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Ants can nest in different parts of your home, including your walls. Most of the time, this unseen and often unnoticed problem may wreak havoc on your property. The ants may start crawling in your carpet and make your walls as their path for navigation around your home. Knowing how to get rid of ants in the walls naturally is the key here.
This pest problem needs to be addressed right away to prevent further damages on your home. In this post, we will discuss some natural solutions that will not hurt your pocket and your home.
Why ants harbor inside walls
Ants love to nest inside walls if it offers them a favorable environment. This means that your walls are undisturbed, moist, and slightly warm. Take note that ants can take over on the harborage of termites after the extermination and when the treatment has lost its residual effect.
Also, ants love to use electrical wirings as thoroughfares around your home. If you keep seeing ants on your home but can’t find their nest, your walls may be hiding them.
The only consolation with ants is they don’t usually chew on wood. However, they can give itchy bites and damages to your supplies.
Unlike other of your home, treating walls are way different. Also, not all households can afford to peel off their drywall and replace it with new ones. With this, you need ways on how to get rid of ants in the walls naturally without the need to damage the walls.
In this video, you’ll see the damage large black ants can cause in wall insulation:
Ant species that love nesting in walls
Various ants can take harborage on your home’s walls. Furthermore, you need to identify the enemy before you can defeat it. Furthermore, here are some of the common ant species usually found on walls:
*Crazy ants – This type has a reddish-brown color and can grow to up to 1/8-inch. It’s called ‘crazy’ because of its random and unpredictable movements.
*Acrobat ants – Like the crazy ants, acrobat ants are 1/8-inch long, but it has a pale brown or black color.
*Pharaoh ants – These ants are small and can grow between 1/6 and 1/8-inch long and have a yellowish to light red color
*Carpenter ants – You should be careful about this species since carpenter ants excavate wood. This species has a brownish-black color that can grow up to half an inch long.
*Argentine ants – This species prefers warmer locations. It has a light brown color that can grow between 1/12-inch and 1/8-inch long.
Other species can also harbor in the walls of your house, especially if their outdoor harborage has been disturbed. Also, if your walls are filled with possible food sources, ants and other insect pests will flock into it.
How to check if there are ants in your walls
It can be tricky to check for ants on your walls, especially since these are hidden spaces. Unless you’re willing to tear your drywall apart, there are other alternative ways to identify the presence of ants.
Here are some of the possible signs of ants harboring in your walls:
*There are ants coming out of your electrical sockets
*There are ant trails going inside your walls
*Small piles of fine dust that the ants excavated to get behind the walls
*Ants streaming out of the wall when you knock hard
Take note that these signs should be observed within the walls. The challenging part here is that the ants can harbor in some other spots. If you have ants inside your walls, there’s a chance that it’s also present in other crevices of your home, especially in your kitchen cabinets.
In this video, DoMyOwnPestcontrol gives us a checklist of ant hideouts to look for:
How to get rid of ants in the walls naturally
Instead of spraying insecticides and other synthetic chemicals, we can make use of natural substances to eradicate the ant population. Here are some of the tried and tested solutions that you can try:
1. Lemon juice
Lemon juice has a strong characteristic that will kill ants upon contact. You just have to mix one part of lemon in three parts of water. After that, transfer it to a spray bottle so you can spritz it around you’re your house. You can also drill a hole inside your wall and inject concentrated lemon juice inside.
Aside from killing the ants present in your walls, you can also apply lemon juice on the entryways of ants. Once you removed the ants, you can use the same spray as a repellent or preventive measure.
Aside from the juice, you can also use the lemon peels to kill the ants. For this, you have to heat the peels with vinegar. Once the mixture is steaming, turn the stove off and let it cool down overnight. The next day, strain the mixture and transfer it to a spray bottle for application.
Peppermint oil isn’t just a potent ant killer; it’s also an excellent deodorizer for your home. It’s a natural insect repellent, but ants hate its smell.
You can place mint plants inside your home or stash mint leaves into your wall. This may not kill the ants, but it will drive them away and keep them from coming back.
If you don’t like using peppermint leaves, just add a few drops on a cotton ball and dab it around entryways. Also, you can drill a hole into your wall and inject the oil into it.
Aside from peppermint oil, the likes of tea tree oil and citrus oil are also effective in killing the ants.
Take note that these oils are concentrated and can irritate the skin, eyes, and nose in direct contact. If possible, dilute three tablespoons of peppermint oil to one quart of water.
3. Diatomaceous earth (DE)
Food-grade Diatomaceous earth is the golden insect killer. It works for almost all types of insect pests like fleas, termites, ticks, and ants. DE is an excellent solution for invasive ant species that harbor inside your home.
