Introduction: How to Get Rid of Tiny Black Ants in the House

Ant season is here again! You've arrived on this page because you are trying to figure out how to get rid of tiny black ants in your house. The most common types to invade homes include black, carpenter, pharaoh, odorous and sugar ants. Identifying the species that you are up against is usually helpful. However, It can be difficult for someone untrained in entomology to determine the slight difference between these tiny insects. Luckily the method I will be teaching today does not require any dangerous chemicals. We will be using natural remedies that are modified to work on almost every species. It is finally time to get rid of ants for good!

What is Attracting Ants in the First Place?

Like all living things on God’s green earth, ants are in search of food, water and shelter. This is why your kitchen and bathroom are prime targets. Getting rid of tiny black ants in your house will be an easier project if you can eliminate the sources of food or water that is allowing them to thrive. Colonies will spread rapidly so it is important to get rid of them fast.

  1. Observe their patterns. Where are their trails located? Which areas of the house do they prefer? How are they getting into your kitchen in the first place?
  2. Eliminate freestanding water. Something as little as a wet napkin on the counter can sustain hundreds of ants. Wipe your sinks down regularly and inspect pipes for condensation and leaks. If you see heavy condensation, you need to increase air circulation in that area.
  3. Apply caulk to all crevices they are using to enter and travel through your house. You’ll need to inspect the inside and outside of your property. The best way to get rid of tiny black ants is to keep them out of your house in the first place!


Step 1: How to Kill Ants and Eliminate the Nest

If it isn't broke, there is no need to fix it! Using baits to kill ant colonies is an effective method that has passed the test of time. However, you may want to skip this step if you have small children or pets. Borax is a natural solution but exposure to it can be harmful for some humans and animals. Baits are a little tricky because different species of tiny black ants have different preferences for food. Additionally, insects in different life cycles stages will also eat entirely different substances. Adults only eat liquids while larvae eat solids. In order to get rid of the entire colony, it is important to have both forms. That is why all-in-one baits will never solve your problem. The trick is to prepare 3 simple little bait stations to make sure you kill every black ant in your house.

Directions: Apply the baits at different spots along ant trails. You will not see an immediate decrease in the infestation. Things will probably get worse before they get better. This is a good because we want as many of these tiny workers to take the borax back to their nest. This is a long term solution that is very effective for getting rid of black ants in your kitchen.

  • Protein based bait: Create a mixture of 75% peanut butter and 25% borax.
  • Liquid sugar bait: Warm about 1 cup of honey or syrup in the microwave. Mix in about a quarter cup of borax.
  • Solid sugar bait: Add 3 parts powdered sugar to 1 part borax.


Step 2: My Favorite Way to Repel and Eliminate Ants for Good

Once you've given the baits about 1 week to work their magic, it’s time to kill the rest of the stragglers. I have actually skipped the borax altogether on many occasions and just used this portion of the treatment. Essential oils are they key to getting rid of black ants in your house. These insects are just as sensitive to certain essential oils as they are toxic insecticides. Almost any essential oil will work but I find a combination of tea tree and peppermint oil to be the most effective. These oils also have many other health and beauty applications to it is always nice to have a small bottle of each around the house. They are inexpensive and 100% natural.

This will provide a powerful repellent. You can even use this spray to instantly kill insects around your kitchen.This is my favorite home remedy for getting rid of tiny black ants in my house. It can also be applied to the outside of you home to deter any new ones from entering. Pay special attention to crevices around the foundation, windows, doors, pipe penetrations and vents. You will need to reapply every few weeks or after a heavy rain. Watch this quick YouTube video for step-by-step instructions about how to keep ants out for good using essential oils.

  1. Add 6-8 ounces of water to a spray bottle.
  2. Add ½ tsp of cayenne pepper powder.
  3. Combine 15 drops of peppermint oil and 15 drops of tea tree oil.
  4. Spray trails, crevices and other high traffic areas. For heavier application, I like to douse a cotton ball and stuff it near the source of the trail.
  5. Here is an awesome resource if you need more details and instructions about using essential oils to get rid of black ants.


Step 3: Give me a High Five!

