid of Ants in the House.” The Spruce. Lisa Jo Lupo. July 21, 2022