You can sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth around your home and in the entryways of ants. When DE gets into the ant’s skin, the sharp edges of the DE particles will kill them.
Never dilute DE with water or wet it before the application. DE only works when dry, which is why it may not be a great solution for water-damaged walls or in areas with very high humidity.
Make sure that you’re using food-grade DE and not pool DE. The latter is very abrasive and can be dangerous to humans and pets.
To boost the effect of DE, you can mix it with an ant attractant. Once the ants get lured and the DE sticks to their bodies, they will bring it to the colony. It will result in exponential death.
4. Coffee grounds
Don’t throw away your used coffee grounds! This leftover can be used to repel ants away. In addition, ants hate the smell of coffee. And with coffee being totally safe, you can sprinkle it around your home and near the walls where the ants used to harbor.
Coffee grounds wouldn’t kill the ants, but it’s a guaranteed way to force them out of your home. The repulsing smell of coffee will better if paired with another natural solution.
This natural solution can also be used to get rid of ants in your garden. You can also place the coffee grounds right on the anthill as a way on how to get rid of ants in the walls naturally.
Take note that the efficiency of coffee grounds against ants will vary depending on the species infesting your home. Some strong ant types will be repelled for a few hours, but they will soon outmatch the coffee grounds. Some can even push it out of their paths.
Vinegar is the liquid gold of pest control. It works for almost any insect pests, including ants. You can mix a small amount of vinegar to water and spray it on affected areas. You can also mop the mixture around your home to erase the paths ants made. Aerate this for a short period, and the sour smell should fade.
For your walls, you can inject vinegar into it, but take note the acidic properties of vinegar may damage the wood over time.
It’s best to spray this mixture on the pathways of ants to keep them from coming back into your home. Also, you can disturb the wall where they harbor and wait until the ants come out before spraying the vinegar mixture.
If you’re bent to use vinegar for the ants on your walls, mix it with peppermint oil and dishwashing liquid. Inject this mixture into the crevices of your walls.
For outdoor ant hills, you can pour pure vinegar to kill the colony as way on how to get rid of ants in the walls naturally.
When ants inhale cinnamon, it suffocates and kills them in the process. Grind some cinnamon and sprinkle it around the affected walls. You can also use it to plug the ant pathways or anthill openings.
If you prefer spraying the solution to the affected areas, you can dilute cinnamon essential oil to treat the areas. You can also apply a few drops of pure cinnamon oil around your windows, doors, and cracks.
Aside from getting rid of ants, ground cinnamon will also make your home smell good. It’s also easy to clean up once the ants are gone. A few minutes of vacuuming should do the trick.
Take note that cinnamon oil has its limitations. First, it’s only effective if you have the right concentration. Also, you may need to re-apply to make sure that the ants won’t come back.
7. Cayenne pepper
The cayenne pepper doesn’t just sting on the tongue; it also kills ants upon contact. Just sprinkle a small amount of cayenne pepper around the house. On the other hand, make sure that you keep your pets and kids away from the treated area.
For easier application, you mix the cayenne pepper with water so you can spray it around the house. It’s best to wear protective eyewear and mask since cayenne will sting if it happened to spray back to you.
Diluting the pepper is less likely to kill the ants, but it will surely keep them away from your home. Although cayenne has a strong flavor, it’s totally safe to use on your home.
You can also pour cayenne pepper on anthills and other ant pathways to get rid of the pest.
If cayenne pepper didn’t work the magic, you could always explore the other solutions on how to get rid of ants in the walls naturally.
8. Bay leaves
Bay leaves are another home-safe solution against ants. Just place a few bay leaves around your home and near the infested walls to keep the ants away. Also, you can use it where the ants crawl and enter.
You can also crush dried bay leaves and sprinkle it around your home. Besides, bay leaves have a nice aroma which will help deodorize your home. However, not everyone may like the scent. If that’s the case, you can blend the leaves with lemon juice. It will also boost the ant-killing and repelling effect of the solution.
When to call for professional extermination
If the ants in your walls are becoming too invasive or large in population, it’s best to call a professional exterminator. Ant experts can map out the infestation and apply practical solutions against ants.
Also, ant exterminators will give you a clearer picture of the infestation. It will save you from dysfunctional DIY solutions and repetitive home remedies.
After the ants have been eradicated from your walls, you should employ preventive solutions. You can ask the ant exterminator about the household supplies you can use to deter the ants from coming back.
Although professional extermination may cost more, it’s a guaranteed solution for the ant problem.
In this video, Gerry shows us how professional ant extermination on walls happens:
Knowing how to get rid of ants in the walls naturally is an excellent alternative to pesticides and other synthetic chemicals. Still, these home remedies have limitations. If the ant infestation is becoming widespread, it’s probably better for you to tap the help of a professional exterminator.