6 Tips To Get Rid Of Ants In Your Kitchen

What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen?

Have you ever killed a stray ant in your kitchen only to be bombarded with a complete trail hours later? That first ant was likely a scout and the precursor to a total kitchen invasion.

No one wants to dodge ants while cooking dinner or washing dishes. But what can you do, especially when they keep coming back no matter what products you deploy or how often you clean the kitchen?

The Santa Clarita ant control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. are here to explain why ants are in your kitchen, how they keep coming back, and what steps you can take to prevent and stop an invasion.

TL;DR Key Notes:

  • Ants invade kitchens to find food and water sources, especially during our scorching SCV summers. 

  • Scout ants deposit a lasting pheromone trail that lures trails of worker ants into your kitchen.

  • You can prevent an ant infestation by keeping the kitchen clean, storing food (including pet food) in sealed containers, making home repairs to cut-off entry points, and repairing damaged pipes and faucets.

  • You can eliminate kitchen ants by using DIY essential oil mixtures, certain domestic spices, brewed coffee grounds, and 1-1 white vinegar mixtures. Please see below for details and warnings (protect your pets!).

  • But stopping an infestation can be incredibly challenging without professional assistance. Contact the Santa Clarita ant control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. at (661) 294-0206 to protect your family, pests, and home from ants and other common pests.  

Why Are Ants In My Kitchen? Can One Ant Lead to an Infestation?

Where there is one, there is an army.

Scouting ants are lone journeymen that leave the colony with a single mission: find food and water. As scouting ants travel, they leave behind a heavy pheromone trail that “calls” other worker ants to a potential food source. For example, Pharoah ants can deposit short-lived (20-30 minutes) and long-lasting (1-2 days) trails.

So, if that scout finds crumbs or water droplets in your kitchen, it could be the start of an invasion that sees trails of ants entering your home.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how often you clean the area or how many ants you kill. The colony will keep following that pheromone trail straight into your kitchen. Without taking the proper steps or calling for professional assistance, you might struggle with freeloaders in your kitchen for weeks or even months.

Wolf spiders are grey and brown and tend to be hairier than other spiders. These fuzzy critters hang around windows, doors, and indoor potted plants.

Pharaoh ants are attracted to sweet and fatty foods and can nest in the most peculiar places, including pantries and food containers. They are super tiny, clocking in at 2mm, so keep your eyes peeled!

Curious about why ants are so active this season? Find out the answer in “Why Are We Seeing So Many Bugs This Summer?”

6 Tips to Prevent & Eliminate an Ant Infestation

Ants love warm weather and tend to be more active during the hot summer months. But as we all know, Santa Clarita residents enjoy fairly moderate temperatures year-round, making ants an almost consistent problem.

It’s important to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for scouts. They can start trails through any room of your home but are commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas that provide food and/or water.

The No Bugs team is here with 6 helpful tips to prevent or stop an ant invasion in your home.

1. Keep the Kitchen Clean

Ants happily infest any place that provides them with food and water. Bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, basements – every room in your home is fair game. But there is only one location that provides food and water consistently: your kitchen.

If your kitchen is cluttered with leftovers on the counter, piles of greasy dishes in the sink, or crumbs on the floor, this will attract ants in no time.

Keeping your kitchen clean and wiping down counters after preparing a meal is a simple solution to keep ants out of your kitchen.

Clean Your Kitchen

2. Make Small Home Repairs

Before going to war with the ants, take a few minutes to find out where they are coming from – a torn window screen, cracks in the floor, crumbled caulk, etc. 

Ants are small and capable of herculean feats of strength, endurance, and stealth. But you can cut off access into your home by:

  • Replacing damaged window and door screens. 
  • Installing weather stripping on any doors that lead outside.
  • Sealing tiny crevices with caulk.
  • Replacing rotten wood around entry points.
Install Door Sweep

Another important prevention tactic is to repair leaky pipes and dripping faucets in your kitchen. Ants are always on the hunt for pooling water, leftover liquids, and other sources of moisture. 

You can easily avoid or stop an ant invasion by:

  • Quickly repairing damaged pipes.
  • Making sure faucets are completely turned off after use.
  • Checking your faucet to see if it’s leaking. 
  • Cleaning up puddles of spilled or standing liquids in your sink, cabinets, or countertops.
Repair Leaky Pipes

3. Seal Your Food Properly

Most Santa Clarita homes have pantries in or near the kitchen area. It’s easy to load a pantry with open cereal boxes, cooking ingredients, candies, and other foodstuffs in the fluster of a busy day(s). But standard pantry doors are not a suitable defense for hungry ants on a mission.

But you can keep these invaders out of your pantry by storing food in sealed containers.

4. Protect the Pet Food

It isn’t just Fido who wants to tear into that kibble bag! Pet food needs to be stored in secure plastic or reusable containers, not bags that can no longer seal and are liable to tear.

You can also prevent an ant invasion by:

  • Placing the food bowl on a rubber mat for easy cleanup. 
  • Washing the food bowl after every meal. 
  • Storing the food bowl outside of mealtimes to avoid leaving kibble and wet food out all day. 
Clean Up Puppy Food

5. Try DIY Products & Mixtures

Many people swear by natural products and homemade mixtures to prevent and eliminate kitchen ants. 

These tiny insects are surprisingly resilient, but you could find success by:

  • Squeezing drops of lemon or orange at the entry point. You can also mop the area or disrupt the trail with fruit peels (ants are not fans of bitter citrus). 
  • Sprinkle pepper or cinnamon as a pest repellent (domestic spices are a dermal irritant). *Do not use this method if you have pets!*
  • Mix 10- 20 drops of essential oil (peppermint, lemon eucalyptus, tea tree) with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spread it around the baseboards and windows of your home. Allow the mixture to dry and repeat as needed. **Essential oils are HIGHLY toxic to cats. Do not use this option if you have pets.**
  • Saturate cotton balls with undiluted cinnamon leaf essential oil and place them in areas where you’re finding the ants. *Do not let your pets near the cotton balls!*
  • Place brewed coffee grounds on disposable surfaces (napkin, index cards, etc.) and set them where the ants congregate. 
  • Use a 1-1 white vinegar/water mixture to clean hard surfaces, including pantry entrances, baseboards, cabinets, and countertops. 
  • Surround infested plants with citrus rinds…or just toss the plant. 

*No Bugs does not endorse any of these DIY methods and results are not guaranteed. Please complete thorough research before utilizing ANY of these options, as many are harmful and toxic to pets.* 

6. Tired of Fighting Ants in Santa Clarita? Call No Bugs!

Trying to rid your home of ants can seem like a frustrating and never-ending uphill battle. You can try every DIY trick in the book and still struggle with the next wave of invaders.

Your life doesn’t have to revolve around ants or any other insect. Leave pest control to the professionals at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. Our Santa Clarita ant control experts have the experience, products, and knowledge of local pest populations to protect your home and family from any infestation.

Dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free consultation with the Santa Clarita ant control experts at No Bugs. We can inspect your property and create a safer space for your family members and pets.