I have a great deal of respect for anyone that is courageous enough to ditch the toxic insecticides in favor of a natural solution. The truth is that these remedies work just as well as the chemicals used by exterminators. The only difference is that you are not exposing yourself, your family or your pets to dangerous side effects.

If you found any of this information to be helpful, please do me a BIG favor and share this article on your favorite social network. I really enjoy helping people solve their pest control problems. Your support is very important to me. It is what allows me to continue doing what I love.

If you have any question or comments, please leave them below. I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks again for reading my guide about how to get rid of tiny black ants in your house. I wish you and your family the best of luck!


MichaelW677 (author)2017-08-21

If you have termites in your home AND an ant problem - you likely have a colony of subterranean termites. And the ants have a 24/7 "all you can eat" buffet of termite larvae.

So if this is the case - get rid of the termite colony first, before tackling the ant problem! Once the termites are gone, the ants will be far easier to eliminate.

MichaelW677 (author)MichaelW6772017-08-21

PS - the ants may just be your "new best friend" untill the termites are wiped out.

birdbrain (author)2017-07-08

Thanks. I'm going to try the Borax solutions. Do the Borax solutions work on Cockroaches? I have an ant problem, but a relative has a roach problem.

bmbuescher (author)2016-09-03

Do you think Oxyclean can be used instead of Borax?

AP36 (author)bmbuescher2017-06-24

Nope. The reason borax works is it is a naturally occurring crystalline
mineral. The natural state of Boron is a jagged crystalline structure,
and it has no flavor of its own. The Ant eats it in a solution with
sugar or greasy protein, digests the protein or sugar, and removes the
water - but can't do anything with the boron. The Boron then
re-crystallizes inside the and and cuts it up from the inside.

ssalomone16 (author)2017-04-09

This is the first time ever I have them in my dogs water bowl!!

What is the cayenne pepper for?

KellyH115 (author)2016-05-27

I tried the best peppermint oil thing to no avail. My house is literally a giant ant pile. It is driving me insane! Terro is the only thing that works but just for about 2 weeks and they are right back in full force!

sundavu37 (author)KellyH1152016-08-29

It is important to use boric acid/ sugar mixture for an extended period of time in order to kill all ants. It may take up to 30 days for the boric acid mixture to eliminate the entire colony. Make sure the concentration of borax is of recommended strength.

SusanF72 (author)2016-08-15

It's been 48 hours and I think it is working. Thanks for letting us know it will get worse before it gets better. My ants seem to prefer the honey mix to the PB or confectioner sugar mix. I will try to remember to post again in a week or so.

SherylZ1 (author)2016-08-03

i wanted to know with the borax and peanut butter do i just make a paste with it and set it out?

RayG42 (author)2016-05-18

Step 2 works like a charm. Kills most of the ants in seconds. Only problem with it is that the cayenne pepper can clog a spray bottle. Recommend heating the water first, adding just a tad more pepper than what is recommended. Stirring frantically to get as much to dissolve as possible and using a coffee filter and funnel to get the water in the bottle without the large pieces of pepper in it. Other than that, works amazingly.

Cinecal1 (author)2016-04-28

I love your advice & I'm going to try the tea tree oil/peppermint oil trick 1st because I went "green" years ago & with my luck, if I used borax the only thing that would be dead would be me & those damn ants would be dancing on my corpse. I cannot id the source of entry & no trail is visible in the bdrm/kitchen/bath where they have been observed. St. Louis has had heavy rains 3 days/wk for about 2 months now & weather not likely to change anytime soon, so ant problem likely to get worse. If these details can help, any additional advice would be oh-so-very WELCOME!! Thank you.

fortuitously (author)Cinecal12016-05-08

. I am in St. Louis too. Please let me know if you can how it's worked out for you!. Thanks!

daisyq (author)fortuitously2016-05-15

I am also in StL. It makes me crazy all the ants. In a pinch I use EcoSmart. It has peppermint, Rosemary, wintergreen oils in it. I got it at a local hardware store. Now...on to cicadas!

EdB59 (author)2016-05-10

Went out to local store and found all ingredients apart from peppermint oil. I was shocked by the amount of ants in cupboard and worktops that out of desperation I put a few neat drops of tea tree oil on surfaces. One hour later my grandson commented on the strong antiseptic smell of tea tree but the ants were gone.

