The best ways to keeps ants away from inside a home is to keep all surfaces clean of food debris and eliminating single ants whenever they are seen. Single ants are what is known as scouts and, if they discover food, they create a trail for fellow ants to follow to the food source.
With more than 400 species of ants native to North America alone, keeping ants out of homes is an ongoing battle. In addition to keeping counters, floors and other surfaces free of food for the ants, there are other ways to help keep ants from becoming permanent house guests:
- Create a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar - Use a mop or towels soaked with the water/vinegar mixture, and mop the area where scout ants have been seen, which eliminates the trail for other ants; alternatively, most household cleaners will work as well.
- Use ant bait traps - Place the ant traps near any potential entryways, such as doors, and on surfaces where food can be found, such as countertops.
- Seal holes - Use caulk to seal up any possible entryways from outside for ants and other pests.
- Make homemade poison - Mix sugar water with borax and place in locations for the ants to access; the ants will take the sweetened mixture back to the colony, where the poison will kill all of the ants in the colony.