Did you just see an ant scurry across your kitchen floor? Likely, there are a few more – maybe even hundreds or thousands – and if you don’t hire an ant exterminator soon, these tiny little pests might overrun your home. Where there is one ant visible, there are likely thousands more nearby, and if you wait too long, then you might be dealing with an infestation, which means you’ll need to call us, the leading ant exterminator in eastern Virginia.

If you’d rather try the do-it-yourself option first, then we can help there, too. There are quite a few DIY ant exterminator options on the market today, any of which can eliminate ants and their colonies in your home. Sometimes you need a professional ant exterminator, though, but in many cases, you can manage the problem yourself with safe, non-toxic ant exterminator solutions. With years of experience as the area’s leading ant exterminator, we give you our favorites below.

5 DIY Natural Ant Exterminators

  1. White Vinegar: This is a cheap and effective ant exterminator. Mix an equal amount of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray areas where you have seen ants travel.
  2. Diatomaceous Earth: Made of fossilized remains of aquatic organisms, diatomaceous earth absorbs the oils in an ant’s skeleton, drying it out and killing it. You simply sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth anywhere you see ants. When they walk through it, the product works its magic. However, even though diatomaceous earth isn’t poisonous, it is an irritant, which means you don’t want to breath it in or get it on your skin.
  3. Boiling Water: If you notice ant holes near your home, pour boiling water into them. This method will effectively and immediately kill many of the ants inside. Anthills may appear small, but the ant colonies underneath them are vast. The boiling water won’t be enough to kill off the entire colony, though, so make sure to treat every ant hole you see within your home’s proximity.
  4. Cornstarch: There are two different ways to use cornstarch as an ant exterminator. First, if you are dealing with a large group of ants, liberally pour cornstarch over all of them and add water on top. This will encase the ants in cornstarch – kind of like an ant tomb. Second, rather than add water to the cornstarch, simply vacuum up the ants and dispose of the vacuum bag outdoors immediately.
  5. Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil: Compounds in this essential oil are effective ant exterminators. Just use this three-step solution. First, saturate cotton balls with undiluted cinnamon leaf essential oil. Second, place the cotton balls in areas where you typically see ants in your home. Third, replace the cotton balls weekly with freshly saturated cotton balls.

7 DIY Natural Ant Deterrents

  1. Glass Cleaner or Liquid Detergent: These products won’t kill ants, but they will deter ants from reentering your home, because they eliminate the scented pheromone trail ants leave behind when they walk.
  2. Lemons: Spray or wipe lemon juice to detract ants by removing pheromone trails and masking the scent of food. In addition, putting lemon rinds in your cupboard may also detract ants from taking up residence in your kitchen.
  3. Coffee Grounds: It might be hard to believe, but ants dislike coffee grounds. Sprinkle the freshly brewed coffee grounds on disposable surfaces (such as index cards) and leave them in areas where ants congregate, such as pet bowls. The grounds may lose their potency once they’re dry, so make sure to change them often.
  4. Ground Black or Red Pepper: Ants hate the smell of black and red pepper and will leave the area rather than be subjected to the smell. Simply sprinkle pepper around baseboards and behind appliances to keep ants at bay.
  5. Peppermint Essential Oil: Ants don’t like the smell of peppermint either. Mix 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with two cups water in a clean plastic spray bottle and spray the mixture around the baseboards and windows of your home. Be aware that peppermint essential form, in its undiluted form, can be harmful to pets, especially cats.
  6. Tea Tree Oil: Like peppermint oil, tea tree oil can be an effective ant deterrent. Mix five to 10 drops of tea tree essential oil with two cups water in a clean plastic spray bottle. Spray the mixture around the house where you typically see ants. Alternatively, you can saturate cotton balls with the mixture and place them around your home. Like most essential oils, keep tea tree oil out of reach of pets.
  7. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: Oil extracted from the lemon eucalyptus tree is another natural insect repellent. It contains citronella, used in candles to repel mosquitoes and other flying bugs. Saturate cotton balls with the undiluted lemon eucalyptus essential oil. Place the cotton balls in areas where you usually see ants in the home. Replace the cotton balls weekly with freshly saturated cotton balls. Keep this oil out of reach of children and pets.

The Best Ant Exterminator Solution is to Prevent Ants in the First Place

Ants are in your home for one reason: They have discovered an easy and accessible food source. So, to keep ants away, eliminate whatever food source they are attracting to, especially sweet and starchy foods such as sugar, honey, and cornmeal. Follow these tips to make your home ant-free.

  1. Keep food tightly sealed in containers or plastic bags.
  2. Wash all plates and cooking utensils immediately after eating.
  3. Clean up crumbs from your home every day using a broom or vacuum.
  4. Remove pet bowls as soon as your pet has finished eating. Clean the bowls immediately to eliminate the scent of the food.
  5. Clean kitchen surfaces and floors every day.
  6. Use natural repellents (see out list of seven ant repellents above) to detract ants and remove pheromone scents.

Why You Should Rely on a Professional Ant Exterminator

An ant exterminator will track down and kill the entire colony, whereas just spraying a few invading ants with home ant solutions will likely only kill a few ants at best; at worst, it will scatter the colony, making ant extermination that much more difficult.

For instance, black ants – also known as Argentine ants – can have satellite colonies as far away as nearby yards or homes. Tracking down the colony takes the work of a skilled ant exterminator. Fire ants, another nuisance species, can live outdoors as well as indoors. The season and the location of their mound determines the eradication method to be used – again, the work of a professional ant exterminator.

There’s a lot to know about ants, which is why it is always best to bring in a professional ant exterminator when you’ve got an infestation on your hands.

Why Eco Pest Control is the Leading Ant Exterminator in the Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg Areas

Do you have an ant problem? Rely on Eco Pest Control, the leading ant exterminator in the greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas. We give you four reasons why you can trust us to take care of your ant problem.

  1. Our company provides staff with extensive training in the treatment of ants that enables them to solve your most basic ant problems.
  2. We invest in ongoing education in the treatment and control of ants to ensure we stay abreast of industry advances.
  3. We offer free ant inspections, which comes with a complimentary ant extermination treatment plan.
  4. We offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied, we will come back for free. What else would you expect from the leading ant exterminator in the greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas?


Inside the Ant Colony, FROM TED-Ed