How to get rid of ants

Ant control can be a nuisance as once one venture inside your home in search of food, and scores something yummy, he’ll send a message home to call in all the troops.

Never fear, as you can get ready for battle like Ant-Man with these three ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Borax

Warning: Keep these traps away from kids or pets, as they are not safe to consume.

Get battle-ready – when there’s an ant infestation at your place, it means there’ll likely be loads of ants everywhere! Picture: Getty

How to create a homemade ant trap:

Step 1: Mix sugar and Borax

In a small bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of Borax. The Borax shouldn’t overpower as ants won’t take the bait.

Step 2: Separate into different containers

Separate the mixture into 2-3 small sealable containers.

Step 3: Make the paste

With a straw or teaspoon, take a few drops of water and drip into each container. You want to create a paste, so slowly add more liquid as needed. Stir together until it’s like the consistency of maple syrup.

Read more: 4 signs of cockroach infestation at home

Step 4: Seal it

Seal the lids tightly, then pierce small holes in the lid and upper side, which are big enough for the ants to crawl into the container.

Step 5: Place your traps strategically

Now that your traps are ready, place these in areas most affected by ant intrusion, such as behind the fridge or at the back of a draw. Leave for a few days to attract the ants but don’t kill them, as you want to track the ant back to his colony. If you don’t see where the ant goes, spray a little vinegar on the next ant seen and watch it reverse back to the colony.

Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft, colourless crystals that dissolve in water. Picture: Getty

It’s the colony you really want to treat to remove the underlying issue. A chemical-free approach is to run a hose up to the colony and let it saturate the area so the ants get packing and move on.

A more hardcore option is to boil a saucepan of water with a decent amount of cayenne pepper (or vinegar will do the trick). Once boiled, remove the pot with protective mitts and pour over the colony to immediately destroy the nest.

How to prevent ant infestation at home 

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the ants, it’s best to create a barrier to prevent an ant infestation from occurring again.

In a spray bottle, fill half with vinegar and the rest with water. Add a few drops of dishwashing mixture and shake well, then spray the areas where the ants used to be seen.

Read more: How to get rid of mice

4 everyday tips to get rid of ants:

  • Keep pet food off the floor on a pedestal. Or, place the pet dish inside a saucer or larger bowl. Pour some water around the outside to create a moat.
  • Never leave food scraps lying around, especially those which are sweet like honey, and wipe the exterior of the bottle before placing back into the pantry.
  • Rinse your recyclables and Tupperware containers well before storing.
  • Spray a vinegar and water solution inside your garbage bin each time you remove the bag.

What is Charlie Ant

Also known as rove beetle, these insects are very poisonous. Though they do not bite or sting, their blood, however, contains a type of toxin that can irritate your skin. They’re usually found in the jungle, but recently Charlie Ants have been making quite a number of appearances in the residential area.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself against them

  1. If you see them around, remember not to touch or crush them. Blow it or wash it off your skin.
  2. Minimise lighting in infested areas at night as these creatures are attracted to bright lights. Or you can spray insect repellent around the lighting area too.
  3. Cover yourself with long-sleeved clothing to minimise exposed skin.
  4. Get rid of its food sources such as fly and moth.

If you crushed it by accident, wash the affected area with soap and water immediately to wash off the toxin.

With these tips, you’ll have the ants marching one by one, right on out the door. Hoorah, hoorah!

This article was originally published as How to get rid of ants by and is written by Elke Keeley. Additional content by Stephanie Yap.