If the ants have come marching two by two—or, God forbid, 10 by 10—it’s time to put an end to the parade. Here’s how.
Step 1: Figure out what kind of ants you have.
Step 2: If you spot some ants, don’t panic and immediately kill all the ones you see.
Step 3: If possible, locate the ants’ nests in and around your house.
TIP: Carpenter ants nest in wood, pharaoh ants nest anywhere, pyramid ants nest in soil, and pavement ants nest beneath things outdoors.
Step 4: One chemical-free way of eliminating ants is to pour a kettle full of boiling water on the nest.
TIP: You might have to pour the boiling water on the nest a few times.
Step 5: There are various chemical powders or sprays you can use to kill the ants in the nest.
: Warning: Always use extreme caution when using insecticides, and follow the directions on the label.
Step 6: After you’ve eliminated the nest, you can use a sponge and some soapy water to wipe away remaining ants and their scent trails.
Step 7: You can also try placing baited ant traps along the ant trails and near the nest.
TIP: Try different baits until you find one that works.
Step 8: To keep ants from returning, keep your home clean and sanitized. Your countertops may look clean, but even if you can’t see any dirt or crumbs, teeny tiny bits of food might be there—turning your home into an ant cafeteria.
Step 9: Keep ants out by making sure your home is well sealed. Check doors, windows, wood surfaces, and exterior walls for spots the critters can get in.
TIP: Seal your house with a sealant, not caulking.
Step 10: Be on the lookout for water damage. If water causes wood to rot, this can attract carpenter ants.