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We recently had an ant invasion problem because I forgot to start feeding my indoor dog outside. Once the ants discovered the dog food, I had ants in my cabinets as well. It is a frustrating experience to get rid of ants when they discover a gourmet treat in your kitchen. This instructable will show you how I got rid of the little troopers!
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Step 1: Supplies

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White vinegar
Baking soda
Sponge with texture
Cleaning rags
Elbow grease (Manual  labor)
Bleach may be used instead of vinegar.

Step 2: Tools

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Broom or vacuum
Dust pan optional
Mop and bucket optional 

Step 3: Remove Sources

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​Eliminate the food attraction. 
First I took the dog food outside and placed the dog food centered in a shallow dish filled with water. 
The ants drown when trying to reach the food.

Do you see the Agave Nectar? Well it had to go into the refrigerator. 

Step 4: Clean Counters And Sink

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Then I cleaned the counter tops, sink, splash board,  windowsill, and inside the cabinet. 
I cleaned all areas where the scent trail was and basically my whole kitchen to be safe.
I first scrubbed with a damp textured sponge and baking soda.
I rinsed with a clean damp cloth to remove the chalky residue.
I poured vinegar onto a damp cleaning cloth and cleaned the surfaces again.
I poured vinegar and baking soda down the sink to remove any food odors there. 

It is important to keep food and crumbs off the table, counters, and floors after an invasion.
Keep dishes washed and rinsed.
Don't leave any water in the sink because they look for water also, especially when it is hot. 


Step 5: Floors

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I thoroughly swept the floor removing every possible crumb.
Using an old damp textured sponge, I added baking soda and cleaned the floor.
My thoughts were that the texture in the sponge would act as a sand paper and remove the scent trail.
I rinsed the baking soda off the floor the best I could, doing this a couple of times using hot water.
I Mopped the floor several times using the vinegar solution to remove any chalky residue left behind from the baking soda.

Step 6: Finding The Nest

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Pouring boiling water over an ants nest several times over a period of a week will kill the ants naturally.
There are other ways to kill ants naturally but I just use this system.
I have not done it yet as we have been busy. 

Step 7: Sunshiine"s Final Thoughts

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My little secret!
I have always bought white vinegar and recently bought some Apple Cider vinegar. When the ants invaded my kitchen I was out of the white vinegar because I use it all the time for cleaning things around the house. So I poured a shallow dish full of the Apple Cider vinegar and placed it on the counter. I figured ants don't like vinegar so maybe they don't like the smell of it either. Now, understand I had already cleaned with the Apple cider vinegar. The next day I had ants again! It took me a while to figure out why I had ants, when I have always got rid of them using vinegar. Then it dawned on me. I used apple cider vinegar.

The second cleaning did not take as long because I caught it early enough. I did use bleach that time even though I don't like to,  only because I used Apple Cider vinegar before. I have always used white vinegar and it works! 

 In closing I would like to thank our instructables company, sponsors, authors, readers, and members; for making this community a great success! Many hours and hard work has been put into making this place the best DIY on the Internet. Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

JamesL222 months ago

I liked the part of the article that talked about getting rid of potential food sources for the ants. It seems like ants are able to find the tiniest crumb on the floor, so keeping your spaces clean would probably be important in keeping them at bay. Luckily there seem to be ways of getting rid of pests, so someone would probably have to do some research to find out what would work for them. http://victoriapestcontrol.com/odorous-house-ants-victoria/

I found a recipe here on instructables for getting rid of ants. You mix hand sanitizer with Gatorade, find and dig up the ant nest, pour in the Gatorade mixture and recover the ant nest. The ants will eat the mix because of the sweetness of the Gatorade, and the sanitizer will kill them. It takes about 2-3 days according to the ible, just look up Gatorade on instructables. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like it works! Hope this helps, and good luck ant hunting!

I believe you have to kill the source but it is hard to find sometimes. Lots of things can be loosely ran into and down around pipes and cracks but I've had better luck by finding the source and killing it out. I've stopped them before by the means described and it fought them down for me but lots of times they would come back and sometimes they didn't come back. All are worth a try.

Browncoat3 years ago
Pour boiling water on the next? Looks like you could prob enter this in the Water Challenge! ;)
sunshiine (author)  Browncoat3 years ago
Thanks! I did not think about that one! I will enter it! Have a great day!
You too! And if you come up with any other Water-ideas, enter them too. Surely we can get the prize bumped up to that killer water ball! :D
sunshiine (author)  Browncoat3 years ago
I entered two that I could. I will try and think of something to do.
pecospearl3 years ago
p.s. I use a gallon of vinegar on fire ant mounds and works better than Amdro. Even with Amdro they tend to "come back" after a couple of months.
pecospearl3 years ago
Funny you should post this. I have had "raspberry" ants this year and have had a terrible time getting rid of them. I'll be trying this next. We get ants every year for the last 20, always sugar ants, but this year it is raspberry, a new invasive species of crazy ants. I'll try your remedy and see if it works for these.
artfulann3 years ago
I'll remember this the next times it happens, because unfortunately for us it happens at least 2 times a year. Houston doesn't get cold enough to kill most critters over the winter AND, I don't use traditional chemicals.
Now my ants never bother with the dog food (ours eat every scrap available!) but go for the kitchen counters immediately because of water. We find we have invasions when it is really dry and they need water.

dchall83 years ago
For sugar ants I have had excellent results with the following bait recipe:
1/2 cup each of sugar and molasses.
1 tsp of baking yeast

It's a gummy mess but smear some on a piece of cardboard and put it in the ants trail. You may have to reapply. For me it took about 2 weeks but the ants were completely gone.

The theory is the yeast messes up the ants food supply inside the nest. Then they die.
sunshiine (author)  dchall83 years ago
Just out of curiosity do you have a formula for fire ants? I know they are a little more difficult to get rid of.
sunshiine (author)  dchall83 years ago
Thank you so much for your recipe! Hope you have a splendorous day!
canucksgirl3 years ago
Those are some great tips sunshiine. We too had our first ant problem recently and what a chore that was to clean every nook and cranny to be satisfied that everything was thoroughly clean. (I hate bugs). Vinegar or bleach certainly helps in erasing their scent trail so that the others can't figure out where to go.

I hope you got it all under control, they definitely call them a pest for a reason!
sunshiine (author)  canucksgirl3 years ago
Thanks so much for your comment! Have a great evening!