Get Rid of Ants

Got an ant problem? Read these tips on how to get rid of ants.

Get Rid of Ants - PIcture of an Ant

Hints and Tips - How to Get Rid of Ants

Get Rid of Ants - Continuing our new section for controlling pests, we are often asked how to get rid of ants, both inside and outside the house. Those of you who like myself live in Spain, will know that these common pests come in all shapes and sizes, in the UK they mostly comprise black or red ants (and the flying variety when they decide to emerge, normally on hot summer's days), but in Spain you will find the tiny ones which often come into the house, the normal size ones, and the huge 1 centimetre long ones (which we have never seen inside the house).

When considering the question "how can we get rid of ants", I decided to do a search on the internet, as I have previously found some useful tips on this modern medium. We usually buy ant powder (called Antihormigas in Spain) and this seems to work pretty well, sprinkled wherever ants are roaming and especially around window and door cills. You can also get a liquid form (also called Antihormigas) which you spray on the little blighters and they disappear pretty quickly. As we don't have pets or kids, these methods are fine for us, but for those of you who do, you may prefer an alternative solution. My mother used to use the old fashioned method of pouring boiling water on the ant's nest, a bit barbaric, but very effective.

Many would prefer to get rid of ants without actually harming the creatures, I mean to say they do some useful work around the garden, and will eat many of the pests which invade your plants, they particularly like greenfly, although they seem to harvest them rather than kill them off altogether. Checking on the internet, I found various suggestions to get rid of ants with natural products, amongst them were vinegar (especially cider vinegar), cinnamon, chalk, mint and talcum powder.

I tested out the vinegar theory in my own garden in Spain, it was suggested that a half and half mix of water and vinegar would deter ants when poured on their territory, apparently they won't walk over it. I put a ring of this mix around a lone ant and after an initial frenzy of running around, it appeared to start drinking the stuff! Neat vinegar appeared to work a little better, but I think you would have to pour a whole bottle in there to get rid of ants completely.

I moved on to the chalk and cinnamon theories, apparently an ant won't cross a line of chalk, well I don't know if I had the wrong chalk but my Spanish ants didn't take a blind bit of notice. The same effect resulted from sprinkling cinnamon around them - no effect whatsoever.

I must say I haven't tried talcum powder or mint, as I didn't have any to hand at the time, but I was already getting disappointed with these 'natural' methods. So back to what's on the market to help get rid of ants, the most effective would appear to be the bait station, the idea being that you place the station where worker ants roam, they take it back to the nest and tell all their friends, who then join in the feeding frenzy unaware that they are slowly being poisoned, after a week or two the entire nest is decimated - no more ants. You will need to repeat this for other nests as you will probably find several, see if you can follow the trail of worker ants back to their source. Various brands of "Ant Stations" are available, the best I am told is Nippon, though I can't confirm that, as I'm sticking with my powder and boiling water!

Related: Spain