I will seek out the peppermint oil as I assume this will make the smell more pleasant but I am astounded they have gone.

Can't quite work out the reason for Cayenne Pepper but will follow the instructions and make up the spray compound.

It appears that the mixture that is safe to use in a food preparation area with no toxic chemicals to cause harm although you need to follow the instructions given with tea tree oil.

Will use a borax mixture outside to kill nest but thank you for this simple effective remedy that so far appears to have worked,

umj (author)2016-04-27

why not just use a product called Simple Green it contains tea tree oil and some other anti ant ingredients that will take care of the immediate problem.

Spray the ant covered surface and spray the trail all of the way to the outside of the home and wait a few seconds and wipe the ants and any food or debris left from the ants away. The tea tree scent will remain and discourage other ants from entering the home.

Or you can use the Dr Evil method involving a canning jar with water,Styrofoam, a sugar cube, magnifying glass and a sunny day...I think you get the picture!,

FunkMonkey1 (author)2016-04-25

How do you keep the nozzle of your spray bottle from clogging with cayenne pepper?

Colbrook5 (author)2016-03-03

Thank you B-bop 123 I find this article very useful. The ants I have crawling all over my kitchen counter are not useful and I welcome this information. I cannot locate a trail, so I will just spray the surrounding area and look forward to ridding my home of these pests.

B-bop123 (author)2015-12-25

These replies are hilarious.....

Vyger (author)2015-04-23

I find ants to be kind of useful. They don't really do any damage, except carpenter ants, and they keep other pests under control. Ants and termites are mortal enemies. Predatory ants will kill and remove other insects. Fire ants might be a problem but they stay outside. My cats also find them entertaining. I had a bunch of sugar ants discover my bag of crushed pop cans. They went through the entire thing of cans and cleaned up every last bit of sticky anything. It was pretty impressive. And when they were finished they just disappeared, out looking for another treasure.

Of course I don't mind spiders either. I usually rescue them and take them outside. They help control the other bug populations.

JamieS54 (author)Vyger2015-11-21

Are you actually an ant commenting on this article? Because if so, you're still not going to convince me ants are desirable. I want these things killed dead forever and out of my hair.

Vyger (author)JamieS542015-11-22

You are fortunate that the ants don't share your opinion or attitude. Otherwise they would be coming for you in the night, all of them, at one time, each one grabbing a little piece and carrying it off.

All my ants are in hibernation for the winter. They all went to sleep several months ago and will not be back until the ground thaws out in the spring. You are safe until then. Then they will be coming for you, and they know where you live!!!

WilliamM119 (author)Vyger2015-12-15

Yeah, I only WISH they were in winter hibernation here in central Florida. Normally they WOULD be, but of the last 56 days, about 54 have been above average temps. Global warming sucks here in the deep south. We're gonna have insect pests all winter. That's why I'm here on this site.

Vyger (author)WilliamM1192015-12-15

That's ok. When the sea level rises most of Florida will be underwater and that will solve the ant problem for good. They will be fish food.

WilliamM119 (author)Vyger2015-12-15

Yup, I gotta side with Vyger on this one. Ants are hard workers and they're great to have around the house. I have so many in my kitchen that I seldom need to scrape plates off after dinner, I just leave them on the counter for a few days, then they go right into the dishwasher. Larger ants can be trained to do light dusting and vacuuming. And there are never too many of them in the house because once they start getting out of hand, the roaches eat most of them up!

WilliamM119 (author)Vyger2015-12-15

Yup, I gotta side with Vyger on this one. Ants are hard workers and they're great to have around the house. I have so many in my kitchen that I seldom need to scrape plates off after dinner, I just leave them on the counter for a few days, then they go right into the dishwasher. Larger ants can be trained to do light dusting and vacuuming. And there are never too many of them in the house because once they start getting out of hand, the roaches eat most of them up!

NathanSellers (author)2015-04-25

Thanks for sharing your ideas. I'll have to try them out.

About This Instructable



Bio: Hey, my name is Chipp. I am a jack of all trades and how-to guru. I enjoy blogging about health, fitness, pest control and product ... More »
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